April 07, 2020
Weights, yoga mat, skipping rope, medicine ball – Luis Vierroth manages well these days even without a fitness center. He has almost everything he needs in his room on Jacobs University’s campus. In the morning he goes running, about ten or twelve kilometers, and then practices yoga. Fitness is the basis for a better life for the 20-year-old, and he wants to convince others of this attitude by coaching and motivating them. At the international university, the computer science student leads the CrossFit and Volleyball groups.
Endurance, strength, mobility, coordination – CrossFit promotes all of these qualities. Combining elements from a variety of different athletic disciplines, such as weightlifting, running and gymnastics with exercises such as wall balls or box jumps, the jumping on a box or a crate. "The goal is not to be particularly good in one discipline," explains Luis. "But to develop as an athlete overall, to become fitter and more balanced."
He came to CrossFit through a family vacation: A week of hiking in the Grand Canyon, away from civilization, with 35 kilos of luggage on his back. His mother, his father and he, the then 15-year-old – they all prepared together for the strenuous tour through the wilderness with CrossFit. "That's when I discovered my love for sport and just kept going."
Luis attended various CrossFit seminars, obtained a trainer's license, took part in competitions, but at some point realized that that was not for him. "I do sports for myself, not to win," he says. He started moving away from the classical CrossFit, integrating Rock-climbing, bouldering, football, volleyball and swimming into his routine.
"I want to become as good as possible in all disciplines," says Luis. In order to achieve this, he draws up monthly training plans that focus on what he wants to train – endurance or strength, for example. On average, Luis spends two to three hours a day doing sports, four times a week he trains the CrossFit group. "I enjoy sharing what I know about health and fitness with others." The community, the group of like-minded people who understand each other, who help each other, who know how you feel and what is important to you, motivates him. Sport, he says, helps in many life situations. "When I'm fit and feeling good, I can just work better."
Fitness center, sports hall, football and volleyball fields: The possibilities to do sports are very good at Jacobs University, he says. But that was not the reason why he applied to study at the international university. He has lived with his family in several countries and always attended international schools. "I wanted to study in Germany, but in an international, English-speaking environment. When people from different nations with the most diverse backgrounds and perspectives meet, many new ideas are born, and I find that very educational".
And then there is his field of study: Computer Science with engineering as a minor. "I was looking for a course of studies that combines programming with hardware design," says Luis. "And I found it here." Just like in sports, he has a community he gets along with, exchanges ideas while searching for solutions to the tasks they are facing. The two worlds are not strictly separated, but merge into each other; many fellow students do sports. "They are open to trying out new things. And I motivate them to do so."
Luis Vierroth has been studying at Jacobs University since late summer 2019. "For me it was the ideal choice, I feel very comfortable here," he says. Even though it will still be two years before he graduates with a bachelor's degree, he has a clear vision of his future. "I really enjoy trying things out. That's why I definitely want to start working instead of doing a master's. Preferably in an area where I'm involved with a combination of hardware and software."
This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University introduces students, alumni, professors and staff. Further episodes can be found at www.jacobs-university.de/faces.