Between The Bars

Oct. 14, 2005

Fall has come, and UCLA Gymnastics is back in session! Coming off last season, I talked with Miss Val and decided to take time off from training gymnastics for a bit. Not training all summer was something not normal for me but very enjoyable. Instead of taking a small break and continuing with training, I took a 'summer break' and decided to keep busy by coaching ... What an experience! I must say, I learned so much playing the role of coach! Although not training all summer had its perks, I definitely missed hard work, strenuous workouts, and a structured schedule. No worries, the day to report for training at UCLA came just in time!

The first three weeks of training here at UCLA are designed to be 'boot camp' style workouts - long days in the gym, followed by strength and conditioning circuits or a WONDERFUL circuit on the track (sarcasm to its fullest ... haha), followed by swimming 'cardio style', and team functions! The entire schedule is a little something we call PRESEASON and boy ... DOES IT KICK YOUR BOOTIE! (something I was very much in need of). Even with all this, I felt it necessary for me to do an extra cardio session in the mornings before practice because I was 'a little rusty' compared to the rest of the team as far as where I was in my training. Getting back in shape has proven to be a TASK, to say the least. I have definitely gained a new respect for our sport with regards to how hard it is and how physically fit gymnasts are ... it's something I've always taken for granted! This past month, I've worked ridiculously hard, which has definitely helped me renew my drive and love for the sport.

Our team this season is very different. It's strange coming back and seeing that literally HALF the team is new. I didn't know what to expect at first, but let me just say that I think our team is awesome! Not only are they hard workers with great gymnastics, but they are also really cool people ... every single one of them ... and it was evident early on in our training that everyone can be counted on! We definitely have a special connection within our team chemistry. Thinking about what we, as a team, can accomplish this year makes the possibilities seem endless! In fact, just thinking about it right now makes me get all excited!!!

Athletically, our team goal is to go out and take ownership of the 2006 NCAA Championship. Academically, our team goal is to be the UCLA team with the highest cumulative GPA for the seventh-straight year. It's really impressive that our entire team takes academics so seriously.

On November 20th (the day before my 21st birthday ... haha), we will host 'Meet The Team', which will include an exhibition, a little Gymnastics 101 for all our fans, and my favorite part - Question and Answer! I am known to LOVE question and answer sessions. I simply love talking with people. What can I say; I just LOVE talking and I LOVE people. Well, if I could, I would sit here all night and write, but my Astronomy book is calling my name!

Hope to see you at our Meet the Team on Nov. 20th and at our first home meet against Utah on Saturday, Jan. 7th! Peace out and luv u all!

Tasha Schwikert

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