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A look behind the scenes with the Gym’Backs

A look behind the scenes with the Gym’Backs


Amy and Alli at Utah

Lauren Mirkovich Interviews Freshman Allison Daniels

Have you ever wondered what college life is really like? Well, I have taken some time to discuss with freshman Allison Daniels life on campus and in the gym. Here you will find answers to some common questions and concerns that many ponder over. Alison is a freshman from Texas who has transitioned well to college and life as a Gym’Back. Here’s the inside scoop:

Lauren: Take me through a typical day of school and gym?

Allison: Depending on the day I usually wake up around 8 to go to class or around 6 to get to morning practice. Typically, classes last until around noon and then I either head to the union or back to my dorm to eat lunch. After lunch I typically go back to my room to watch TV, check emails, nap or study. Around 1 or 1:30, I’ll head to the gym to do therapy and get ready for practice, which is usually at 2 or 2:30. First semester when gym finished I would typically head to the union and grab dinner with the other freshman then head to study hall for a few hours. This semester I usually come back to my dorm for dinner then either hang out with friends or study depending on what I have going on.

Lauren: Tell me about dorm life?

Allison: I am fortunate that I love all three of my roommates. I live with one other gymnast, a tennis player and a golfer. We are all very different but get along great. We all have separate bedrooms connected by a living room with a built in fridge and microwave. We also have two bathrooms within our suite. The dorm food can be repetitive but overall is pretty good. The food they serve for breakfast is my favorite! As far as activities, there is a theatre room that shows different movies every month and a ping pong and pool table that anyone can use. It’s also great because there is a 24 hour computer lab open to all students; it really helps out with printing and checking emails.

Lauren: How has college been different than high school?

Allison: The main difference in college is handling everything on my own. You gain so much more independence and responsibility when you come to college, its great!

Lauren: Tell me about the transition of moving away from home?

Allison: The transition to college was definitely hard and I don’t think many people think it was a breeze. However, it definitely made it easier having an automatic support system within the team. It also helped that there were five other freshman going through the same changes as I am.

Lauren: Have you involved yourself in any other activities outside of gymnastics?

Allison: I am part of an organization called AAO that stands for Arkansas Athletic Outreach. It is a program that gets athletes involved with the community and help underprivileged kids.

Lauren: How has college gym been different than club gym?

Allison: College gym is very different in a lot of ways. The emphasis on the team in college is the major difference. For me the training is very different and extremely focused on helping you achieve your greatest potential.

Lauren: How do you like being part of team versus the individualized club gymnastics?

Allison: I love it! Being part of a team helps me see the bigger picture and makes me feel a part of something that is important to those around me and my university.

Lauren: How does it feel to compete and represent Arkansas?

Allison: It is a feeling I can’t even explain. Being able to represent your school through the sport you love is an amazing accomplishment. It really makes you proud to be a Razorback!

Lauren: What fun activities go on during practice?

Allison: The coaches are always trying to make the gym a fun environment. In preseason we would always have "Spirit Fridays" where someone would pick a theme and we would all dress accordingly. This year we had Barbie, camo, country, gangsta, sorority, and other themed Fridays. Other than that we have silly assignments sometimes that help us prepare for meets or situations. For example, we acted out our beam routine as your favorite character.

Lauren: Is there any thing else you would like to tell us about Arkansas and Arkansas Gymnastics?

Allison: The Arkansas gymnastics team is a team on the rise. With dedicated coaches and athletes we practice everyday with the mindset that we can be better. It is a lot of work, but the results are worth it!

As you can see, being a student- athlete at Arkansas carries a sense of pride. Can you see yourself filling these shoes?

Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)