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Dynamic Chiropractic – February 15, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 04

A Lift for Chiropractic

By Editorial Staff
Like many chiropractors and students of chiropractic, Karyn Marshall, an articulate and attractive first trimester student at the New York Chiropractic College, sees herself as a pioneer. Those of us familiar with the world of sports' "firsts" see her that way too.

During her 12 years as a weightlifter, Karyn Marshall has been a leader in the emerging field of women's weightlifting. A powerful role model for chiropractic, Karyn is especially inspiring to those young women interested in pursuing the once male-dominated "strength-oriented" sports.

Always goal oriented and committed, Karyn's hard work and talent have brought her spectacular results. She began weightlifting training in 1978 and only four years later won her first national championship. By 1987, she was the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Champion. She is an eight-time United States Weightlifting Federation (USWF) National Champion and the New York state recordholder for the United States Powerlifting Federation (USPF). She holds the IWF world record for the snatch at 248 lbs.

Karyn has set 60 American and world records: She is the first woman in history to clean and jerk over 300 lbs; she is the first woman in history to snatch over 200 lbs.

"I am most proud of becoming the first American woman to win a world championship in weightlifting, and being the strongest woman in the world" (Guiness Book of World Records: five WLF world records), Karyn says, describing the 1987 Women's World Championships. "The most exciting moment was being the last American to lift ... the Chinese had dominated the competition, winning each of the other weight classes and I was the last American hope. Lifting the most weight of the competition and winning three gold medals for myself, my team, and my country was a most intense feeling."

Graduating in 1980 with a B.S. from Columbia University, Karyn opted for a ten year stint as a financial analyst on Wall Street after deciding against a career in registered nursing. Always interested in athletics and healthcare, Karyn first learned of chiropractic through her friend and fellow weightlifter, Dr. Lawrence Forgacs, who helped her attain optimum fitness.

"As my athletic career winds down, I realize I want to pursue my passion: to help others with their ability to reach their potential. Chiropractic certainly helped me in reaching my athletic potential."

Karyn began to see firsthand what chiropractic and a dedicated doctor could accomplish in the athletic and health arenas.

"I found my chiropractor to be the most importnat health professional in my athletic career."

How is Karyn handling the transition from world class athlete and financial analyst to chiropractic student?

"Athletics at a world class level and chiropractic college both require hard work, persistence, confidence and positive thinking. The stress of exams is similar to competition and can be managed using proper preparation as well as relaxation and visualization techniques.

"However, chiropractic college is a group activity with so many people pursuing similar goals, while weightlifting competition is a more individual effort.

"I chose New York Chiropractic College because I'm interested in getting a good, basic, general education. I feel I can develop a well rounded background here in the art, science and philosophy of chiropractic.

"As a chiropractor I'd like to spread the message of chiropractic to athletes, professional and amateur. Chiropractic can help everybody, not only with musculoskeletal problems but also in the prevention of injuries and in achieving general well-being."

Dr. Kenneth Padgett, president of New York Chiropractic College, is proud to have Karyn among the freshmen class. "Karyn is an outstanding young woman. Her dedication and single-mindedness will serve her well in chiropractic. While I consider all of our students to be "potential champions" in chiropractic, I'm especially pleased to see the added dimension Karyn brings to our talented student body."

Family-oriented as well as academically and sports minded, Karyn will be the first chiropractor in her family.

Karyn is currently pursuing different goals in the world of sports: "I am working towards the introduction of women's weight- lifting into the Olympic Games. Since men's weightlifting is currently in the games, we are seeking a new division within the sport. While I will be retired from world level competition, I am hoping my influence will allow a future generation of women to enjoy the benefits of Olympic competition. I'm also working closely with the Women's Sports Foundation. We are committed to developing and maintaining equal opportunity for women in sports."

Karyn's dedication to her chiropractic education and sporting endeavors is best summed up by her: "I try to see the positive in life and avoid negative people. It sounds simplistic, but you really do create your own reality.


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