IPT Athlete of the Month

Athletes and kids that inspire us all! 

Congratulations Nina!
Athlete of the Month
January 2021

Meet Nina

What Sport do you participate in?


What other sports have you played in?

I was a competitive swimmer, I’ve done cheerleading, and a little lacrosse.

How long have you cheered for?

I’ve been a cheerleader for the last four years.
What is your favorite role in cheer?

I’m a base when stunting for cheer but I tend to do more tumbling.
What is your favorite thing to eat before you play?

My favorite thing to eat before I cheer is a bagel and I love to have a rebel from Dutch Bros before games. Passion mango is my favorite flavor!
What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is The Wind Rises. It’s very sad but is a beautiful expression of spiritual connection between humans.
What injury did you have? Did you have surgery?

I have scoliosis, which means my spine is curved from side to side. I had two curves, one about 60 degrees and the other to a lesser degree. 6 of my vertebrae were fused from T-10 to L-3 last summer. I’ve got some fun metal rods and screws in there as well, y’know, just for decoration.
What did you learn from your surgery?

Through my surgery and my ongoing recovery process I’ve learned that you can’t do everything by yourself. I’ve always been a very independent person, from when I was born, really, and a strong self-advocate. When I was in agony and it was hard for me to take care of myself; to dress myself and keep basic hygiene, I had horrible self-confidence issues. It felt like I was a little kid again and I needed someone to hold my hand. At times, I was too stubborn to ask for help, but in life you can’t do everything alone. Humans, by nature, are social creatures, and we need a support network to get us through the worst of the pain we experience, because pain in life is inevitable. There’s no denying that. However, there’s no reason to make it even harder for yourself by refusing help from the ones you love. The biggest takeaway I got from my surgery and recovery experience was that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is your greatest strength.

What advice would you give a kid that is recovering from an injury?

If I were to get a chance to give another kid with an injury advice, I’d first let them know that they are not alone in their struggle. Injuries can be debilitating and make heavy hits to your self-image and confidence. A physical infirmity is not what defines how strong you are. Those who have the strongest comebacks from injuries can count on their mindset and their grit to get through their recovery. My father has always told me to focus on what I can control and leave what I can’t up to the universe. In terms of injury recovery, what you can control is how you treat your body. Physical therapy is super important, and consistency is key to a speedy recovery. It might feel like the end of the world, but trust me, it isn’t. One day, you’ll be able to look back on your injury knowing that you defeated it and gained wisdom along the way.

Past Athletes of the Month

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Beaverton, OR 97007


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