OPENING UP: Michael Discovers Self Through Sports Medicine Program
DULLES SOPHOMORE RACHEL MICHAEL HAS LEARNED A LOT ABOUT HERSELF IN ALMOST TWO YEARS WITH THE VIKINGS’ SPORTS MEDICINE PROGRAM.
She’s no longer the shy, timid young lady who first walked onto campus.
“I’ve learned how to bond with people,” Michael said. “I can be myself more around our coaches and even the athletes. I feel super comfortable.”
She also may have found her career path.
“As an athletic training student aide, we do a lot with hydration management, taping, physical therapy and basic first aid,” Michael said. “I find that super cool.”
Michael had no idea what sports medicine was when she was in middle school. But her older sister Anna’s involvement with the Dulles program and her uncle, Dr. Michael Abdelfayed, working in physical rehabilitation, piqued her interest.
Michael’s favorite sports to work are football and soccer.
“Football is the most hands-on sport for us,” she said. “We do the most with the athletes. And soccer, in my opinion, is just the most interesting to watch. Growing up, my dad was a huge soccer fan.”
VYPE spoke more with Michael.
VYPE: What is something high school athletes should adhere to more that you see from your perspective as a student trainer?
MICHAEL: Hydration is super important. A lot of the time, throughout their normal day, they neglect to drink water. And when they get on the field, they pay the price with cramps and having to sit out. You’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces, per day. That’s what I’ve heard. I also think a lot of times when athletes get injured, they try and tough it out and take care of it themselves. They should just come talk to us, because we’ll be able to help and we’ll have them on the road to recovery faster.
VYPE: How is the dynamic for you and Anna (a junior) being sisters in the program?
MICHAEL: I feel like it has brought us closer together. At first, we didn’t work any games together. We were like, ‘No, that’s not happening.’ Then we started working soccer games together and we have all this time to talk and learn things about each other. Now we work most of our games together.
VYPE: What do you think she’s learned about you?
MICHAEL: I think she gets to see a different side of me. When we start working games together, she started seeing a happier me. She’s even told me she’s really happy to see me open up to other people and be open to meeting new people.