I love being an athletic trainer! Why? Variety and adventure. This career, certainly in the traditional setting, is never dull, never the same, always changing. Every season brings new athletes, a few new coaches, new opponents, new game strategies and new injuries. No injury is the same because the athlete’s are different. This alone keeps you thinking, keeps you fresh.
But the think that I think makes athletic training so fun is the world of adventure that you can enjoy within the profession. In my 20 years, I have gotten to experience international travel, interstate travel, thousands of games, thousands of athletes and hundreds of coaches. I have worked with injured 12 year old athletes to the PA Senior State Games with 85+ year old athletes. I have seen the worst of sports efforts to state championship teams. I have provided athletic training services to at least 17 different sports from beginning levels to state championship levels and beyond. Each of these sports and teams remain in the memory banks for highs of winning, lows of losing, difficulties conquered and goals reached. Each event is an adventure.
As I age, it becomes to easy to dwell on the negative and fail to see the adventure and enjoyment that surrounds our profession every day. When I was younger, I can recall going to AT conferences and listening to the older ATs complain about playoffs and long seasons and long days, working with athletes, parents, coaches, etc. I made a resolution to do everything I could not to become “that guy”, that sour old man who hates life. One of the ways that I have found that combats that sour disposition from sinking in is to cherish the adventure within the profession. To be honest though, I still sometimes find myself sinking into that sour outlook, but when I focus on the adventure and true enjoyment of what we do, I find the sourness fades.
What adventures has the profession of athletic training taken you on? Post in comments if you wish.