Sunday, May 31, 2015

My Job as an Athletic Trainer

Rock Island, August 1975

When I was a kid, I hated sports -- who would willingly submit to having hard round projectiles hurled at them? -- but my parents wouldn't believe me.  "You're a boy!  Boys like sports!" they kept insisting as I unwrapped Christmas presents of basketballs and baseball bats.

Denkmann Elementary School didn't offer gym classes, so they insisted that I choose something from the Parks & Recreations Department "Kids Sports" program.  So I took judo lessons for three years, stopping only when the dojo moved to Davenport.

Washington Junior High offered a full range of team sports, so they began pushing me toward baseball, basketball, or...shudder...football. I compromised with wrestling, but dropped out after an unfortunate penis incident at a tournament.

In the supper of 1975, when I was about to start tenth grade at Rocky High, home of the Rocks, the litany began again: play a sport, play a sport, play a sport.  With even more urgency, since a boy with an aversion to athletics might be a Swish.  My Dad even forced me to try out for junior varsity football!

Noticing my dismay, my gym teacher, who was also the football coach, came up with another idea.  He asked if I had my Red Cross First Aid certificate.  I did. Then he suggested that I might like a job as an athletic trainer.

What do they do?

1. Run tape measures over athlete's muscular bodies to measure them for uniforms
2. Make sure the cups are snug but not so tight that they squeeze their extra-large sex organs
3. Massage their muscles if they get a cramp
4. Watch them carefully in the locker room after games to make sure they're feeling ok
5. Pass out towels as they walk naked toward the showers.
6. Tape and splint their muscles if they are injured.

Um...there are jobs like that, and not just in gay fantasy novels? Why didn't anybody tell me about this before? Sign me up!

Oh, and you get to watch all of the games from the sidelines.

Well, every job has its drawbacks.

I've often wondered why the coach thought of me for the job.  Was there a special sparkle in my eye as I looked at the first aid kits?  Or maybe I spent so much time gazing at muscles that he figured I'd get a kick out of working with them.

See also: The Naked Goldenboys at Football Tryouts

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