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Inside the Locker Room: By Shelley Alexander
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 09/23/2010

Sept. 23, 2010

STANFORD, Calif. - Hey y'all,

I am excited to be able to welcome everyone back to the 2010-2011 year! I hope that everyone had great summers! Things are just getting under way here and our team is already looking great! The five new freshmen arrived on campus Sunday, Sept. 13, for new student-athlete orientation. Some of us upperclassmen worked the event, just helping the new students to get to know each other and a little bit about the school. The frosh (our name for freshmen) moved in on Tuesday morning and started all their new-student orientation events! All the upperclassmen arrived back on campus Thursday, Sept. 16, and we started off with our fitness test. This year, we had a two-day test and it went really well! Our team is in great shape and everyone was already working together, proving that we aren't willing to give up.

On Friday, we headed up to Yosemite National Park for our team retreat. That night we had dinner and a quick meeting then headed off to bed in the canvas tents at Curry Village. Well first we had to put all food, chapstick, anything that smelled into a bear bin so that the bears wouldn't attack our cars or tents. Then, Saturday morning, we were awaken bright and early for our team activity, which was named "The Amazing Race" and consisted of obtaining clues from various sites in the park (kind of like a scavenger hunt). We were split into three groups and started off with an apple eating challenge to determine the path each team would take. My group came in last so we got the longest route. However, that didn't slow anyone down, as each team took off running to the location of their first clue.

At each station we completed a challenge in the form of a Sudoku, crossword puzzle, toothpick challenge, fill a water bottle challenge, etc. Once we finished our challenges we were given our next clue, which lead us to a different location in the park. We ended up running all around, getting to see all the different spots such as the Ahwanhee Hotel, the swinging bridge, and more. Even though we each had a different route, our last clue led each team to Vernal Falls. All three teams raced up this "mountain" which I must say had some huge stairs and inclines to climb until we reached the top of the waterfall. The last team to the top was assigned the task of cooking dinner. Once we all made it to the top we talked, took pictures, rested, ate lunch, played in the water, and took in the gorgeous view of Yosemite.

That night the losing team cooked us some really great fajitas and then for dessert we had s'mores, a first for Shona Morgan, our freshman from Australia! The next morning we headed back to campus to get ready for our first day of classes. Overall, it was a great weekend filled with physical challenges, team bonding, beautiful views, and so much more. We are all extremely excited to be back and absolutely love our freshmen and are so glad they are here with us. It is going to be a great year for SWG (Stanford Women's Gymnastics)! Thanks for checking in!

-Shelley

P.S. For photos of SWG's Yosemite retreat, click here.

For a video of the Yosemite trip, click here.


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