|Club||Lauren Simpson||Chattanooga Junior Rowing||Chattanooga||TN|
|Secondary Positions||Prt, Str|
|Best Time (mm:ss.s)||1:48.1||8:05.0||-||25:32.4||-||1:43:50.6||-|
|Best Distance (meters)||-||-||-||13,444|
|Bench Press (max)||Wingspan||Years rowing|
I have raced every type of boat at least once, and I can row both port and starboard.
National Beta Club member, Amnesty International member, and Mayor's Youth Council of Chattanooga member
I want to be recruited to row in college because I want to challenge myself in both my academics and athletics. I work hard to maintain a healthy balance between the two, and devote the majority of my time to both as well as spending quality time with my friends and family and taking part in other clubs at school, such as our school's chapter of Amnesty International and French Honors Society. I would love the opportunity to be recruited to row in college so that I can grow to be a well-rounded person. Not only would being a student-athlete in college keep me in shape, but it would also allow me to learn time management skills.
During my first year as a varsity, I switched from our city's rowing club to my school's team because my school did not allow eighth-graders to participate in the sport. When I began rowing with my new team, I struggled to find confidence and motivation because the rankings on our team were heavily influenced by our weight. As a freshman in high school who had previously struggled with body image, this became a significant source of stress and self-hatred in my life. After a couple of months of rowing with this team, I began to throw up the food I ate with absolutely no control. This would occur at practice, school, restaurants, and many other places. For a while, the doctors did not know what was wrong with me, and I was losing weight at an unhealthy rate. In December of 2016, I was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a disease that prevents the stomach from digesting food. Because of this disease, I was on a feeding tube for two months and missed a lot of school. Gastroparesis kept me from rowing for around four months, and I was completely devastated to not be able to do the thing I loved the most. Eventually, my gastroparesis went away but developed into visceral hyperalgesia and rumination syndrome. Because I no longer had gastroparesis, I knew that I would be able to row again. I thought that I would be going back to my school team, and became scared to put weight back on due to the pressure I had put on myself to do well. I didn't know how else to keep the weight off and developed bulimia. After months of therapy and nutrition coaching, I overcame this eating disorder. I ended up going back to the team I had started with because I felt as if I could better reach my potential with their style of coaching, and they also helped me beat my bulimia. My coaches have encouraged us to work hard while maintaining a healthy lifestyle in which we are encouraged to take care of our physical and mental health. I still struggle with rumination syndrome and visceral hyperalgesia, but I am working very hard to get both under control by going to therapy, participating in yoga, and doing breathing exercises to prevent stomach pain and vomiting. Healthy athletic performance is incredibly important to me, and over the past few months my confidence, eating habits, strength, and determination have improved because of the emphasis that I have put upon using healthy methods to attain a more realistic body type.
Over the summer of 2017, I volunteered with the Erlanger Volunteen Program at the Erlanger Baroness campus in Chattanooga, TN. I volunteered in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and I learned and gained so much from this opportunity. I volunteered on Tuesdays and Thursdays in June and July. I was able to recognize the great value of life and the importance of unconditional love.
I have also recently joined the Chattanooga Mayor's Youth Council. We are working to increase local voter participation by hosting events and sharing voting information. We are also working to improve gun control in our area.
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