Month: March 2015

Athletic Trainer’s Nightmare


Yesterday a 14 year-old boy from Valdosta, GA passed away after being struck in the head during a baseball game. An athletic trainer was on-site but from the sound of the reports the young man’s chances of survival were slim.  This is an absolute nightmare for an athletic trainer.  We prepare for situations such as this in hopes of giving the person another chance. In our training we learn immediate care of emergency injuries such as CPR, AED administration, and spineboarding techniques. But sometimes a perfect storm brews and an injury occurs where the chances of survival are bleak. At that point, our goal as athletic trainers is to hopefully increase their chance of survival with immediate care.  This young man left Moultrie, GA in a helicopter headed to Tallahassee with a great chance of survival than had this occurred at home because an athletic trainer was there. This is another example of why every parent should be screaming at the top of their lungs to have an athletic trainer at their school. Through our training and expertise, we increase the chance of a good outcome in the midst of a terrible occurrence. 
I thank God that I have never had to deal with a situation such as the one in Moultrie but I have experienced the anxiety of dealing with an emergency. Afterwards is when the anxiety can be difficult to deal with. I pray for the family of the young man, the Valdosta Community and the athletic trainer who responded to this tragedy.

The Comfort Zone: Where Progress Goes to Die


We all strive to eventually reach a certain level of comfort in our life (bigger house, better job, nicer car, etc.) but to achieve success in life, we must get out of our comfort zone. Frederick Douglas said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” Meaning if something is easy, it isn’t making you or those around you better. “If it doesn’t kill you, it only makes you stronger” has always been one of my favorite quotes. Successful people don’t look for the easy road, they hit the uphill trail with great determination and will.  
To be better in business/career it may mean stepping into a position that may not be “your cup of tea”. In fitness, it means working on your weakness. I have seen greater progress since evaluating my weaknesses and attacking them with a greater intensity. Stepping out of our comfort zone can be beneficial in all walks of life. I used to look to stay within my comfort zone, and wondered why the wheels were just kind of spinning.  
I am writing this more as a challenge to myself than to you but I know there may be someone out there with similar experience. There are goals that I have wanted to eventually achieve, but have I been stepping out of my comfort zone to reach those goals or just hoping they fall in my lap??  Probably not. Have you been sitting in your comfort zone?? Are you willing to get a little uncomfortable to achieve great things?  I know i have used a lot of quotes but here is another one to ponder, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

2015 So Far!

As we get close to reaching the end of the first quarter of 2015, I think it is time to revisit the goals that I mentioned in my post Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!. Well for starters, my wife and I did not take long in purchasing our family’s first home.  I say first, but I hope it is our last….that process was trying. The negotiations and waiting probably aged my wife and I by 10 years. We also learned to have patience as we began to get caught up in the excitement of touring houses. Thankfully we had some outside eyes to help keep us grounded and to keep us from making a mistake we may have regretted. On February 5th, we finally closed on this house!

I don’t know that we could have found a better house for our family. Plenty of space, an office for my wife who works from home, a closer ride to work for me, and an area that is still not too crowded. This house did take a lot of work though, we had to put a lot of hours in painting. Every room in this house has been painted except for 2. It is finally beginning to feel like OUR space and OUR home.  
I am learning as a new homeowner that there is always something to do or some sort of project you want to do. As we began searching for homes, I made it known that I would like a space to create my own weight room. In this house, it looks like it will have to be my side of the garage. If I can clear it with the wife (all you married men know what I am talking about), I’d love to turn one side of the garage into a Palace of Pain.  I’m talking about an area for clanging and banging of iron. This may not be possible right now but a man can dream right??
I also set a goal for myself to reach a 400 lb squat and a 450-475 deadlift.  As of the end of March I had completed a 16 week program following the Juggernaut Method.  I usually do my own programming but sometimes I like to take the thinking out of it and try something someone else has found effective. I gained around 30-40 lbs on my squat and deadlift. I found some weakness that are holding me back, especially in my deadlift. My grip became a factor as I was working with higher loads and plan to make that more of a focus in my training. Currently I am working at a high rep and lower weight to help with some hypertrophy and will begin back to lifting heavy soon.  
As for my posting goals, I have stuck with my once a month goal and this will actually be my second for March. It is just hard to find the time and the ideas to write about.  I am trying to make a concerted effort of writing down ideas as they come up.  
So far I can’t complain about 2015, the weather could be better but I know there will be sunny days ahead!  

We Prepare, You Perform

The NATA for National Athletic Training Month has selected “We Prepare, You Perform” as the slogan for the month. This slogan shows what sets us as athletic trainers apart from other medical professions. Athletic trainers prepare for any situation that may arise so that athletes may participate as safely as possible.  I tell my kids often to play your heart out, and we’ll be here to fix you. Athletic trainers are working hours before practice and games to ensure that athletes are able to perform at the safest and highest level possible. From taping to setting up hydration states at practice or games, they are working tirelessly to prevent emergency situations.  
Athletic trainers help athletes prepare for their sport through preventative strengthening and flexibility programs. Athletic trainers work closely with strength coaches and other coaches to create these programs in order to make the athlete more resilient and move more fluently.  
Injured athletes also need athletic trainers to help them prepare to return to the highest level possible after injury. Whether it is your run of the mill ankle sprain or an ACL reconstruction, athletic trainers work daily with athletes.  They develop rehabilitation programs to help restore range of motion and strength.  Athletic trainers also implement strength and reconditioning programs to help that athlete return back to their previous level and maybe even better, with the ultimate goal being to prevent re-injury. 
Not all situations are avoidable, so athletic trainers also prepare to react to emergency situations. Long before a practice or game occurs, athletic trainers are creating and implementing, and rehearsing their emergency action plans. Through thorough planning and execution of these plans, the evaluation and care of all injuries runs smoothly.  Well thought out emergency action plans help coordinate care and make sure that everybody knows their role in the case that an emergency does occur.  
Much of an athletic trainers work is done before the craziness of sports has even begun, but it never stops as we are always preparing ourselves to be ready for any situation.  We are continually educating ourselves on the newest research, mentally going over situations that COULD occur, and working to maintain the safest possible environment for athletes to participate in.