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Tips For Standing For 46 Hours In The Crowd At THON

With THON 2020 right around the corner, more than 700 dancers are preparing for the 46-hour dance marathon in which they will stand for the entirety of the weekend.

However, there are still many students that will choose to also stand for the entire 46 hours from the stands with their committee or organizations. Staying for the entirety of the 46-hour dance marathon is a whole different ball game than dancing on the floor. You don’t have the support of Dancer Relations or the dutiful care that THON provides all weekend.

I’ve done it twice already during my time in college and can say it was such a rewarding experience, but also such a challenge mentally and emotionally. If you’re choosing to be one of those brave souls who can make it the whole weekend from the stands, here are some tips to make your experience as healthy as possible:

Get Some Sleep

Making sure to get plenty of rest is the biggest key in preparing for the big weekend. If you are used to going to bed pretty late at night, try to fall asleep a little bit earlier than you’re used to.

Staying awake for 46 hours is much easier said than done. Keeping your body healthy and well-rested will only make it easier on you when the weekend comes. Coming into THON already tried or drowsy will only set you up for failure during the special weekend.

Keep Busy During THON

Dancers on the floor always have dancer relation liaisons and activities to keep them healthy and occupied. The volunteers in the stands are not awarded those same luxuries, so it’s important to find ways to keep your mind and body busy.

Just talking to people around you while you’re in the stands can go a long way in keeping your sanity. Having conversations with your friends or even people you don’t usually talk to very much can keep your mind off the fact that you are going to be standing for 46-straight hours.

Another way to keep busy is taking walks around the Bryce Jordan Center. Grab a friend or two and just take a couple laps to stretch out and keep the blood flowing. A lot of times it’s just nice to put yourself in another setting and take a breather.

Drink Responsibly

Staying away from any type of alcohol during the week leading up to THON is definitely the smartest route to take. If you’re going to consume any beverages this week, water is your best friend.

Trust me, drinking a lot of coffee during THON will definitely help. However, it is important to remember to not drink too much caffeine. Maintaining a good balance of water and coffee will go a long way in keeping your body awake and hydrated for the weekend.

Eat The Right Foods

The Bryce Jordan Center doesn’t offer the healthiest options during THON Weekend, so you have to get a little creative with what food you put in your body.

Sneaking in any kind of little snack is a good first step. Whether it’s granola bars, Cliff bars, or any other type of small snack, these healthier foods will help your body stay fueled for the long haul.

Whenever you’re getting food from the vendors, try not to eat a million boxes of curly fires or Dippin’ Dots. Those foods may sound very enticing when your stomach starts growling at midnight, but try to look for the healthier options on the menu, like a chicken sandwich.

Pack The Necessities

There’s a lot of weird items that you should bring to make your weekend as comfortable as possible. You’ll only be able to carry in a drawstring bag and/or a fanny pack though, so having friends that can drop you off some extra clothes or other items during the weekend will help immensely.

Almost any type of small ball will do your feet wonders once you start hitting those late hours. Take some time and use either a tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or any other type of smaller ball to help roll your feet out. They’re also helpful for getting knots or cramps out of your body from standing for so long.

Other items like baby powder, Burt’s Bees, and extra socks and shoes will also go a long way. Once you get into the second day, your feet and knees are going to start to start to really bother you. Switch your socks every so often and even throw a little bit a baby powder in them. Try to also bring a second pair of shoes. A fresh feel on your foot will have you feeling like a whole different person.

Once you start getting in to the 3 and 4 a.m. hours, throw a little Burt’s Bees chapstick under your eyes. It might sting a little at first, but it will definitely wake you up. Any kind of pain cream like IcyHot will help relieve some of the stress on your back and knees as well.

Enjoy Everything

THON is one of the most important and worthy causes for the Penn State community. Make sure to embrace the weekend and understand why you are there in the first place. Have fun, rock out to the line dance, and most importantly, stay healthy. Once you make it through the entire 46, you can look forward to sleeping the rest of the day.

We dance in 3!

Disclaimer: Standing in the stands for 46 hours without the care of Dancer Relations or other THON committees can be a dangerous undertaking. We do not encourage or authorize doing it. This post was written for people who choose to do so on their own.

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About the Author

Max Tolson

Max is a junior majoring in print journalism. He hails from the small town of Millsboro, DE and loves to watch the Eagles and Penn State wrestling. Follow him on twitter @TolsonMax or send emails to [email protected] Go Birds!

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