Well the day finally arrived for our daughter, Katie, to graduate. We flew into Raleigh North Carolina and Katie was there to pick us up at the airport. She had been busy all week with the hoopla surrounding graduation week. She was excited to be receiving her Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree from Campbell University Saturday, December 17th. It has been quite the journey for her.
As a toddler we knew quickly that Katie was independent and strong willed as she wasn’t a cuddler (although she is now) and wanted to do things her way (not ours). We soon realized that she had athletic ability and when we asked her what she wanted for Christmas, everything she wanted was sports related. I remember buying many sports related items one Christmas and when I was checking out at the sporting goods store in Texas the clerk said “Your son is sure going to have a great Christmas!” My answer was quick with “SHE sure will!!!”
Through her passion for sports we learned something else about Katie – she is very, very competitive. She played in nearly every sport girls were allowed to play. First it was soccer, then basketball and shortly thereafter she played softball/baseball, volleyball and participated in track. Her competitiveness was apparent as she could compete with the best kids in each sport and she was full of confidence. I remember her playing soccer games when she was around 7 years old and after nearly each game she would declare “I scored all the goals!" even though she didn’t.
In her teens she continued playing most sports but eventually chose fast pitch softball as her sport of choice. While in high school she decided she wanted to compete at a higher level so soon thereafter she tried out and was playing on an elite travel team out of Houston Texas, a hotbed of college softball talent. This required and hour and a half drive to and from games and practices several times a week! Her gold softball team her junior year encouraged her to switch from hitting right handed to left handed to take advantage of her speed, especially if she wanted to compete in college. Sure enough after a year of hitting from the left she had mastered it enough to receive a full scholarship (athletic/academic) to Campbell University.
While at Campbell she started and played every single game (except one with an injury) all four years. By the time she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree after four years she was well prepared to tackle the world. She is still in the top ten statistical categories in softball at Campbell University. Her being a student athlete while taking a full load of courses helped her master time management and hone her skills in teamwork.
After college Katie had a passion for working with people and became a Physical Therapy Technician to see if that was her calling in life. After two years of gaining valuable work experience she applied and was accepted in the first ever class for the Doctor in Physical Therapy program at her alma mater. Three years later after countless hours of studying and taking classes, she reached her goal. And along the way she gained a new family – her classmates became her Physical Therapy family and the memories that she made with them she will cherish forever.
The ceremony Katie and her 35 other classmates in Physical Therapy finally arrived. After all their hard work they were each handed their diploma and joined many others who have completed requirements and earned their Doctorates! She still has to pass a board exam before she can become a practicing Physical Therapist but we have no doubt she will pass that hurdle in life too.
We could never be prouder of our baby girl for all her hard work and dedication. As parents we often wondered how our children would turn out and we were fortunate that both our son and our daughter fought through all the hard times to become great individuals with good character thus we feel great comfort in knowing they both will be very successful in life.
Congrats Katie and may I introduce to everyone – Dr. Katie Hinton… Look out world!!!
NOTE: We are now in Gold Canyon, AZ at the Canyon Vistas RV Resort.