Alondra Fierros self-describes as an absolute nerd for the structure of the human body and optimizing its performance. “I really love human anatomy and physiology,” she explains. Her love for sports and knowledge of the musculoskeletal system she’s acquired from Mr. Lavigne have moved her to pursue study in kinesiology and sports medicine at the University of Illinois.
The Whole Body Approach
By Nate Fisher
Though her primary reason for these interests is because she “loves being around sports,” holding fundamental knowledge of the body, its strengths and limitations has also secured a well-informed understanding of its emotional and mental functions.
She wasn’t always a Momence girl. In third grade, she moved from Chicago to the district and was a bundle of nerves. “I did not know anyone,” she recalls. “My classmates have been together since they were in preschool and lived here their whole lives. I came here at eight years old, just looking at everybody.” The culture shock faded as Alondra’s natural friend-making abilities shifted into gear. Other students, intrigued by the new student, flocked to her with questions. Making friends wasn’t as difficult as she first thought, and it’s been that way ever since.
“I think [my friends] would say, ‘She’s very nice,’” Alondra says after briefly turning the question over in her head. The posterior cricoarytenoid muscles in her larynx prime themselves to expound on her answer. “I always get a lot of, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re too nice.’ But that’s just part of who I am,” she shrugs, her scapulae elevated and pushed into motion by the trapezius muscle. According to Alondra, she’s known for her smile, which her friends report is constant, a strain on the zygomaticus major muscle but well worth the effort and its effect.
Alondra plays volleyball and softball herself but also takes her duties assisting the boys’ basketball team seriously. She films practices and games, and it’s ground-floor immersion for the type of athletic training, familiarity with common injuries, and sports medicine she’ll become more heavily involved in when the field becomes her major. “Working with athletes is just something I’ve been interested in forever,” she admits. With that in mind, she’s more than ready for the opportunities opening when she begins her first semester of college.
Though our anatomy and physiology do wonderful things for our well-being, they can also remind us that we all have an allotted amount of time. Alondra lost her grandmother to complications from COVID her freshman year. “She was the glue of our family,” she says. “We always surrounded her.” The entire family was devastated, and she details that her own healing was a long process. “It took a while to recover. I was thinking about the good memories,” she smiles, “just keeping her memory alive. She did want me to follow my dreams.”
The roles afforded to Alondra through the world of sports medicine and athletic training will offer her instances to transform her loss into a source of empathetic connection and compassionate care. She’ll no doubt go on to help countless athletes while simultaneously finding a healing purpose in her journey. Optimal athletic performance is all about the best you, including all bodily dimensions, inside and outside. Alondra already understands this, and we can think of no one better to trust the holistic care of high-octane bodies to, than her.