When I damaged my knee during my Ironman training in the summer of 2017, I was devastated. Upon finding out surgery was necessary, I was sent to VCU for physical therapy. During this time, Maral was assigned to me as the best PT fit for my needs. As an athlete herself, the perspective she brought to my therapy was absolutely invaluable. Not only did she put me through the most advanced ACL PT regimen, but something happened that I could not have foreseen. She became a life coach, as it were. She watched me curse, tear up, give up, but stayed beside me the whole time. She pushed me at every session, using my competitive nature to help fuel me. There were times when I was frustrated with my progress, even walking out of a PT session one day. The next time I came in, she became a coach and a friend, giving me some tough “love”. That moment was a turning point in my recovery. I was motivated and invigorated to push myself, to be patient, to follow each exercise to the tee, and my recovery time quickly accelerated. I can honestly say I am stronger, both physically and mentally, thanks to Maral’s expertise and motivation. I actually had a personal best on the run of a triathlon I did less than a year after my surgery. I hope, as does every athlete, to never have to face this type of injury again. But, if I do, I hope Maral can be there for me.