My name is Kaylie Langer, and I am going to be a guest blogger for Cindy from BodyFit Physical Therapy!
Just to introduce myself a little bit, I am a rising junior at Springfield College studying Athletic Training. I decided to study AT after suffering from an ACL injury when I was 15, which I’ll actually share with all of you in upcoming blogs. Before my injury, I was an all-season athlete: I did acrobatics from the fall to the summer; played softball in the spring, summer, and fall; and played soccer in the fall and winter. I started acrobatics and other dance classes when I was 3 and continued until I was 13. I started soccer and baseball at 5, switched to softball at 11, and played both through until my injury, where I never returned for fear of reinjuring myself.
My injury drastically changed the direction of my life—I was going to be an english major. Because of my injury, I am driven and focused, and have an idea of the things I want to accomplish. I wanted to be an author prior to my injury (which I still plan to be, but on the side now), but now I have concrete goals that I want to accomplish instead of this abstract idea of “being an author.” I still feel like a fraud sometimes, though. I haven’t been an athlete since I was 15 and my life does not revolve around sports like the patients I work with and the people I work alongside. But I’m still very passionate about athletic training and injury prevention and rehabilitation. In fact, I’m currently top of my class. My goals as of now include graduating with my bachelors and finding a job where they will hopefully pay for my masters degree in biomechanics, and eventually my PhD in athletic training.
I have many ideas of what I want to do with these credentials, but my biggest ambition is to complete research. I am most interested in research revolving around ACL injury, and actually already have two topics I would love to develop into actual research studies that I came up with and started researching at the beginning of my sophomore year. The one I have most developed is my idea to create sport-specific prophylactic training programs to eradicate ACL injuries from the sports world. This is a huge endeavor that may not be realistic, but go big or go home, right? In doing research for a paper I had to write, I learned that each sport displays distinct biomechanical patterns--there are distinct patterns in the way athletes of different sports move. Currently, the preventative training programs are all based around the biomechanics displayed in soccer athletes. But the way that soccer athletes injure their ACL is much different from how basketball athletes injure theirs from how tennis athletes injure theirs. So training athletes of different sports, different techniques, different injury movements and mechanics based on one sport isn’t going to be as effective as it could be. So I want to change that.
In doing research for that paper, I found only one study looking at what forces and movements that cause ACL injury. This basically means I have to lay the groundwork for my end-goal. I need to study the biomechanics of each sport, the injury patterns of each sport, the force distribution, and more, before I can even begin developing training programs.
But I’m up to the task. I’m hardworking and determined, and I want to make a difference, I’m ready to make a difference.