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I discovered who I was in an eight-oared shell on the Allegheny River in the fall of 2003. Having never been an athlete before, there was something immensely beautiful and healing in the rhythm of the strokes, the synchronized exhale of nine women breathing and moving in unison, and in the deep human connection with my teammates. Rowing taught me that I was far stronger both physically and mentally than I could have imagined and that there is immense strength and power in people, relationships, and what we create together. To me, rowing values the collective success of the boat and team over the individual--and that's been my guiding principle in life.

I switched to coaching full-time when I realized that coaching was just an extension of my role as an educator. What we have the opportunity to teach people through sport is endless. In my eyes, the river as a classroom is equally as important as sitting at a desk in school. Sport provides a community and, as such, a ready-made support system where we all can strive to be better versions of ourselves, be held accountable to each other, and find comfort knowing that if and when we fall, we have a whole team there to help us back up.

I've been fortunate enough to see all of the above play out in real-time with every group that I currently coach, and every group I've coached before. I get to watch my collegiate athletes learn and grow throughout their four years of University, and see my masters athletes create a community of support for each other and prove that it's never too late to push past your comfort zone.

I'm so thankful to be part of a sport that allows me to learn every day and surround myself with hard-working and caring people

-Dr. Coach Carol

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