Member Profile: Carolyn Zintel

January 11, 2013 - 11:19am
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I was uploading a bunch of photos from a recent tournament and paused at one in particular. "Wait, are those muscles on Carolyn Zintel?"

Squash players are an athletic bunch, and coming across especially defined ones would not be remarkable. But, I paused in Carolyn's case becasue (in her own words), she's not quite as young as the other gals in the women's 3.5.
Carolyn grew up in suburban Ridgewood, NJ at a time when organized extracurricular athletics for girls were hard to find.  Thankfully, natural athletes tend to create sport and competition in nearly any circumstance.
Her house was on the top of a hill, as was her school, and she rode her bike nearly everywhere.  Going to school meant climbing hills, as did returning home for lunch, and then back to school, back home, and then to visit friends in the afternoons.  You get the idea.  There were a few programs for basketball in elementary and middle school, which she devoured, but come high school, there weren't organized teams for girls (and it was a lot less cool to ride a bike to and from school).
One day she passed the gym bulletin board  that showed records for performances at variosus events (i.e. rope climb, situps, pushups, etc.).  The first thing in her mind was "Only that many situps for the record?"  The second thing through her mind was, "Sheesh, I can probably break most of these records."
The situp record was the first to go. She began with her gym teacher as a witness, but after what seemed like moments, he tapped her on ths shoulder and told her to to stop.
"What's wrong?"
"Nothing.  You broke the record a while ago, but it's been 40 minutes and the bell for the next class just rang."
Someone strolling through the school building decades later said that most of girls wall of physcal fitness records had Carolyn's name on it.
Moving to NY in the 70's she got into distance running and then discovered squash by accident when she was looking for break from running. She was actually after racquetball when she ralked into the old Concord Racquet Club on Third Avenue and 77th Street, but the local pro steered her into squash, which he called "a much better sport."  
The rest is history. Both Carolyn (4-0) and her Eastern Athletic Club women's 3.5 team (6-0) are undefeated in current league play.