Lead Certified Athletic Trainer
How long have you been a part of the Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) Program?
I originally started working within the Army’s H2F in April 2019. So, it will be almost 3 years very soon.
What is something you’ve learned during your time in the H2F Program?
I learned that we athletic trainers still need to advocate for ourselves and teach people what athletic trainers are and what we can do. I’m not a physical therapist, exercise therapist, sports trainer, athletic therapist, trainer, or coach. I’m the athletic trainer, simple as that.
What does your typical workday look like?
Early wake up, head to sick-call and work with the 68W (medics), and do initial screenings/evaluations before physical training starts at 0630. During physical readiness training (PRT) I take Soldiers that have an acute injury or on profile and lead them through a more specialized physical training working on their injury. When PRT is over at 0800, I try get a cup of coffee before I begin screenings at musculoskeletal (MSK) sick-call. This is either a continuation of pre-PRT sick-call or for members that could not be fully assessed before PRT started. After my 1-hour, or so, MSK sick-call is done my day is filled with 1-on-1 patient care, or meetings with Army staff, or peers with-in the brigade H2F team.
In your Athletic Training career, what challenges have you had to overcome and how did you accomplish this?
Changing the culture or mindset of the athlete or patient. What I mean by that is enforcing the good behavior of recognizing an injury or ailment and seeking out help sooner rather than later. Typically, athletes may want to hide an injury in order to continue to play. In my current setting, seeking out medical help is often considered a weakness that then creates long lasting chronic pain that may end up medically retiring them out of service. Every chance I get I combat this by telling the Soldier that if they have 5 years, 5 months, or even 5 days until retirement, I am here to try get them better and healthier for when the Army is no longer their primary focus. I thank them for not waiting even longer to see me.
What is one thing you’d tell your younger self if you had the opportunity?
Find the small wins and gravitate to those, feed them and make more. There will be so many opportunities, don’t settle. Thank the people who got you where you are, and mean it.
Who has provided the biggest inspiration / motivation in your life?
My family. Hands down. I got out of active duty to pursue my education and had 1 small child at the time and 1 on the way. My wife, active duty at the time as well, volunteered to changes military bases so that I could be closer to home and a school with athletic training as a major. I transitioned to become an Air National Guard member doing my training in Washington, but living and going to school full time in North Dakota. My wife and kids were and are my rocks. I would never have reached the milestones I have without them.