May 23, 2011
By Lacey Twingstrom BRONZE, Carrollton, Texas
Lacey Twingstrom BRONZE, Carrollton, Texas
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Affection. Dedication. Devotion. Passion. Passion is what drives most people to pursue their dreams and to continue to push themselves further into doing what they love. My passion has grown tremendously, due to the outstanding Sports Medicine program I have participated in for the past four years.
Entering into my freshman year of high school, I knew I wanted to be a part of a program that was bigger than myself. But little did I know, when I wrote those four numbers for Sports Medicine I on my course sign up sheet, that, that was in fact what I was signing up for. Though I wasn’t exactly clear on what I was signing up for, I had heard a lot of rumor about what this class was. I knew I would be dealing with athletes and their injuries, but I wasn’t aware of the impact it would have on my future career.
Becoming a Student Athletic Trainer started the beginning of August in 2007, about three weeks before school began. I wasn’t allowed to take baby steps to get used to the program; I was immediately thrown in after orientation. In orientation we learned how to perform CPR and first aid and were given a schedule for the next weeks two-a-days football practices. I had the very next day. There I was, a tremendously nervous freshman, standing out on the football field, in 100 degree plus weather, water bottle set in hand, watching a sport I knew absolutely nothing about. After practice, I went home and laid on the couch for hours, contemplating if I really wanted to continue the program and go back to football practice the next day. But I decided I needed to give it a chance, I wanted something new, and I needed a change, so I stuck it out.

When school began a couple weeks later, I found myself wanting to go to football practice and stand out in the smoldering heat. And I just could not wait to get back into the classroom to learn more about the body, how injuries occurred and how to help athletes get back to playing. I was absolutely in love with the program that I hated not three weeks earlier. Now here I am, after four years of learning anatomy, from bones to muscles to ligaments, and learning about the numerous injuries that occur, I have found myself entirely captivated with the body. Still to this day, I cannot wait to learn new things about how the body functions.

One of the most impacting things athletic training has had on my life, is when I spent four days in Washington competing in the Washington Vocational Sports Medicine Association Competition. I spent four days, making memories with my peer student athletic trainers, touring around Seattle, Lacey and Grand Mound Washington. After three written tests, and an oral test, our team of student athletic trainers came in twelfth place out of forty teams. This was extremely impressive for us, because this competition was based off of Washington’s sports medicine curriculum, which is completely different than Texas’ curriculum. I placed third out of my team’s scores, and as a junior, that was a personal best for me. I then realized that I was not only learning the information given to me, but also absorbing it. It confirmed my passion.

Nothing fascinates me more than seeing a compound fracture, with a bloody bone sticking out of the skin. The first time I saw a pinky bone out of the skin, and I wasn’t completely grossed out, I knew that the medical field was where I belonged.

The most rewarding part about being a Student Athletic Trainer is knowing that I have made even the slightest difference in athletes lives, by taping them up before a game, giving them water during their game, or rehabbing them to be able to get back playing again. Hearing a simple “thank you” or seeing a smile across their face, makes all the hundreds of hours spent sitting on a bench, or standing on the sidelines at various sports events, and hundreds of hours spent studying and practicing new material in order to ensure I am capable of performing my knowledge on an athlete that has been injured, makes it all worth it.

I would never have thought that a high school program, those four numbers for Sports Medicine I written on my course sign up sheet, would develop such a fiery passion in me. From being a nervous freshman to a confidant senior, with a burning passion for helping others, this program has built my strong dedication for helping people. Helping others and making a difference in peoples lives in the only thing I want to devote my life to. The biggest reward someone could give me for allowing me to help him or her is a simple smile. I know this is truly my calling, helping people is my passion.

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