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The first phrase that comes to mind when I think about my time at Stadium Performance is “life changing.” My peers see and comment on my physical development, but those who truly know me see so much more. Whenever I talk to someone about SP, my first instinct is not to call it a gym, but rather a training facility, and follow that description up with some long-winded compliments and explanations of my fellow athletes and trainers. I never seem to have the right words to do justice to the place and people that transformed my senior year.

I am a distance runner. I never saw my team complete ten push-ups at the end of our core sessions without a struggle. I was afraid of lifting due to fear of failure; I thought that starting from the bottom meant I shouldn’t start at all. But after I finally worked up the courage to follow my younger brother’s lead and take an off-season to add in strength training, I began to see the error of my ways. Let me be clear, this was not an easy change. For the first few weeks I struggled up and down stairs and could barely lift my arms over my head. The reason I pushed through the soreness and pain is not remarkable. I simply wanted to credit myself with making it to the point where I could consider myself a SP athlete. I knew these athletes were not only great at their sports, but also people with kind hearts, common sense, and intelligence.

Over my first few months at SP, my love of the people and facility grew to the point where I jumped at the opportunity to complete my senior project as an SP intern. This was a month in my life where I have never seen so much personal growth and happiness come from one source. Constant stress and pressure dampened my love of learning and intellectual curiosity during my high school years. Being a valued member of a community at SP during that month, whether I was helping to clean up, sanitize, or analyze the appearance of the facility, ignited the spark that encouraged me to ask questions and show up each day ready to learn something new. While I presented a comprehensive analysis about ACL injuries and rehabilitation to my teachers and peers at the end of the month, I had so much more valuable information I wanted to spread and share. While I was thrilled that my constant chatting up the greatness of SP got one of my teammates to start classes, I think my bigger success was internal. I am more self-aware and self-confident in all aspects of my life than I have been in a very long time. I have such an appreciation for the culture that Joe and the rest of the SP team have created and promoted among these athletes.

I feel so blessed to have witnessed this amazing team behind the scenes. The connections I made and people I shadowed and learned from are inspirational and showed me so much about the person, athlete, and even future professional I want to be. I am so grateful to have spent the summer before my first year competing as a Hamilton Continental training at Stadium Performance. I also had the pleasure of seeing both of my younger brothers blossom and gain so much self-confidence and make so many friends at these classes. Thank you to all of the amazing staff and athletes that made my experience such a positive one. Stadium Performance is truly one of a kind and I am so excited to see the culture grow. #SProud

Katie Cronin,  Hamilton College

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