Tucked behind the locker rooms in the main gym is the athletic training room, where Hunter Steigman, FHE’s athletic trainer, has resided for the past two years. Whether it’s a sprained ankle, a bad knee, or a sore back, Hunter helps athletes stay as healthy as possible. Hunter also welcomes individuals who simply want to do their stretches and workouts in the athletic training room or those who simply want to talk to him. “I like providing whatever peace I can in my little bit of time [for everyone who comes in],” Hunter stated, adding that he loves being able to spend one-on-one time with individuals and get to know them better.
“One of the reasons I [became] an athletic trainer was because I got hurt [in high school sports],” Hunter shares as his reason for pursuing sports medicine. This was one of the more influential factors in the decision because before his senior year of high school began, Hunter sustained a minor ankle injury, and after taking a week off to recover, he returned to discover that his football jersey was given away to an underclassman. “If my athletic trainer was there [at practice] and I went to see him I would have been immediately back the next day, something about that just struck me [at the time]…[I realized] it’s so important that somebody’s there to take care of athletes and to make them feel like their still part of the team when they’re hurt.” Hunter’s love for sports also contributed to the career choice, explaining how important sports were to him as a child. He believes, “it’s really important for people to still have that place where they can let go and feel like they’re a part of something and just feel good and spend time with their friends.”
Hunter’s favorite part of working with a high school is “being around people and feeling like I have a one-to-one impact on them.” In comparison to other careers, Hunter considers the human connection that physical therapy provides, the most meaningful part of his work.
Outside of physical therapy, Hunter spends much of his free time exploring music. Most mornings before coming to FHE, Hunter either practices the piano, watches videos about music or watches Youtube videos on video/music production skills. He accredits this interest to his family, with his grandpa being a former band director at Michigan State University. “My mom and her brothers and sisters grew up in a musical household; everyone played an instrument,” Hunter explains. “My mom never really ended up getting into that scene, but I spent a lot of time with my grandma and grandpa because my mom was always working,” Hunter continues, “…the music playing in the background was always stimulating my brain on different sounds and stuff like that. I felt like I got a good mixture of a lot of different [types of] music and different cultures because of my being biracial. I think it made me a very understanding person in that sense.”
Besides helping athletes, Hunter’s main goal is to enjoy what life has to offer and make the most of it. “My biggest thing is just being that light [for other people]. Even when I don’t really feel like it, I just want other people to feel happy.” Hunter later added to that statement, saying “I want to be the guy who’s full of life and makes everybody else be like ‘you know what? I want to be happy like that guy.’”