TBT: Tenaya West
Every month, GoStanford.com will present an interview with a Stanford women’s gymnastics alumna. This week, Tenaya West (‘10), is featured and discusses her time with SWG, how Stanford impacted her life and what she's been up to since graduation.
West graduated with a degree in human biology. She made three trips to the Super Six, was a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree, a NACGC/W Scholastic All-American in 2009 and helped Stanford earn the 2008 Pac-10 Championship.
What are some of the accomplishments you are most proud of during your time with the team?
I was part of the Class of 2010, which made four NCAA Championships and three Super Six appearances. However, I truly believe our best accomplishments were inside the gym, learning how to get the most out of ourselves and our teammates so that we could succeed as a group.
What are you up to now?
After graduation I took a little time off of school. I worked for an anesthesiologist for about a year and traveled for a few months doing film work in Nepal.
I spent part of that trip filming at a mountainside Buddhist monastery where I was the only person who spoke English. It was an incredible adventure that allowed me to regain some perspective before diving back into academics.
I am currently in my third year of podiatric medical school at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland. I just finished my first surgery rotation which was a great experience. Additionally, I'm interested in adding to the current research on the effect that certain biomechanical properties of the foot have on the risk of ACL injuries in athletes. After residency, I plan on practicing sports medicine in the Bay Area.
What advice would you give to current SWG athletes?
Most importantly, slow down and appreciate the little moments. Your time at Stanford will go by so quickly and some of your best memories will be from little things that happened in seemingly routine days.
Stay at dinner an extra 20 minutes with your teammates, even if you have a full evening of studying waiting. Walk your bike home after a tough workout and enjoy the beauty of campus. Spend way too much time plotting pranks on the coaches (and be ready for their retaliation!).
Both gym and academics come so much easier when you relax and fully appreciate the experience of being a student-athlete.
This is your opportunity to make your mark on Stanford gymnastics and to leave whatever legacy you choose. Make the most of every day you have at Stanford!
Anything else you'd like to share?
I'm so grateful for the coaches and the classes above us who helped build a SWG culture that not only brought us together as a team, but also as a family. I keep in touch with the Class of 2010 daily and we continue to look up to the upperclassmen who first took us under their wings when we were freshmen.
SWG was, and continues to be, an incredible experience for me. I’m so excited to watch SWG 2015 and to see what this year will bring!