Gym Talk - Ciara Maradiaga - January 23-29, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Good Afternoon to you spectacular fans!

    Thanks for tuning in for my first Gym Talk ever! This is sophomore Ciara Maradiaga here to tell you about our fourth week of the season. This was the first full week of our new training schedule for this semester, and we had some fun getting used to our new times.  The newly established Monday morning “Dream team” led the Ladies into a tough week of training; after four-hour workouts focused on endurance and hitting routines, many of us needed to take a visit to our wonderful trainer Ellen for ice baths. For Tuesday’s AM conditioning, the Ladies hit the ellipticals for cardio –we were striving to prepare ourselves for that mile high Denver altitude - then about half the team worked out Tuesday night; I wish I were one of the “Night Owls”, Hootie-hoo…

    Wednesday was our last chance to push our bodies in workout and put in some numbers. The beam queens worked on hitting skills as a group and sticking those dismounts! Once again, ice baths were a necessity for most. Then team study hall gave some Ladies a chance to catch up/ get ahead on studies before Thursday morning conditioning rolled around.  Coach decided that we need to focus on some team issues and called a team meeting; we addressed some concerns and worked on making the team an even stronger unit. We had a final workout that afternoon to make last minute corrections and build confidence before reviewing our exciting itinerary and pack for our trip to the Rockies.

    Friday marked the beginning of our Colorado adventures. It was a very early travel day; we left the Gold dome at 5:00 a.m., and, after a connection in Houston, we arrived in Denver at 10:30 a.m. After picking up our new #1 fan, “Dan the Man,” the Ladies drove to Hamilton gymnasium, home of the DU Pioneers, where we familiarized ourselves with the competition arena and prepared with some mental choreography. We made a much-needed stop at the hotel to take a nap before the fun continued. Our incredible Coach Jackie took us to Lucky Strikes bowling alley that evening. Who knew we had a competitive bowler on the team, Go Christy! Then we had a great pre-meet dinner at The Rock Wood Fire Pizza.
On Saturday- Meet day!-we took a trip to The Redrocks park/amphitheater to get our legs moving and take some stunning pictures. Then we went back to get pretty and prepare for the tri-meet with Denver University and Air Force Academy. The meet on Saturday evening did not go as smoothly as the Ladies had hoped. We definitely missed the energy and support of our teammates who stayed in Shreve, and we were not completely prepared for the effects of competing at a higher elevation. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes, and there was some tough judging which culminated in a 187.250 team score. This was a bit of a let down from last weekend’s 191.40, but we are going to use it as motivation to work hard this coming week. On the upside, some great beam scores where posted. Meg and I both earned career high scores on beam! Meg placed fifth with a 9.75, and I placed second with a 9.825. Jess had a solid routine and scored 9. 70. We also had some great performances on floor by Melody- 9.575, Meg - 9.550, and Lauren -9.525.  Our vaulting lineup was very consistent, but the scores were rather low this time around. Amanda posted our top score of 9.725. Finally, we had a rough conclusion to the night on bars. At least our anchor, Steph, finished with our top performance earning a 9.60. We definitely have some work to do next week to be prepared for next Friday’s meet at Oklahoma University. We watched our videos from the meet and talked it out in our team meeting. The girls cannot wait to get in the gym this week and make corrections. Dinner afterward at Red Robin was YUMmy and rather silly. Then we finally made it back to the hotel for some much needed rest.

     We were glad to spend one last day in Denver together as a team. We were able to sleep in on Sunday and get a later start to our travels. After breakfast as a team, we had an hour to sit in the hot tub, pack, and study before leaving the hotel. Then we headed to downtown Denver for a few hours of shopping and a late lunch. It was a beautiful venue, and we got some awesome team photos. I got two of my favorite comfort foods pasta from Noodles and Company and chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. It is so amazing to have these opportunities to see the country as part of this wonderful team; we are building memories that will last a lifetime!

 At last, the team drove back to the airport for our journey home to Shreveport. We will arrive pretty late tonight, giving the Dream Team just enough time to rest before a productive practice at 6:00 am! Go Ladies!

…… just kidding! Continental airlines decided to throw off our plans and keep us in Houston for a few more hours. The flight home will be delayed until 11:30 pm. To be continued….