Friday, August 26, 2011


When I was a sophmore in undergrad, there was this senior who was going into the Marines after he graduated. He was an athletic trainer like me and I was placed with him in the same rotation: softball. It was a pretty low key sport and by no means needed two student athletic trainers. However, I did learn a lot from this senior. Because he was goig into the Marines he had already started going to to training. And sometimes he would tell me about it.

He told me about this one training tactic that I thought was pretty genius and yet twisted at the same time. He and the other guys (I don't know if there were girls now that I think about it) would sit in a room and hit their forearms with an object. I forget the exact object they used it could have been a ruler. The point was that they would desensitize their top layer of skin so that minor scrapes and bruises wouldn't bother them as much. April (the head AT) and I would take turns trying to give him Indian burns (is that a politically correct term anymore?) but it would not bother him.

I haven't thought about this for a while hence the details being fuzzy. But I was telling this kid about it because he had an annoying bruise on his forearm that we kept padding during practice so it would not hurt as much. I told him he should do that and in essence harden his skin. I was completely kidding and he did not take me seriously but it got me thinking.

I think this concept could be applied to somethig bigger.

The coaches at my school like to give the kids a hard time when they're hurt. They call them soft or just sigh heavily when they're talkig to them. It bothers me. A lot. But there is literally nothing I can do about it. It is the culture in this town and really it is done to give the kid a hard time and not necessarily done in an abusive way.

So I realize I needed to harden my feelings towards all comments made by the coaches. I am someone who thrives on positive encouragement. This is evidenced by the fact that my favorite coach here is the one who has said I was doing a good job.

But when the head coach is riding the kid who just sprained his ankle during a game, I really need to let it go. I need to talk to the kid myself and say 'I don't care what he says, you are not playing because I do not want you to injure yourself worse.' And then I need to systematically desensitize my self towards anything any of the coaches say.

In essence, harden myself.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday Night Lights

Last night was the first home use of the Pirate Field at my high school. It was only a scrimmage but I realized how much I love what I'm doing. It is so overwhelming the position I am in but at the same time it is so rewarding.

During the scrimmage, I had to cover multiple bleeding wounds. There was this one kid who came back to me two seconds after I covered his elbow and I was giving him a hard time about bleeding too much. I proceeded to cover it, realizing I had to maintain some level of professionalism on the field. He then smiled and said "Thank you! I love you" in an impish sort of way. It absolutely made my day. He by no means meant it in any other way then a child to a caretaker way.

There is something about high schoolers that I absolutely love. They are naive and yet at the same time think they know so much about the world. I'm just glad I'm not still in that phase.

There were some injuries last night that I had to rush on the field to attend to. Thankfully, none were catastrophic but it gave me good practice for when there will be an injury and I will have to activate EMS and c-spine an athlete and it will be me in charge. But until then, I will continue to pray for no injuries.

And I was introduced in front of the whole crowd as the new athletic trainer. I definitely was not expecting that but now everyone has a face to whenever their child talks about their "trainer."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Thats the ratio of me to the number of athletes. I knew this number coming in to this job but I didn't think it was that big of deal until I got here. When I am at the high school, there is a constant stream of athletes. Sometimes they are minor injuries and other times it is a career changing injury.

Theres been this kid for the last two weeks who has had this knot in his back. And sometimes there has been numbness and tingling. I thought it was going away but than Monday he said it was worse. After talking to some people that night I started thinking of other things I could do. The next morning he came in and he had a positive compression test. So I told him he needed to go get x-rays. His mom came and it turns out his first rib was broken. Can you believe he's been playing football this long with a fractured rib? I'm just glad nothing more serious happened but now there goes his season. That is really the worse part of this job.

Another part of this job I am not a fan of are the coaches who try to keep it old school. They want to rub some dirt on it. And yes some of the kids need to do this but some of them do have serious injuries. And it is so annoying when the coach yells at the kid to man up when they are getting treatment. But it will get better. Maybe.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Texas Living

I have officially been in Texas for a week. My parents left Wednesday morning. Not before spoiling me with items for my new apartment. I have already been at my job for five days. Practice starts at 7:00am. I like to be there a half hour before that. And it is about 25 miles from my apartment.

Yes, it has been really early mornings.

But it has, thus far, been worth it. I love the kids already. Wednesday morning I walked into the gym where the cross country team was meeting and received an echo of "Good morning, Miss Read." I interact mostly with football players and volleyball players and they are the politest kids in the world.

The high school is in a small town, and everything they say about small towns is true. Also, it seems that every kid is in a relationship. And I have already heard about the drama of playing and not playing and boyfriend/girlfriend he said/she said.

It has also been very stressful as I am not completely sure of myself. I am just grateful that on the first day of hitting in pads there were not three concussions like there was on my first day at South Hills High School. I have already held a player out to the disappointment of the coach (who is also the athletic director). But now the kid is fine, so I'm not too broken up about the situation. Also, one of the coaches came up to me on Friday, gave me a side hug, and said I was doing a good job for only being here a week. It made my day.

I am currently living on my own, which is an experience of itself. I have already learned I cannot watch creepy shows when it is close to bedtime. My job keeps me busy through the week but on the weekends I have needed to learn to slow down. Which I honestly have not achieved. I pick up my roommate from the airport next Saturday and I cannot wait for the company. I think I miss that the most: community. Face-to-face talking with people my own age or older. Not high schoolers. I do not miss that drama.

This morning I went to a local church, but it did not seem like a good fit for me. Throughout the service, I wavered between wanting to go up to the welcome desk to join a lifegroup to not wanting to. Ultimately, I refrained. If I was on the fence, maybe it just wasn't the time. Next week I'm going to First Baptist of Waco. My sister will be so proud.

Also it has been so hot. Record breaking hot. Texans are hoping for hurricanes to break up this heat wave. It has seriously been the thing that has made me most want to get out here fast. But pretty soon I'll be saying that about the cold. Maybe I'll learn to embrace the weather.

Like I am embracing the quiet in this apartment.

Family Pictures

I absolutely adore my family.

And I miss them like crazy.