Friday Focus: Erin Macadaeg

Friday Focus: Erin Macadaeg

Dec 1, 2014 by Becca Pang
Friday Focus: Erin Macadaeg

In this week’s Friday Focus we feature LSU freshman and former elite gymnast Erin Macadaeg

Macadaeg trained at San Mateo Gymnastics in Belmont California. She had a successful level 10 career and in 2014, she placed second all-around and first on beam and floor at JO Nationals. In 2013, she qualified to the P&G Championships where she had a strong performance and placed 10th all-around. Macadaeg will begin her college gymnastics career this spring where she will be competing for Louisiana State University. 
What is your favorite memory as a gymnast, so far?
I’m excited for all the memories we are about to make as a team here at LSU! So far, my favorite memory as a gymnast is when I qualified for elite and competed at P&G Championships in 2013. I am so fortunate that I had the opportunity to compete alongside Kyla Ross, McKayla Maroney, Maggie Nichols, and Abby Milliet. All of the other girls were so friendly and supportive as well. I loved competing on the podium, even with the pressure of being in the spotlight; it was one of the greatest experiences!
If you had a day off from practice, how would you spend your free time? 
On off days from practice I spend most of my free time studying and getting ahead in my classes. Other than that, I like to spend time with my roommates, Myia Hambrick and Kylie Moran, who are freshman gymnasts as well. We always go grocery shopping, watch movies, or out to eat together!
What were you like in high school?
As a freshman in high school I was always shy at first, which is exactly how I was the first few weeks here at LSU. I went to a big high school, so I didn’t know a lot of people. I was always focused and working hard in class, just as if I were working in the gym.
What is your worst habit in the gym? 
My worst habit in the gym is taking a long time to tape up and put my grips on for bars. It’s quite a process; I tape my index fingers and thumbs, and then I use a tape grip on both hands. I also use double buckle grips, and I like to wear them tight, so sometimes I can’t get the buckle where it needs to be. Another habit is that I have to chalk up my hands and grips a certain way. I have to have powdered chalk on my palms under my tape grips, and then I spray water on my grips and try to evenly coat the surface of my grip with the chalk block. Before I get ready to swing a turn on bars, I blow on my grips.
How do you recover after a hard workout in the gym? 
After a hard workout in the gym, I always get into the cold tub and drink chocolate milk. When I get home, I like to take a quick shower to clean off all the chalk so I can relax; I don’t like the feeling of sweat and chalk sticking to me while I’m out of the gym.

Pick one word to describe your attitude/personality in the gym. 
One word that would describe my attitude and personality in the gym would be determined. I’m always determined to do my best and work on what I have to do to make my skills better for the benefit of the team.
What is the most difficult thing you’ve had to overcome in gymnastics? 
One of the most difficult things I’ve had to overcome in gymnastics is when I broke my arm in level 9 at Regionals in 2010. It was my last event to compete, and I fell and dislocated my elbow in the middle of my routine. All I really wanted to do was finish my routine, but I didn’t realize how serious my injury was at first. I didn’t even know that I dislocated my elbow because I never saw it until I got to the hospital. I remember being wheeled out of the arena with my head down and out of site. I knew my teammates were still competing on the opposite side of the gym, and I didn’t want them to be distracted. Although they told me that the ride to the hospital was only about five to 10 minutes long, to me it felt like half an hour at the time, and every bump in the road caused a shooting pain to my arm. At the hospital they had to cut the sleeve off my leotard, and despite all the begging to the nurses, they took out the scissors and cut straight down the sleeve of my competition leotard. After they put my elbow back in place and the anesthesia wore off, I received a call from my coaches telling me that I still qualified for Westerns. We all had high hopes that my injury was not severe and that I would be able to come back in time to compete. However, my x-rays showed that I needed surgery and that I would be out for five months. I struggled through months of physical therapy and also a second surgery. In the long run, the whole experience had made me stronger. Instead of being discouraged, I was encouraged to continue to do the most that I could to get back into the gym and train.
What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod? 
The most played songs on my iPod are “All of the Stars” by Ed Sheeran and “All Too Well” by Taylor Swift. I love Taylor Swift; she is my all-time favorite singer and songwriter, with Ed Sheeran being my second. I have all of Taylor’s albums and songs, which I play on repeat all the time. 
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be? 
I have always wanted to learn how to surf. My family and I would go on vacation to Hawaii often, but I have never been surfing before. I have always wanted to learn!
If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do? 
If I won the lottery, probably the first thing I would do would be to call my family and all of my closest friends and tell them! 
What motivates you to work hard in and out of the gym? 
What motivates me to work hard in and out of the gym is my determination to be the best that I can be as an athlete and as a student. This motivates me because it is important not just for me, but also my team.

What is your proudest accomplishment? 
My proudest accomplishments are competing as a senior elite and becoming a member of the LSU gymnastics team. These two goals have been what I had strived for as a club gymnast, and having accomplished both have been a dream come true. It is an honor to be an LSU Tiger and have the team welcome me as a new member. I’m so excited for our season to start! Geaux Tigers!
Besides gymnastics, what is your favorite sport to watch/play? 
Although gymnastics is a large part of my life, some other sports that I love to do are paddle boarding and archery. I’m pretty good at paddle boarding and archery, but since I’m busy with school and gym I don’t get to do either as often as I would like to. Plus I don’t think that there are a lot of places to paddle board in Louisiana, if any! 
Do you have nicknames? If so, what are they? 
I have actually had many nicknames! When I was younger people would call me Big E, Shrimp, and Macadamia Nut. Some nicknames that I have now are Little E, Er (pronounced “air”), Er Bear, Pocket Rocket, and “E”.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? 
One of the most daring things I have done was cliff diving in Hawaii. This past summer, my family and I were in Maui at a place called Black Rock. My brother and I swam out into the ocean, climbed up Black Rock and jumped! 
Are you a clean and organized, or messy person? 
I’m a clean and organized person. I keep everything, from my dorm room to my locker at gym, as clean as possible!
Do you collect anything? 
I used to collect many things when I was younger. One of the collections that I still keep and add onto is my Disney Pin collection. I have two lanyards full of pins that I have been collecting since my first visit to Disneyland!
Who knows you the best? 
The person who knows me best is probably my mom or my friend, Aya Suzuki. They know just about everything about me and probably know me better than I know myself!
Who is your best friend and how did you meet?
I met my best friend, Aya Suzuki, about nine years ago at San Mateo Gymnastics. We would both go to open gym every week on Sundays, and eventually we were in the same level and group. We would always be together and even inseparable at times! 
Are you creative in any way? If so, how? 
I’m very artistic and crafty. I enjoy doing anything artsy: drawing, painting, photoshopping pictures, making collages, you name it! Some of my favorite types of art are silk screening and duct tape. I like to make “paintings” out of duct tape, and I own almost every print and color of duct tape.

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