Secondary School

Have You Hugged Your Athletic Trainer Today?

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Secondary School

Have You Hugged Your Athletic Trainer Today?

It’s a dirty job and the trainer has to do it.

Missionaries of many talents, sometimes they offer words of comfort. Other times they are purveyors of bad news. They may also make a quick fix.

And if blood or other bodily fluids come into play, our area high school athletes are in good hands as the rubber-gloved attendants take care of those issues as well. And needless to say, if something else arises, they are always quick to the scene with the throw-up bucket.

As Lexington Senior High’s one-person training staff, Meagan Chisholm spends most of her week nights at a Yellow Jacket sporting event. A graduate of LSHS, former biology teacher and currently a substitute teacher there, who looks young enough to pass for a student, Chisholm says she sees her job as “a way of giving back to the community where I played sports myself.” She was also an athlete, competing in basketball track and tennis.

It would seem that wrestling would be the most dreaded assignment for a trainer, who could be exposed to airborne viruses. “They do a really good job of cleaning the mats and checking the athletes prior to the events,” Chisholm explains. “I would think that it would not be any more dangerous than any sport where there is contact.”

Lexington athletic director Ronnie Beverly speaks highly of Chisholm. “She’s a jewel,” he said. “We get her anything she needs.”

Chisholm, who graduated from LSHS in 2009 and from Wingate in 2013, was certified as a trainer just one year ago. What’s the worst thing she’s seen? “A few broken bones, nothing too crazy.” Compound fractures? “No,” she answers. “Thank goodness.”

One may think that more gross encounters would occur in wrestling where bloody noses are frequent and heaving not uncommon. Not so, says Chisholm. “I think football pretty much takes the cake. It requires long periods of exertion and long periods of physical contact.”

Sometimes, though, there just so much they can do. A sprain or fracture, for example, can’t be fixed within a two-minute injury timeout on the mat.

Trainers, such as Chisholm, are the ones who see the suffering up close and feel the empathy.

“I hate being the bearer of bad news,” she said. “I sometimes feel sorry for the kids. That’s one of the downsides of the job. But the benefit I get is helping them all the way through rehab,” she said.

Dwight Davis can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 226 ordwight.davis@the-dispatch.com. Follow Dwight on Twitter@LexDispatch_dd

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