OAC Athletic Training Symposium

OAC Athletic Training Symposium

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In late March the OAC Athletic Training Symposium was held at Capital University in a room titled the Bridge of Learning. If only I had brought my pen of learning to write down everything I learned…

This symposium was similar to the Cavs night I had went to before, except this one was nearly all day and there were multiple presentations. All of the presenters were highly respected in the medical field, including Cleveland Indians, Browns and Indians team physicians and our very own professors.

As a student, these types of symposiums are priceless. The medical field is always learning more and more about what works and what doesn’t so there is never a time that any medical professional will know it all. They might know a lot, but not everything.

Clinicians are changing some of their protocols on concussions. Concussions are tricky because you can’t “see” the injury. With other injuries such as a fracture, a torn ACL or anything else along those lines, you can see those with the right tools, but with concussions, you can’t see anything wrong with the brain. Overall, if you have a concussion, you will not be going back in that game that day. There is something called Second Impact Syndrome, which basically results in death in less than 10 minutes.

This symposium was long, and it was also review on anatomy for my knee exam the next day, but every minute was worth it. I didn’t get the best amount of sleep the night before so trying to stay awake during all the presentations was a little hard, but I was so interested in everything being presented. It was worth it and now I have priceless knowledge. In the end, in the Bridge of Learning, I learned things from other great clinicians and physicians that they had to find out on their own.

It Feels Like Summer

It Feels Like Summer

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Campus is full of people outside all the time now. It seems like every day I can see a frisbee being thrown, a soccer ball being kicked and shirtless men playing sand volleyball. This weather is amazing and I feel like it is going to stay, which is surprising in Ohio.

I just read in the paper that this winter was one of the warmest winters ever recorded. I can easily believe that since last school year it was still cold when I went home in May. I didn’t believe that it would get so warm so fast. I am always pessimistic about the weather. I never want to get my hopes up.

I love to run outside, but I’m starting to run barefoot so I am running inside of the Peterson Field House.

Baseball has always been a summer sport, so it only makes it feel more like summer when I have to watch it nearly every day. I have just started to consistently experience athletic training with the baseball team.  There has only been one “scary” injury so far but he is OK and should heal with no problem. I am slowly learning all of their names and quickly learning their personalities. I also realized quickly that nearly all of our starters are sophomores. That’s my class status so I definitely take pride in knowing that our class is doing work and doing it well. Just like last semester when I was at Hoover High School for my athletic training experience, I am getting closer with the team. I am pumped when we win, and I feel even worse when someone get hurts. Athletic training makes you have a heart toward athletes a little more than if you were just a fan. You have to actually take care of their injuries, so when they can triumph over that injury, you feel like you contributed to their success.

OATA Cavs Night

OATA Cavs Night

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The Ohio Athletic Training Association (OATA) offers presentations throughout Ohio for athletic trainers and other health professionals. These presentations are given by anyone from surgeons to athletic trainers to physical therapists. On Sunday, March 11, a presentation was held at Quicken Loans Arena right before the Cavs game. The Athletic Training Club at Mount Union encourages members to attend these presentations as it exposes us to the real world and allows us to network with professionals.

Five of us attended the two presentations on Sunday. The first one, which was very interesting, was about barefoot running. Barefoot running is healthy because it allows your legs to get stronger while catching your body weight. Running barefoot puts 50%-70% of all your body weight on your feet, while running with shoes on, puts 150%-200% of your body weight on your feet. You let the cushioning of the shoe take the blow, which really just sends a big shock throughout your leg, adding unneeded stress to your body. If you’re going to do this, train into it slowly as it takes months to fully adapt. The other presentation focused on how young athletes are more likely to have a bone chip rather than an ankle sprain.

After the presentations, we attended the basketball game. They won, surprisingly. Overall, I thought this was a great experience, and it only cost $10. We got discounts from OATA and from the Athletic Training Club at Mount Union. Hands down, this was easily the best $10 I have ever spent.

Remembering Dan

Remembering Dan

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It has been almost a year since Dan Gorman has passed away. He was my professor, advisor, athletic trainer and my friend. I knew him for only one semester, which was the first semester of college for me, but the impact he made will last my whole life. This is my story in a nutshell.

We had a dual wrestling meet against Ohio Northern University, and I had an exhibition match. I don’t like to lose and I especially don’t like to lose when we have to travel.

“Are you wrestling?” Dan asked hoping that I was.

“Yeah.” I was happy to tell him yes, but confused because professors usually don’t care to see their students compete.

“Great, I get to see you wrestle.” He said this as he hobbled around because he had a drop foot. The short time I knew him, there was always something physically wrong with him, which gave him character.

It was a close match, but I won. After the varsity dual meet, we had a snowy drive back to Mount Union. We were driving for about an hour until I felt the bus jerk and I saw a massive hole in the front left of the bus. I didn’t know the severity of the situation but I knew that we had to call 911 for Dan. It wasn’t until I walked off the bus and saw the aftermath of the seat Dan was sitting in before I knew how bad it was.

The whole team was transported to the hospital. I thought Dan would be OK. I knew he was hurt but I wasn’t sure how badly. After waiting a decent amount of time, our coach told us the news. I cried, but I eventually stopped hoping I would never have to think about it again. We stayed the night at a local hotel. I fell asleep immediately once we got there because it was late, but when I woke up to check the time, I couldn’t go back to sleep because of everything running through my head that happened the night before. I slept like this for the next two weeks, the same haunting images running through my head before I went to sleep and when I woke up.

I didn’t want to think about it anymore, but it was impossible since we hadn’t even gotten back to school yet. When we traveled back there were people waiting for us at The MAAC including the rest of the team, athletic trainers, students, Dan’s family and others. I wasn’t expecting this and I didn’t want them there simply because I didn’t want to think about it anymore. Mourning is something nobody wants to do, but it is necessary. I didn’t realize this at the time. I thought I could get over Dan’s death within a day. I mean, I’m able to lose a wrestling match and get over it, why can’t I do it with this? Well these are two completely different situations.

I thought I was done mourning … well, I was wrong. I’d explain the story to two of my friends and I broke down while trying to tell them what happened. At the time, I was embarrassed but now I realize it was appropriate for the situation.

Throughout the week, I continued to go to class. I wanted to get over it, and if I was ever alone, I would do too much thinking. There was an athletic training meeting where we basically talked about what we had experienced. I realized that I was one of two athletic training students on the bus when it happened. I know I wasn’t the only one to experience this, but I felt like nobody experienced it like I did. In reality, everyone experienced it differently. Everyone has their own story.

Dan passed on a Tuesday. We had a wrestling dual meet on Saturday and a tournament on Sunday, both of which were home at Mount Union. On Saturday after the dual meet, we went as a team to Dan’s wake in Dewald Chapel. It was a two-hour wait until I saw Dan’s family, and it was the first time I saw Dan since I saw him being transported into the ambulance. I immediately lost it again, but a few of my teammates and coaches were there for me. I always felt alone, but I was constantly reminded that everyone was going through the same thing I was.

Dan’s funeral was on Sunday in The MAAC, which was the same place and same time as the tournament. I had wrestled two matches before the service even started. It was an hour-long and I barely shed a tear simply because I was holding it back. Everyone who spoke had a very emotional speech, but I was ready to get it over with and wrestle. The tournament was put on hold because of the funeral service and immediately after the service, I changed as quickly as I could because I was the first match to wrestle.

The whistle blew and I started wrestling like any other match, then it all hit me at once. It was as if you shook up a soda and opened it and watched it explode. Everything that happened throughout the week came back into my mind and I started crying while wrestling. I wrestled terrible, but I made it through the match and afterwards I immediately hugged my friend Kelsey. I was out of the tournament, but that didn’t matter, I missed Dan.

A month after all of this happened, I saw a counselor at school because I still didn’t feel right. She helped me a lot and after only two visits, I felt like my old self. I thought about everything that happened everyday until about mid-summer. I didn’t like the thought of losing someone I care about. I have become more grateful and appreciative for every friend I have.

This is my story in a nutshell. Dan cared for everyone so deeply. He truly was a genuinely good man and I hope to be like him one day.