Humans of AMHS: Kaavya Narayan

Humans of AMHS aims to showcase the individual stories within the Mitty community. Featured here is Kaavya Narayan, a member of the class of 2021.

Humans of AMHS: Kaavya Narayan

I had always been a class clown who was known to dance whenever possible. It was a way for me to hide behind the low confidence and body image issues that I was struggling with. 

However, this all changed when I joined the Mitty varsity volleyball team junior year.  While I am still a goofy girl who definitely has some pep in my step, it is no longer a coping mechanism. Being surrounded by such talented, hardworking, and committed young women every day inspires me to be stronger and feel comfortable in my own skin.

The summer before, I attended a business camp at Berkeley for fun. This program allowed me to learn about fundamental soft skills—public speaking, verbal communication, and self-direction. My newly found skill set coupled with my admiration for my teammates that I trained with everyday encouraged me to start Women on the Mic, a podcast where I interview successful female athletes and coaches about their journeys. 

Kaavya has interviewed numerous women in sport for her podcast, from Olympic athletes to female reporters.

I shoot hundreds of emails to different athletes, asking them if they can be on my podcast. Sometimes, I get responses from people. Sometimes, I don’t. However, I never feel disheartened because getting the chance to share even one story and motivate another young girl to see her own strength is worth every email.

One of the interviews that impacted me the most was with Dana Vollmer, a 5x Olympic gold medalist swimmer. She discussed the many obstacles that she faced—dealing with a cardiac diagnosis, bouncing back from not making the Olympics, struggling with mental health and a negative body image—and her subsequent perseverance. Her story was eye-opening. It played a mammoth role in my mounting realization that there was no reason to limit myself based on external expectations. I began to recognize that harmful societal projections of body image do not detract from my sense of self-worth, as beauty has so many interpretations. You don’t need to have the body of a supermodel in order to feel confident.

The women I’ve interviewed have helped me discover the power of my own voice. I want to use my platform to spread their stories, for every female athlete’s experience deserves to be heard.