September 11, 2009

Jessica Ziegler Contributes to the First "Gauchos.360" Blog

Sept. 11, 2009

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A few of the softball players and I will be writing a journal throughout the season about being a Gaucho athlete.

Wow, I cannot believe that I am already a senior this year. I can clearly remember the first day I moved into the freshmen dorms. I had barely arrived when the entire softball team was busy unpacking my car and rolling my belongings to my room. I hadn't even had time to take my first breath! Now I am one of the crazy softball movers, bombarding my new teammates right when they step foot on campus. And then there were those times when I got stuck in the bike traffic circles. I don't know if you know, but those things can be pretty tricky if you aren't used to them. It's all about confidence, if you hesitate, even for just a split second you are done for. Now, older and wiser, I don't get stuck in the traffic circles, they're the least of my worries. I am more concerned with figuring out the best way to get around the other bikers, safely of course. For now, I am just finishing up my last summer workout at home.

Welcome to Dawg's Gym, have a good workout.
Boy, were these people in for a surprise, and so was I for that matter. It was the first time I stepped foot into this gym. I seemed to have grown out of the neighborhood YMCA I had gone to for the past couple summers and winter breaks. There was just never enough room to do any free-weights. With our new Director of Sports Performance, Jeremy (Bettle), I knew I needed to find a gym with more floor space.

The first day my sister Amanda (a sophomore infielder at UCSB) and I found ourselves in a little bit of a predicament. Instead of the platforms we had grown so accustomed to in our weight room on campus, there were machines squeezed as close together as possible. There was little floor space and by the time we got there it was all taken. Even though the exercises we needed to pair together were not anywhere near each other, we decided to continue with our normal circuits, BAD idea.

We gallivanted back and forth across the length of the gym, jumping and doing lunges. We were unfamiliar with the etiquette at this gym and received several dirty stares from other members. One of the trainers asked us if we knew about the area outside they have set aside for "outdoor" exercises (jumps, lunges, etc.), not to mention they didn't appreciate us throwing their medicine balls into the ground. We took this gesture as a hint to get out of everyone else's way and not throw around medicine balls. We left the gym disappointed, but I kept my spirits up and the next time I went to the gym I stayed in my own area and tried not to upset the trainers. Most of the trainers secretly watch our workouts now, probably because they are jealous of the summer program Jeremy put together for us. While we get many stares from members and trainers alike, Amanda and I have made a positive mark on the local gym. To say the least, I am really going to enjoy the comfort of being back in our own UCSB weight room working alongside my teammates.

I still feel young, except for the creaky joints when I wake up in the morning, but I know that I have grown up as a person. I am excited for the upcoming season and look forward to the new team dynamics. Every year I have been at Santa Barbara has brought new challenges and excitement and has influenced me as a person. This year I expect no different.