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Science, Strength, and Ice Baths

Michaela Metzger

If you were to ask Mikayla Metzger, 2018 Grace graduate, about her experience at Grace College, her stories would stand out from the rest, and I’m guessing you would hear these keywords: science, strength, and icebaths. 


Mikayla knew from an early age that the field of science was her passion. Her dad had eye surgery when she was in 6th grade, and ever since, she knew she wanted to go into the medical field and had a special affinity towards eye surgeons. Upon entering college, she chose Biology as her major, and Chemistry, her minor. Dr. Roberts’ Biochemistry class holds the title of her favorite college course. “It was hard but it was worth it. I learned so much from Dr. Roberts,” she raved.

In preparation for the future, Mikayla took the MCAT her senior year. But in that critical time, she started questioning if she really wanted to be an eye surgeon. She went forward in the process and applied for medical school, but decided she first wanted to experience day-to-day life at an eye surgery clinic. So she moved down to Indianapolis and began working with patients at AVRUC (Associated Vitreoretinal and Uveitis Consultants). That’s when Mikayla made a path-changing self-discovery–her passion is in the lab. 

“I’d rather be at the microscope,” she concluded. She wants to be the researcher that is making new discoveries and finding the best solutions, not the one implementing them.  And so, this fall Mikayla started her Ph.D. at IUPUI. Her dream is to go into chemistry or biology research, or maybe even to be a professor. “My professors played a large role in my life, and I think it’d be really cool to be that for someone else,” she said, ”I just want to be a lifelong learner. I want to keep improving things.”


If you attended Grace at the same time as Mikayla, you would probably know her as somewhat of a “gym rat.” (Let’s just say the staff at the Gordon Health and Wellness Center all knew her by name.) In fact, this passion for lifting that she developed her senior year of high school is what got her noticed by the Grace track coach her freshman year. He immediately recruited her to throw for the team, and although she had no prior experience, she went for it! 

“Being a strong woman is just really cool,” said Mikayla. And strong she is. When Mikayla was in her second year of college, she competed in her first-ever competition. She fell in love. “The hope to compete was always a driving force for my training,” she explained. 

Mikayla went on to compete in her first national competition after college and won a Women’s Physique competition in March of 2018 in Indianapolis. Then she moved to the powerlifting division in April of 2018 and won overall in her weight class of 90 kilograms or less. She set all 4 records for her weight class in the state of Indiana, making her the strongest woman in Indiana (<90 kilograms). Curious about her records? Be amazed.

Squat: 375lbs

Bench: 232 lbs

Deadlift: 364 lbs

Total: 971 lbs

“It doesn’t feel real. I still don’t know how to describe it,” she remarked about her awards. But she doesn’t dwell on her past accomplishments, she is always looking to the future and asking her coach how she can improve. This requires a lot of dedication and discipline. Mikayla devotes about two hours to lifting six days a week. Her next big event is a National meet that takes place in Las Vegas this November. Your alma mater is cheering you on!!

Ice Baths

As mentioned before, Mikayla was unexpectedly recruited to throw for track her freshman year. She also just so happened to be rooming with three other track athletes. Grace track athletes are infamous for their long and painful ice baths to give their legs muscles time to recover from the hard miles they’ve endured throughout the week. However, there were times that ice baths were full, or the trainers were unavailable, and that’s when Mikayla and her roommates got innovative.

“One time we were in need of a good ice bath but we lived in the Lodge and there were no bathtubs, only showers. No problem! We thought. We went to the store and bought huge fall leaf trash bags. Then we went to the gas station and filled them up with ice. Finally, we went back to the Lodge, sat in the bags in the showers, filled them with water and tied the bag around our neck.”  

And the best part–this was a full-body ice bath! Mikayla Metzger, always improving. 

But that is not the end of the story. 

The four roommates sat in their make-shift ice baths, meanwhile, the RAs were meeting in the lobby downstairs. To their concern, water started coming from the ceiling and running down the walls. When the RAs paused the meeting to investigate, they were quite amused to find four clueless faces peeking out from trashbag blobs in the shower stalls, water running out and filling the floor. 

Science, Strength, and Ice Baths.

What is the common thread of these keywords?


At Grace College, we produce graduates who are eager to trek fresh paths and compelled to improve the world around them. Mikayla’s keywords stand out from the rest and her stories are no doubt unique to her, but the tenacity to make things better and impact change–that’s something we see in all of our graduates. 

It’s just the way of Grace. 

Tagged With: Athletics, Career Preparation, Science, Student Stories