Alumni Profile - Emily Pfeiffer

ECA Alumni Profie - Emily Pfeiffer

HS Graduation – Washington High School, 2013

College Graduation - I swam 4 years for UNC Chapel Hill and graduated in 2017

College/Service/Work – I currently work as a legal assistant for a small practice in Chapel Hill, and I coach for the Hillsborough Aquatic Club. I will be attending Campbell Law this fall. 

Time with ECA (or Greenville Swim Club) – About 10 years

Best Event and Time - Casey would probably debate with me on whether this was my “best” event, but my favorite event was the 200-yard Breaststroke (2:12.54)

Best memory with ECA - This is outrageously hard to answer, but one of my favorite memories was driving to a long course meet in Florida. Casey drove his stupidly loud, ugly blue Tundra with myself, two other swimmers, and our assistant at the time. As we drove into South Carolina, passing by the “South of the Border” amusement park, Casey proceeded to lock all of the windows, turn the heat on high, and BLAST mariachi music until we begged for mercy. Roughly 17 minutes of pure torture. The fun didn’t stop there. We were on a tight timeline of getting to the pool at Coral Springs, so Casey opted to neglect his need for a bathroom break in order to make our scheduled warm up time. I saw this as a great opportunity to inflict as much suffering to this man as he did a few hours prior to myself and my Tundra-mates. I decided to make Casey laugh as hard as possible, knowing his bladder was at 110% capacity. He started to drive profusely over the speed limit, screeching tires up to the entrance of the pool, throws the truck in park, and runs into the pool bathrooms. We didn’t see him for 7 minutes. (I promise, he loves telling this story. He’s very proud of how much liquid his body was holding.)

What I gained as a member of ECA? I still have lifelong friendships from swimming, and Casey is still this weird quasi- fun uncle- mentor - father figure that I can’t put into words how much I love and respect still to this day. I can’t think of my time at ECA (or GSC while I was there) without the overarching feeling of gratitude toward what that man put me through, mentally and physically in the pool. I trained with “the boys” for the better part of my swimming career, because he told me I would. And I did well with it. I like to think I have a high level of work ethic, which he showed me and taught me, and prepared me for my swimming career at UNC more than I can detail, and has certainly helped me through my pursuit of law school and furthering my argumentative skills. Time management, work ethic, and dedication as a teenager can be a challenging dance, but I think I did pretty well, and I owe it to my time as a club swimmer. I still love to swim and run, and I love knowing how powerful the human mind is; when something is hard or your body is dying and unresponsive, tell your body to shut up and keep going. And I guess to sum up, I’m 24 years old now, and I still compare every challenge in life I face to that one Christmas Eve practice, 2009 (might have been 2010). I affirm nothing in life will be as hard as those 3 hours. Just ask the big man. 

How do lessons learned from swimming apply today in your career/life? I’m pretty proud of my time management skills and work ethic. I joke that I had a “part time job” as a swimmer in college, but juggling 24+ hours every week in and around the pool for workouts, rehab and conditioning mixed with class schedules can be taxing on any normal human. But I loved it, and I chose to pursue my dreams, and it panned out better than I thought it would. I’m now a professional at waking up before the sun rises! The biggest lesson I learned is that I have a large disdain for the mass produced “get rich quick” schemes that, unfortunately, many people apply to life. I maintain that I wasn’t the most talented swimmer, I wasn’t gifted genetically (you can look at me and tell, long and lean are not in my DNA), but I had goals and I worked for them. And I worked hard. And I really try to hold that mantra for my career and “adult goals.” Things take time, and progress isn’t always linear. But if you want something enough, and you are honest with yourself and your efforts, then your hopes, aspirations or dreams become reality sooner than you think.