“Here’s the truth... I chose Goucher for a coach. A Hall of…”
What was your [UNDAUNTED] moment?
Here’s the truth... I chose Goucher for a coach. A Hall of Fame coach, as it turns out. After meeting Andrea Bradley one time, I knew I wanted to play for her...but I’d never get that chance. Just 2 weeks before my freshman field hockey season was set to begin, I got a letter and later a personal phone call from her explaining that her dreams were calling, and she was following them. While I was happy for her, selfishly, I was crushed. The timing of it all made it nearly impossible for me to find a new school in time for that Fall hockey season. So off I went to a school I felt little to no connection at all with now. I had zero expectations of lasting past that 1st semester. But then I met Geoff Miller, the Director of Athletics. He had a soft spot for the field hockey program because he too felt the loss from Coach Bradley's departure... and maybe because he knew the team she built was going to make it to Nationals that year. Mr. Miller attended every home game. He stood up on the hill and cheered us on rain or shine. He brought with him a sense of pride both for the school and for his student athletes. His presence made us want to work harder, but also made us feel that we were always enough, just exactly how we were. How we are. He always had something encouraging to say and found the lesson in every loss. Over the next couple of years the losses became more frequent as the program went through some transitional years. But Mr. Miller was always there, watching from the top of the hill. Sometimes he would bring his children out to watch us play. He and the rest of the athletic department became a home away from home for me. They made sure I was working as hard in the classroom as I was on the field. They made sure I had an outlet if I ever needed one. They made sure I stayed focused.
How did your [UNDAUNTED] moment change your spiritual, professional, cultural trajectory?
It's fair to say I wouldn’t have graduated from Goucher at all, let alone on time, without that extra support. Years later I now bring my own kids to stand on the hill and watch my niece and nephew take those beautiful Goucher fields. Mr. Miller is often still there, cheering on his huge extended family of student athletes. He high fives my kids, throws a ball to them, and reminds me to "cherish these days, Cara... they aren't easy but they are worth it, and they're gone before you're ready for them to be." My kids are just now entering their sports careers, but I know Mr. Miller's many words of encouragement over my years at Goucher, will be in the forefront of my mind as I teach them to cherish the wins and to find the lesson in every defeat. Being an athlete at Goucher not only forged the path I took into my career in marketing, it also continues to guide me on my journey as a mother.
What makes us believe we can do the impossible? Because we’re [UNDAUNTED]. Because we’re Goucher. And because of you.