By: Kate Todisco
ANA Synchro is known for inspiring our swimmers and guiding them with creativity and passion to build successful leaders. In this new series: Dive Deep: Meet ANA Alumni, we are pleased to introduce you to some of our dynamic ANA Alumni.
Meet Caitlin Hanson
As a competitive athlete in a sport that requires boundless strength, endurance and flexibility, it is not surprising that ANA Synchro alumna, Caitlin Hanson has accomplished so much since her time swimming with ANA. A graduate of Clark University, Caitlin studied Sociology and Government/International Relations and earned her M.A. in Community Development and Planning with a focus on health care. During her time at Clark, she was on the swim team and established an aquatics club in the off season to enjoy all aspects of swimming with her friends. If that wasn’t enough time on the pool deck for this driven young woman pursuing a five-year degree, she also coached and choreographed for the Synchro-Maids of Central MA during this time.
Caitlin joined ANA Synchro in the 8th grade when her family relocated from Maryland to Massachusetts. Almost immediately, Caitlin felt a strong connection to her new team of friends, as well as her older teammates whom she looked up to as positive role models. During her four years swimming with ANA, Caitlin loved her team like family. The profound respect she felt for her coaches and the confidence they imparted on her still influences her today. She can still hear the encouraging voice of Coach Eugenia moving her forward. Caitlin affectionately recalls many little moments underwater where someone would look over and give a wave or make a funny face and she would know that her teammates were beside her to support her and to give her the extra energy to carry on.
For Caitlin, knowing she competed at the national level in one of the most demanding sports in the world, means she can take on any tough challenges in life. Today, having just moved to East Boston, after living in New York City for eight years, Caitlin’s latest challenge is establishing her career as the Director of the School-Based Health Centers. School-Based Health Centers are classrooms converted into doctor's offices offering mental health care and health education serves for students. Luckily for her employer, Boston Public Health Commission, Caitlin relays on the drive and strength she learned in synchro to push herself further and to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing when you put your all into something you will see real results.
One important piece of advice this accomplished newlywed (Caitlin tied the knot in February 2019) would like to spread to her fellow ANA swimmers is, always trust yourself. Know that you are capable of more than you believe and to never forget your power.
Dream vacation spot?
Any US National Park, but especially the ones in Utah, where my brother lives.
Favorite summer activity (besides for swimming)?
Food truck festivals… but obviously swimming!
Ocean or lake?
Cat or Dog?
One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez