It's impossible to think about athletics without thinking about the sport world's high-octane competitive nature. This week's Whiz Kid, Marina Felix, not only feels right at home in the very same environment, but excels as a member of the Long Beach Junior Rowing Crew, a sport that demands of the participant not only physically, but also mentally.
Whiz Kid's Name: Marina Felix
Whiz Kid's Age: 15 Years old
Whiz Kid's School: , 9th grade
Whiz Kid's Accomplishment:
As of December 2011, Marina has been a member of the Long Beach Junior Crew, a rowing club based in the same city. She goes to rowing practice daily: a grueling ritual of constant practice and rigid discipline.
Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness:
The key to Marina's success is her dedication to the sport of rowing. Rowing crews are either four or eight people crews with one coxswain (the individual who steers, if one is necessary).
What makes competitive rowing difficult is the amount of synchronization that needs to exist within a crew. Power, strong length, timing and speed must all be in perfect time or the boat loses speed and direction. The intense bursts of strength and incredible mental demand required to keep in pace and the willpower to push out each stroke in spite of fatigue, make Marina that much more amazing--that even at such a young age, she has found something to be passionate about that truly demands all of her energy and focus.
But dedication isn't enough in rowing. Rowing practices often start at the crack of dawn (in Marina's case, after school with a daily commute of at least an hour and a half) and practices are held six days a week, three hours a day and take an incredible physical toll. If any readers has ever been to the gym and tried the rowing machine, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. To adhere to such a strict and challenging schedule requires an unparalleled level of passion on the part of the participant--a quality that Marina by no means has in short supply. Don't let her slim appearance fool you; inside Marina has incredible strength, both physically and mentally.
What is your favorite food?
Butter (and who can blame her. She needs all those calories considering how much she practices!)
What was the last book you read for pleasure?
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
If you had the power to change the world to make it a better place, what would it be?
Marina wishes for world peace and to end world hunger.
Betsy Felix and Dr. Juan Felix, who is a current rower
Marina has four other siblings: Cristina, 22, University of Michigan; Rebeca, 20, Stanford University; Alan, 19, Williams College; Diana, 13, . Alan is her favorite (and only) brother.