Inside the Locker Room: By Shelley Alexander

Sept. 28, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - Hey y'all,

I have the honor of writing the first inside locker room of the year, and let me tell you it has been an exciting week on The Farm (Stanford)! Prior to SWG being reunited on the 17th, all the girls had great summers. We had girls that went to Nepal, the Czech Republic, Peru, Canada, and a few of us that stuck around here. It was a great summer, but I know we were all happy to be back and we are especially excited for the freshmen to be here with us. Our first day back we went through our fitness test. It was a breeze; everyone did great. We also had a great first practice on Friday, including a good agility workout where the freshmen learned what to do SWG-style.

Saturday, SWG decided to do a team activity. We divided into five groups of three and the task for each group was to create a leotard made only out of supplies that could be purchased in 20 minutes from Safeway (our grocery store). The creativity was sky high and our laughter was unstoppable. We had a wonderful time together, as we always do. Then we all headed off to get ready for the football game. Stanford played San Jose State and won 42-17!

Sunday morning, SWG woke up bright and early, meeting at the gym at 7 a.m., and headed off to our ropes course in Santa Cruz! We started out with team activities in the morning. This included tasks such as lowering a tent stick with everyone having only one finger from each hand on it. Though this sounds really easy, let me tell you, it wasn't. We were able to lower it, though, once we all got on the same page, got into a rhythm and took our time!! After lunch we headed up to the ropes course area and all completed the leap of faith and a climb up to the top of a beam. We were able to do our own belaying (spotting the people in the air) which was a really cool team experience. After those two activities we had a final team challenge. There was about a 70-foot (I think) set of wooden beams with different types of things in between. The first level had a ladder, the second had wooden crossbars in an X shape, the third had pole-like things, the fourth had tires, and after that it was just the horizontal beams. Each beam represented a competition somewhere down the road and we had to retrieve the bandanas from each level. Every girl had to get one, and every third person was blindfolded. We had 45 minutes. Of course we did it, without any doubts. It was a great ending to our retreat!

Monday we began morning practice, school, and our normal practice schedule. The first week can be tough, but we proved how determined and hard-working our team is going to be all year. Friday was super spirit day at the gym and we had four recruits. We had a blast all weekend with them! Friday night we had a team dinner (delicious), Saturday we headed over to the beach, then made it back for some volleyball, tailgating, and the football game (another win 34-14 over Washington making Stanford No. 1 in the Pac-10). Sadly, the recruits had to leave, but SWG had another great practice on Sunday. After a long first week and a long weekend, we showed who we are and who we are going to be. I hope everyone is as excited for this year as we are!!! Check back next week for more updates!

Shelley Jo Alexander

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