For President Casey, fitness helps to manage job stress

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There is never a dull moment around President Brian Casey. The 19th President of DePauw University has been here for less than three years, but I am pretty sure he knows almost every faculty and staff member by first name and has some joke to share with most students.

He has a tough job, too — running a university of 2,400 students, while raising money for an entire campus re-organization during an economic recession. He’s constantly flying from place to place to meet with alumni, while ensuring the campus is running smoothly. So how does the former University of Notre Dame swim team captain keep up with the requirements of his job?

“Staying fit,” said Casey, who earned the Notre Dame Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in his graduating year, 1985. While keeping up with fitness, he also earned degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University. Here’s some insight into his perspective on fitness:

The DePauw: What does fitness mean to you?

Casey: Fitness to me means to stay healthy and more importantly, to be happy.

TDP: What is your favorite workout?

BC: I really enjoy a good swimming session. A great workout for me consists of some high intensity interval swim training, followed by some relaxing laps in the pool. I love the feeling of my heart pumping hard and blood rushing through my body. It’s when I know my body has been working hard.

TDP: What was your Notre Dame fitness regimen?

BC: We had a really intense training schedule. My team and I would be in the pool for about three to four hours a day, six days a week. Additionally, we had to be in the weight room or run the entire stadium steps for three to four hours every week.

TDP: What is your current work out schedule?

BC: I wake up at 5:30 a.m., six days a week and I like to start my workout by 6 a.m. I try to work out six days a week, switching up what I do each week. I enjoy training a lot with [senior] Callie [Boehme], [senior] Josh [Baugh] and other swimmers from the DPU varsity team. Usually, I swim about 4 times a week and lift weights on the remaining days.

TDP: What does your diet comprise of?

BC: Before I came to DePauw, I was still competing in national swimming events, so I always paid close attention to my diet. Soon after I joined as president, I gained a lot of weight, because everywhere I went there was always a ton of food! But of late, I’ve been trying to eat healthy and work out regularly.

TDP: What has fitness given to you in your life?

BC: I have a physically demanding job. Staying fit helps me keep up with the daily challenges.

TDP: What’s the one thing you enjoy when you’re indulging yourself?

BC: Cheeseburgers…every now and then I just have to have a great cheeseburger. They’re really not good for you, but sometimes they’re just what one might need.

TDP: What do you think about our generation’s fitness level compared to yours?

BC: I do worry about generations younger than mine. You do see a lot of younger people in this country carrying a lot of weight. That won’t be good for them, or the nation, in the years ahead.

TDP: What motivates you to stay fit?

BC: Exercise really, really helps me keep balanced. It keeps me energized and motivated throughout my busy day. It’s something I look forward to every morning. Plus, it just makes me feel good, like my day is complete.

TDP: Advice to youngsters out there?

BC: Make fitness a habit and a lifestyle. There is no magic formula to weight loss or a great body. Fad diets, unhealthy lifestyles etc. are not sustainable in the long run. Work hard, eat healthy, get enough rest and adopt fitness as a lifestyle choice..

Baugh said Casey is still a tremendous athlete.

“When he was 40, he went a 59 second 100-yard breaststroke,” he said. “That would have placed him in the top eight at our SCAC conference championship this year, and he didn’t even swim breastroke at Notre Dame.”

Boehme would agree with Baugh.

“It is very motivating to see someone who finished his collegiate swimming career over 25 years ago but is still so committed to the sport,” she said. “He inspires us, inside the pool and outside of it”.

— Chatterjee is a sophomore from Kolkata, India, majoring in economics. features@thedepauw.com