Swimsuits, Strikes and Sunsets

T’was a beautiful day in Isla Vista. Well, every day is a beautiful day in Isla Vista. We all roll out of bed in synchronized fashion (6:30 on the dot, except for maybe Tyler and Ren…) and bike through the barren streets of Del Playa, Trigo, El Nido, and the Tropicana Parking lot. The crisp morning air wakes us up and reminds us what it really means to be a Gaucho: early morning training camp practices and Gregg’s constant reminder of “finding a way”. Our beloved trainer Marianne welcomes us with a smile, a joke and a circuit. We top our mornings off with a 4 mile campus run (or for the non-runners, Gregg’s rowing special) and a loud Gaucho team cheer.

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(Our team Cheer)

Aside from getting our butts kicked in the pool by Gregg and the new coaching additions Matt and Joe, the Gaucho Greats have been relatively inactive. Some “relaxing” activities have included beach day with a couple of sharks (don’t worry, they weren’t dangerous), an ocean swim from Campus Point to Goleta Pier, potluck dinners, ultimate frisbee, bowling, a trip to Lizard’s Mouth (a beautiful view of the sun setting over Santa Barbara), a bonfire with s’mores.

Tonight’s potluck dinner prepares the hungry swimmers for a weekend of racing with some old farts (otherwise known as Former All-time Gaucho Greats). As the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, the Brandenburg house acts as a perfect location for ending a hard day’s work as a Gaucho…until the next 6:30am alarm.

Lizard’s Mouth Hike with the women’s team! 

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The Dreaded NES

My most favorite activity of training camp is followed immediately by the most boring. The dreaded NES, or National Event Series.  Typically done on a Saturday, the race takes about 50 minutes to complete and is as exciting as watching the ocean erode the Del Playa bluffs. Continue reading