It’s a New Year, Gator Nation, and the Grind is back! The past fall was another successful semester for many of my fellow student-athletes in the classroom and on the field. Our mission at the Gator Grind is to bring the fans closer to Florida Athletics and give a different perspective on the lives of student-athletes. Look out for some new content that will dive deeper into the lives of the Gators. We appreciate all that our fans give up and we hope to share a little with them.
This spring is especially significant for me, as it will be my final season swimming for the Orange and Blue. I am also taking my last course and will graduate in May. I am looking forward to finishing my career with great success in the pool and to my new life to come after graduation. Hopefully you will get to know me and my fellow student-athletes as you follow the Gator Grind.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to eat and swimmers are notorious for their diets. I chronicled all that I ate in a typical day as a fun way to get to know me as well as a way to share a little more about the sport of swimming. Food is fuel for all athletes. We pay very close attention to what we eat. We need to eat well to refuel our bodies and ensure we are recovered from workouts and ready to compete. Here is a little taste, pun intended, of my diet. Enjoy, I know I did!
Greek Yogurt and cereal with banana
RISE and GRIND Gator fans!
The Gator Grind is back and ready for another great year ahead. If this is the first time you are checking out our Grind, we would like to welcome you! If you have visited the Grind before, we appreciate the continued support and hope you have enjoyed what you’ve already seen.
The Gator Grind started in the spring of last year (2012) as a platform for student-athletes, like me, at the University of Florida, to tell our stories. We know that our lives can be under a microscope at times, so this is a chance for us to tell our stories…our way.
The stories, photos and videos on The Gator Grind are authentic and unabridged. The writers are given the freedom to share all aspects of their lives with the Gator Nation. Thus, it is an exciting opportunity for us to share what it is like to compete for the Orange and Blue, as well as what goes on in our lives outside of our respective sports. There is an obvious issue that comes to light that as The Grind staff we have chosen to focus on the positives more so than the negatives when sharing as The Gator Grind is not meant for bashing, but to increase the knowledge and perception of the student-athlete lifestyle.
Meet Joey Pedraza:
On May 9th, my good friend Joey Pedraza was named to the 2012-2013 USA Open Water National Team and he joined a long list of Gator alumni who have extended their collegiate success to the national and international level. Joey’s road to representing the United States of America took a different path than most, but if you know Joey, you know that he is not afraid to be different.
Joey’s unique journey to becoming a National Team member began in Cuba. Yes, Cuba. Joey is a native Cuban who came to south Florida in 1998 with his mother, father and brother. Since then, he has graduated from high school, earned US citizenship and a scholarship, graduated from college as an All-American swimmer and is now representing the United States.
Hello Gator Nation. My name is Cameron Martin. I am a proud member of the Men’s Swimming and Diving program. I just finished my third year of competition and as each year goes by I become more and more grateful to be part of this great university. I really look forward to sharing my experiences as a student-athlete with the readers of The Gator Grind! I have been involved in The Gator Grind process from the beginning and it is another reason why we are proud to be Florida Gators.
As a student-athlete I have two separate jobs, one as a student and the other as an athlete. This semester offered me a unique opportunity to combine the two. A group project for one of my courses, Analogous Thinking in Art and Science, allowed me to carry my love for swimming out of the pool and onto the classroom. This course was truly ground breaking because it was offered to both Science majors, like me, and Fine Art majors. The goal of the course is to learn about how science and art can be combined, and to explore how it already is combined. The major coursework of the class was a collaborative group project between the scientists and artists in the class. You may be wondering how a course that focuses on art and science allowed me to combine swimming and school. Well, as the scientist in my group, my area of expertise was my sport. I have been a student and scientist of the sport of swimming since I was 7. Every practice my coaches and I experiment with ways to be faster and more efficient in the water. My partners and I wanted to utilize this, so we focused our efforts on the human interaction with water. Continue reading