Balancing school, work, extracurricular activities and a social life is every college studentâ€™s dilemma. Just ask an athlete.
â€œI am lucky to have had the opportunity to be involved in a number of things during my time at CSU,â€ Madeline Gamble, a graduating human development and family studies major, said.
Gamble maintained a 3.6 GPA while competing for the CSU swim team, working as a peer advisor at the Human Development and Family Studies Department, volunteering for Campus Corps and serving as a research assistant for the Center for Family and Couple Therapy.
Over her four-year athletic career, Gamble experienced several triumphs and tribulations.
She started off strong for the Rams, garnering all-conference honors her freshman and sophomore years and breaking two 20-year-old school records- one in the 500 freestyle and one in the 1650 freestyle during her sophomore year.
â€œMy whole family was able to come for the meet and support me and my fellow Rammies,â€ Gamble said.
Things slowed down Gambleâ€™s junior year when she sustained a serious shoulder injury.
â€œI was in a lot of pain and was never able to compete to my full ability,â€ Gamble said. â€œIt was extremely frustrating that I was not able to contribute to the team at the level that I wanted to.â€
She received shoulder surgery the summer before her senior year, which allowed her to compete in every meet in her last season. With her shoulder feeling great, Gamble began gearing up for the conference championships.
Just three days before the competition, a car hit Gamble while she was walking to school. She was not seriously wounded but the minor injuries she sustained significantly impacted her conference performance.
â€œIt was very disappointing to end my career in that way,â€ Gamble said. â€œBut I am grateful to have been able to swim at all and see my team compete.â€
Now that the swim season is over, Gamble has set her sights on the future. After graduation, she will begin working at Crossroads Safehouse, a domestic violence shelter in Fort Collins.
â€œI love working with people and have a passion for working with women and adolescents,â€ Gamble said.
The shelter hired her as a full-time relief staff member after she worked there as an intern.
As Gambleâ€™s college life comes to a close, she reflects on the people who aided her journey. She is thankful for the guidance of her coach, John Mattos, and his dedication to herself and her fellow swimmers.
â€œBeing a member of the CSU swim team has been my proudest accomplishment,â€ Gamble said. â€œI want the student body to know how much this team has meant to me and that they have changed my life forever.â€
College Avenue reporter Jamie Pritchard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.