Many of you may not be aware, but Saturday March 1st begins National Athletic Training Month. The National Athletic Training Association(NATA) uses this time to further publicize the athletic training profession. Since, the month hasn’t actually started, I will give you he prequel to my career choice as an athletic trainer.
The seed of athletic training was planted during my freshmen year in high school. I was a skinny 6’4″ 14 year old kid trying out for the high school basketball team. I had just found out I had been selected to be on the 9th grade basketball team and I was the kid I now treat, hurting myself not playing my sport. I injured my ankle playing touch football in the dark, and stepped in a hole. The next 2 weeks, which were the first two weeks of practice, was spent knee deep in an ice bucket and limping around. I had no one leading me in the right direction for rehab and treatment. Still to this day, that ankle is terribly unstable and I call it my tissue paper ankle. This feeling of missing out on practice began to the process to becoming an athletic trainer. At the time I didn’t know what an athletic trainer was but I knew I wanted to stay in sports and help people. I continued onto my not so glorious high school basketball career safely with minimal injury issues.
The next memorable time that I think lead me to Athletic Training was when my dad asked me what I wanted to do. My respone? I don’t want to be in a 9 to 5 job at a desk. In my head, this sounded miserable. By this time, I had an idea what an athletic trainer was but I look back now and I wanted to help athletes perform at their highest level. As I began to do more research and watched what the outreach athletic trainer who came to our school was doing, I realized the medical side of sports performance interested me more. With research and a few campus visits, I decided that Valdosta State University was where I wanted to complete my education and preparation to become an athletic trainer.
I think if you truly love your job, you’ll never truly work a day in your life. I also think that moments in our life can lead us to doing something we love, its just about finding it and reaching for it. Do you have that moment where you learned what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?