Senior Paige Aiello and the Notre Dame second varsity eight won a pair of races at Michigan State Saturday

Off The Water With Paige Aiello

Feb. 28, 2012

The Off the Water series provides a “Getting To Know” piece on members of the University of Notre Dame rowing team in an effort to share with the fans details of what makes each of the athletes who they are outside of the realm of competition.

Paige Aiello is preparing to begin her third season with the University of Notre Dame women’s rowing team. The Rochester Hills, Mich., native looks to help whichever varsity boat she sits in claim gold yet again at the BIG EAST Championships and help the team to earn qualification for the NCAA Championship in 2012. Here is a chance to get to know Paige Aiello:

What stood out to you about Notre Dame that helped you know this was the place you wanted to attend?

“The first time I visited Notre Dame, I knew it was the place I wanted to attend. The campus is beautiful, and is truly an inspiring place to be.”

When not rowing or taking care of schoolwork, what is the one thing you enjoy doing with your free time?

“In my free time on campus, I try to enjoy being here. It is a great place to be without the stresses of school; so taking time out to seriously appreciate the awe that this campus has to offer in many different ways is always enticing.”

What is the most peaceful place to go to on campus?

“The most peaceful place to go on campus is the Grotto. It has a mysticism and appreciation about it that are undisturbed, and people respect the silence of thought and prayer that takes place there.”

What is the best place to eat on campus?

“The best place to eat on campus is definitely South Dining Hall. My friend visiting form another school once referred to it as a Whole Foods. It is fresh and has a lot of variety!”

What is the greatest thrill about rowing for the Irish?

“The greatest thrill about rowing for the Irish is representing an entity that is so much larger than myself. Every time I race, I am fighting for a name and a community that is much larger than myself. I am proud to represent a tenacious `Fighting Irish.'”

What is the most rewarding thing to you about rowing, in general?

“Rowing is a sport in which you can always push yourself harder. The most rewarding part about rowing is sitting in a boat with seven other girls and knowing that they are fighting for you just as hard as you are fighting for them. There is a connectedness that goes beyond the race itself.”

What makes the group of girls on this team special?

“The girls on the team are special because each girl is honestly there for any of her teammates. Everyone supports one another and cares for one another. I believe we work harder for each other than for our own selves, and that allows us to accomplish tasks seemingly outside of our reach.”

Was there any one person who was inspirational/motivational to you being where you are today and if so what was the best piece of advice they offered up to you?

“My grandmother has always been inspirational and motivational to me, as she has supported me in everything I have done and always believes in me. She is proud of everything I accomplish and always encourages me to work at anything that I try.”

If you had to choose between watching your favorite movie or listening to your favorite CD which would you choose and why?

“Choosing between a favorite movie and a favorite CD, I would have to choose CD. Music allows me to escape and always seems to help me refocus in a more positive way. Music is always what you need it to be.”

Growing up, and maybe even still today, what was the one type of cereal that you had to have and why?

“Quaker Oatmeal Squares is a cereal I have to have because it is delicious.”

If you were trapped on an island, what are the three things that you would need to have with you and why?

“I would need to have my phone because I love to look through all of the pictures and videos I have on it and laugh. I would need a good book to keep me entertained, and some water!”

If you could have dinner with any three people, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

“I would have dinner with Beyoncé because she is a force to be reckoned with. Her accomplishments are many and the power she gives so many people through her music is inspiring. I would also have to include Ellen DeGeneres because she is fun-loving and always makes me laugh. I really appreciate people who can make life a little less serious. Finally, I would choose David Beckham because I believe he would have a lot of advice concerning athletics and pushing oneself to his fullest potential. He has had an extremely successful career, which I have enjoyed following, and he has performed well for many years. He has done amazing things in the game of soccer, which I am very passionate about.”