By: Adaora Ntukogu
This Summer, I became a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. My decision to pursue this certification was very spontaneous, but quickly became necessary and obvious. From childhood, I have always been very active. I played soccer, volleyball, softball, basketball, and I ran track. My father saw it fit that my siblings and I participate in athletics because it involved competition, teamwork, and stepping out of our comfort zones. However, I began to view sports through a different lens. As a child, I took a profound interest in the visual arts and participated in a talented visual arts program (TAV) from elementary through high school. Senior year of high school is when I began taking art more seriously; I developed my own artistic style and persona. I also began to dabble in poetry and short stories.
Around this time, basketball was also becoming serious. I was a starting player on the girl’s varsity team, as well as an all district and an all star player. My passion for arts positively impacted my experience as an athlete. I saw sports as an art. It was a way for me to perform and to entertain. There was a beauty in challenging my body and showing off its capabilities. Each sport was a different performance and required different movements and abilities.
I realized this after basketball season had ended, and I began running track. Track placed different demands on my body than basketball did and I began to train in a different way. I wanted to know why. I became inquisitive. I would interrogate my strength and conditioning coach. “Why do the sprinters do different workouts than the long-distance runners?” He would always answer with “Adaora, it’s because they have different goals.” I began to see my body as a canvas, and I, myself, as the artist in control. I understood that I could train in a specific way to achieve specific goals but I lacked the science behind it.
As a human health major on the pre-med track, I am constantly acquiring knowledge about the health of populations and the prevention of illness, as well as current issues in public health and new scientific concepts. In fact, this summer, I shadowed at the Hope Clinic of Emory, because, in my “Predictive Health” class, I realized that I was very interested in infectious diseases and wanted to explore this topic further.
The interdisciplinary approach of human health, gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a personal training certification. I believe this certification will enhance my future career in health and medicine because it requires compassion, specificity, and awareness. I am very excited about being a News Team Member for Destination HealthEU because it will serve as a platform for me to broadcast and delve deeper into my interests