Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Fort Carson Mountaineer

Athletic trainer empowers soldiers to improve

By Pfc. Julia Scott | 14th Public Affairs Detachment

FORT CARSON, Colo. — “Where can I go next that I haven’t experienced yet?” Christina Lorete wondered. As a certified athletic trainer with a master’s in athletic training, she worked with a wide variety of people, from white collar workers at Boeing, to collegiate club athletes and hospital patients.

“Moving forward, I wanted to work with people who want to get better and have high motivation,” said Lorete, the certified athletic trainer for Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 4th Infantry Division.

Her father and brother were both in the military, and serving service members seemed like a perfect fit.

Lorete began working with Drew Henley, Fort Carson’s Human Performance Optimization Program strength and conditioning specialist, in December 2020. Although athletics, even in the military, can be a predominately male area, she was confident she had much to offer Soldiers, and she feels secure in her knowledge and capabilities.

“I know what I can do to help Soldiers,” said Lorete. “And I know my role as an athletic trainer. I am a subject matter expert.”

Her first goal as she integrated into the 4th Infantry Division was to learn the organization and get a feel for Soldiers’ day-to-day challenges and routines. She is currently focusing on helping Soldiers in one-and-one appointments either in Garcia Physical Therapy Clinic or at morning physical training.

She and Henley are both passionate about impacting Soldiers by building relationships and sharing information in an informal setting. While they are moving toward a more formal education system, Lorete and Henley are currently focused on letting Soldiers know they are available to help.

Lorete and Henley can often be found walking around during morning physical training sessions talking to Soldiers. As units around Fort Carson continue to train for the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT), she has already seen plenty of ways she can help Soldiers meet their goals and stay healthy. Since the ACFT uses multi-joint movements, the athletic trainer stresses the importance of teaching simple movements to build into more complex functions. She also helps Soldiers rehabilitate injuries and prevent a cycle of future injury.

Lorete said her long-term goal is to help as many people as possible by empowering them with the knowledge and education to take care of themselves. She feels confident she can teach Soldiers through reconditioning to break the cycle of injury, recovery and reinjury.

Henley, who has worked with professional baseball and football teams and collegiate athletes, wanted to work with Soldiers to “impact people beyond just their athletic careers” and keep a holistic approach to performance. He praised Lorete’s efforts so far, noting that having a well-trained athletic specialist helps him focus on developing strength training programs for Soldiers.

“She is a versatile asset,” said Henley. “Athletic trainers act as a bridge between performance and physical therapy.”

As Lorete and Henley work to increase performance metrics and, ultimately, deployability within the 4th Inf. Div., they hope to continue developing flexible programs to meet units’ needs. They want Soldiers to know they are available and willing to share their knowledge.

“Come talk to me,” said Lorete. “We’re here and we’re a resource.”

Athletic trainer empowers soldiers to improve
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