Noel Couch Blog: September 20

Sept. 20, 2010

Sing. Shout. Laugh. Praise. Rejoice. Be happy. Celebrate. Give thanks. All of these actions were incorporated into the past two weeks of my life and this is what ensued...

Two weeks ago Hilary Mauro, Kat Ding, Mariel Box and I attended the annual SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) dinner, as representatives for the Gym Dogs. We had the opportunity to meet our new athletic director, Mr. Greg McGarity. He sat at our table as we ate and we were able to learn more about his personal life and role at UGA, and also chat about our lives and our team. At the end of the night the student-athletes were given the opportunity to propose changes we'd like to see at our university and athletic association. It's a great privilege to have a direct connection to decisions that are made about the way in which our association is run.

My week was filled with essay writing, interviews, appointments and tests, and before I knew it, it was the weekend! The highlight of my weekend was waking up Saturday morning and heading to the gym for a massage! Yes, my weekend started off on a very good note! That afternoon my teammates, friends, and I huddled around a nice wide-screen TV and cheered on our football team as they took on South Carolina. Unfortunately we didn't walk away with the win, but we did have a fun afternoon together. The rest of the weekend was spent working on homework and getting in some serious rest and relaxation before our first week of mandatory practice on Monday!

When Monday rolled around we hit the ground running! Our gym was bursting with energy throughout the first week of mandatory. The first day was our starting point for our skills and routines, and by Friday improvements could already be seen. We know that we have a lot of hard work and effort to put in during preseason, and it's a hill that we'll all climb together. "It's easier to go down a hill than up, but the view is much better at the top." -Arnold Bennet.



Thrown in the middle of our first week of mandatory was team pictures, and you know what that means... team poster coming soon! We took shots in team leotards from last year, as well as new ones that we'll be sporting this season. I cannot wait to unveil those leos and show off all the training we'll have done when January rolls around!

Friday was freshie Kaylan Earls' birthday! She was an eye-catcher walking around campus in her birthday dress and had the wonderful opportunity to go out to dinner with her dad who visited her all the way from Chicago! Friday night Mariel and I attended the Circle of Honor induction ceremony at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall. We greeted all of the guests that attended and spent time walking around and chatting with everyone. It was nice to speak with Glada Horvat, who is not just, but a very smart, helpful and friendly woman, as well as Carla Williams, Eric Baumgartner, and my new bff, Greg McGarity! These wonderful people play such an important role in all student-athletes' lives and it was great to be able to cordially chat with them at the dinner.

The Bulldogs were back home again to face Arkansas on Saturday. I stood in my red and black game day dress and shouted the entire game as the team was barely edged out by Arkansas in a close and intense game. While most fans felt a bit bummed, the team did prove that they can fiercely compete with another team in the SEC.

After the game we hung out, laughed and ate at our friend's tailgate. Later, I received a spur-of-the-moment text from Courtney Kupets, who was in town for the weekend! She ended up swinging by ECV to pick up our friend, Brittlan and me to try out the new frozen yogurt place at Five Points! We had many laughs as we went around taste testing the flavors and filling up our cups with our favorites and toppings.

Here's a shout out to UGA swimmer, Lauren English! Lauren and I are from the same town in New Jersey, but it took us being recruited to UGA as student-athletes to become friends! Hey Lauren... how you doin'?!

As McCool said it best, Sunday fun day rest day best day! It was a relaxing day spent studying with Christa Tanella and Hil. I'm going to take a deep breath and put my game face on for another exhilarating week ahead!

Noel Couch will be a sophomore on the 2011 Georgia gymnastics team. The Towaco, N.J., native competed in all 13 meets for the Gym Dogs in 2010.

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