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.

We Won?

We Won?

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On February 25, the Mount Union wrestling team finished second place in the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament. We had six finalists, five of them winning their finals match to advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships, and we had two guys place third as well. Second place isn’t what we wanted as a team, until our coaches re-counted the team points from the tournament and discovered that we actually won by one point. No matter what sport it is, one point is always very close.

It was hard to believe we didn’t win when we had five out of 10 weight classes winning the tournament. I didn’t wrestle personally but I was still there supporting my teammates as an athletic training student. I had the choice of attending the event on Saturday with my other teammates who didn’t wrestle and just watch, or the choice to serve as an athletic training student and leave on Friday with the team and have food and a hotel paid for. I decided to work as a student and get some experience while I was at it. It was well worth it since I was always mat side for each match.

It was an exciting tournament for sure. Next year, one of my goals is to win it and defend the tournament title. It’s a big thing to do since our team is young next year, but I know we can do it. I just hope they don’t mess up the scores again. I’d rather not celebrate thinking we won, then finding out the next day we lost because that would be a bad feeling.

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.

Pen Pals

Pen Pals

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Dear Readers,

Technology is getting better and better when it comes to communicating with people. Sometimes I get bored with technology though. Everything is so convenient that if you don’t get a call, text or Facebook notification all day, you feel unloved or unpopular. Lately I have been writing to a friend, with paper and pen. I am going back to a time without Internet and telephones, but I am not going as far back as to delivering the mail on a horse.

I used to check my mailbox every day hoping for any pointless random mail. I like the feeling of expecting something being in my mailbox like it is Christmas morning, but usually there is nothing there. I have recently started writing letters to my friend, Anna, and I have finally begun to get mail. I still check my mail every day although I know that I mailed her a letter the day before and I really doubt she even got it and wrote one back within a day.

I easily have the convenience of calling, e-mailing, texting and even video chatting her, but I don’t. I like the anticipation of getting a letter. Sometimes I am just having a rough day. Getting a letter takes me away for a moment and I feel as if I am in my own world while reading it. When you read a letter, it is more than just paper and ink. You have to imagine that the person that wrote it, is right there in front of you and he or she is reading the letter for you. It’s nice to just zone out of the real world for a moment and just focus on something so simple.

Letters are much more personal. You are able to say whatever you feel like saying and you know that the other person is going to take the time to read it. It means a lot when someone takes the time to read something you’ve written for them and then write back another two or three pages just for you. Writing is a lot different from having a conversation every day, simply because you have time to think about what you want to say. When you read a letter, you have more time to just think about everything that was written.

So how long will I keep this going? I am not sure, but I do know that I am not even slowing down. I’ve started getting more and more of my friends school mailbox addresses. Most of my friends go to colleges that are simply too far to visit on a weekend, so writing a letter is an alternative to keeping in touch. Letters are a great way to stay in contact with your close friends and it is an excuse to buy awesome postage stamps.

Sincerely,

Tyler J.

P.S. I don’t know what P.S. stands for, but I use it anyways.

A Great Day in Sports

A Great Day in Sports

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This past weekend marked a very eventful day in the Mount Union sports world. Being a part of the football team, I can honestly say that our game against Baldwin-Wallace was single-handedly the best game I have experienced to date. The stadium was packed and loud, and it was a very fun environment to be a part of. The game was a deciding factor for the OAC title and essentially came down to one last play on 4th down for us.

The play was a jump ball thrown from Matt Piloto to Chris Denton, with two defenders covering Chris. Somehow he came down with the catch and the stadium erupted. The photo is from the athletics website and shows how close of a play it truly was. Amazing. Then our defense was able to hold B-W for the last two minutes and the game ended on an incomplete pass. Just another step to winning our 11th national title this year, which has gathered the slogan of “11 in 11.”

It was a great game for my relatives and cousins to come to as well; their first game attended for the season was one of the best. What also added to the day was the Game Day Challenge I previously blogged about and helped to organize. There were stations set up throughout the whole stadium to help divert all the waste from the game away from landfills. I can’t wait to see the results and how much trash we diverted! Lastly, during the game there was an announcement that the woman’s volleyball team won their first-ever OAC title over Heidelberg, who are ranked ninth nationally. This just capped off an unbelievable weekend in Mount sports, and I hope the success continues throughout the post season!