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cadet blogs

This is Not an 'Individual Sport'

(Athletics, Class of 2014) Permanent link
Lukasik Photo From time to time, those of us on the CGA Triathlon Team are still fortunate enough to hear from ENS Ian King, our former club president who graduated last May. After the standard, “hello” and “how are you?” and initial moments to catch up, what Ian always manages to mention is just how much he misses the team. He expresses to us just how different triathlon is outside the world of collegiate athletics and outside the Academy. Out in the “real world”, triathlon is very much an individual pursuit; you go to races, stay in your hotel, wake up on race morning, go through your personal routine, sometimes with a friend or family member along, but that’s the extent of it. The focus is on you, your abilities, and your race. Enjoy the team while you can, Ian tells us, because it’s a truly special dynamic that you won’t find anywhere else.


This outlook never really occurred to me. To me, triathlon has always been a sort of “group event.” When I ran my first tri at Lake Lanier, Georgia back in high school, we made a family occasion out of it – my mom ran the race as well, and my dad, aunt, uncle, and cousins all came up to get a cabin at the lake for the weekend. From that setting, I transferred straight to the CGA Tri Team that Ian so fondly describes. I’ve never been exposed to the world of triathlon as an “individual sport.” Yes, you’re given an individual time, but for me, this has always been a team sport just like any other. Tri season is over for the year, but looking back on our two biggest races this season, while my personal performances aren’t memorable, the team’s performance, and even its simple presence, at each event made those two weekends the best of my fall semester.


On September 8th and 9th the Tri Team was down in Washington, D.C. for the Nation’s Triathlon. It was our first major race of the season, and we had a lot of new athletes on the team, many who’d never run a tri in their life, much less than the full 32+ mile Olympic distance that Nation’s entailed. It was a fun weekend, but with the amount of travel and workload it required, it was a “trying” one (if you’ll pardon the pun). Nonetheless…we had 15 people racing. To put that in perspective, that’s more racers for this one event than we’ve had total active members on the team in some years past. It’s fantastic, seeing how this team’s grown.


And having a large team is a huge part of what makes triathlon fun. Yes, you run each race “alone” at your pace – but each race, each course, is its own small “adventure” that you undertake together. Between two stops in the transition area, out-and-backs on the bike, turnarounds on the run, you’re almost guaranteed to see your teammates at some point during the race. And when there are a full 15 of us proudly sporting USCGA jerseys out on the course, we see each other a lot – and every time brings a smile to my face. It’s really hard to care about how much your muscles are aching when you can look around and say, “Oh look, there’s Mary. YEAH, GO MARY!” It’s really hard to want to quit when you see your teammate running a little farther ahead of you than usual and you realize, “Wow, Kyle’s having a really good race. YEAH, GO KYLE!” There’s distance between each of us on the course…but our acute awareness of each other cuts that distance down to nothing. We’re all in it together.


This is Not an “Individual Sport” (Continued) PDF Icon  


More about Jessie.


O Canada!

(Academics, Athletics, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
White Photo Wow, it’s been really busy lately. Between midterms and band, I’ve had barely any time. It’s always nice when they give you three tests in one day, so you can get all your studying and test taking done at once! But, that’s October for you. It will be nice when November comes around and I’ll have that time of (minor) relaxation before it’s time to start studying for finals.


A couple of weeks ago, the Windjammers took our annual trip to Montreal, Canada to play for McGill University. We all had a blast as we showed McGill the hard work and time we’ve put into our show. Roaming around the city afterwards was pretty cool too. It’s an enlightening experience to be able to travel to different countries and experience different cultures. I am always amazed at, even though we all have our differences, how similar we still are to each other.


However, I’m back at the Academy now and I need to get ready for the rest of the semester. There are still plenty of Windjammer events to go to (one every weekend for a couple of weeks still), tests to study for, and trainings to receive. It’s a busy time of the year, but I find that relief after you’ve accomplished a lot to be well worth the work put forth to get it. Although, as much as I like that feeling, I’d rather not experience it every week.


Halloween is starting to work its way around the Academy. Morale is starting to climb as we approach this holiday centered around fun. There were some concerns about the tradition of Trick-or-Treating Admiral’s house, but to the corps’ relief, they’ve been resolved.


I don’t have much more. Although I’ve been busy, it’s pretty much all the same kind of things. I hope to have more for you guys next month. I’ll have been to New York then, for the Veteran’s Day Parade, and the Academy should be getting ready for Thanksgiving.


More about James.


Special Events at the Academy: PARENTS’ WEEKEND

(Academics, The Cadet Experience, Class of 2013) Permanent link
Andreasen Photo October 5, 2012 at the Coast Guard Academy: this marked the beginning to one of the most special weekends of the fall semester, Parents’ Weekend. This year I was involved in the planning of Parents’ Weekend, which provided me with an insight to how much effort a special event requires. It also took me back to my 4/c year as I saw cadets with their parents and remembered my family’s first visit. Though my parents did not visit this year, I had the opportunity to see so many rejuvenated cadets and excited family members. I will cherish these memories as I cherish the time spent with my family.


Parents’ Weekend also brings the beginning of preparations for midterms. The semester is nearly at the halfway point by this time and cadets are already preoccupied with thoughts of Thanksgiving and even Christmas, while of course painstakingly studying for midterm examinations. Despite the daunting promise of future exams and essays (as a true Government major can respect), these will be my favorite days at the Academy. I am always excited for the leaves to turn bright and then watch them float lazily to the ground. A New England autumn always promises color and pumpkin flavored everything. As I type, I’m sure there are cadets in Chase Hall decorating their rooms for the upcoming festivities and counting down the days to Halloween.


More about Brooklyn.