Stephanie Shaw is an alumna of East Carolina University and a former four-year student-athlete. During her time at ECU, she played outside left back for the women’s soccer team under former head coach Rob Donnenwirth.
Shaw played most during her 2009 and 2010 seasons after receiving a redshirt after the first three games in the 2008 season. Unfortunately the redshirt came as a result of an ACL tear to her right knee. During the 2009 season, Shaw started all 10 games she played in before tearing her ACL and meniscus in her left knee.
The following season, she started in 18 out of 19 games, playing through a re-torn meniscus for some time during that year. The defensive starter played a lot of valuable minutes for the team despite playing through that injury.
“It wasn’t too bad actually,” Shaw said. “The hardest part I would say was when we would travel. Just being in an airplane, and the elevation, and I think just the pressure, my knee would swell up. But if we weren’t traveling that week, it wouldn't be bad.”
Living the life as both a student and a collegiate athlete is a unique way of life that a number of students do not experience in day to day living. The rigid schedule requires a lot of time and energy, leaving little room for much else.
“You definitely don't have the free time that a lot of other students have, but in my opinion, it [having a set schedule] helped me make it through college,” Shaw said. “Instead of being able to stay up forever and sleep in, you get up, you have practice. Or you get up and have to have the early classes, because you have practice in the afternoon.”
As for academics, she was named to the ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll in both 2009 and 2011. Shaw was a health fitness specialist major, and her plan was to focus on a career dealing with athletics. After having multiple injuries, Shaw was able to what she wanted to do with her career.
“I knew I wanted to exercise science of some sort,” Shaw said. “After hurting myself, I got closer with the athletic trainer and got closer with the strength and conditioning coach, and I really found a passion for it.”
Now, Shaw is the head CrossFit coach at CrossFit 926 in Huntersville, North Carolina. She is the head of membership relations there as well. Her unfortunate injuries as a college athlete led her to find her passion, creating an opportunity for her to excel in her current career.