Unsung Heroes: Mr. Sessions

Simone Chu, Editor-in-Chief

Jack Sessions is in motion.

The physical therapy room is a flurry of activity. It’s an unusually warm March day, and spring season is in full swing. Dozens of athletes from all sports are there, working on rehabilitation exercises, wrapping joints, and getting ice for inflamed muscles and tendons.

It’s an easy place to get lost in, but Mr. Sessions moves with an assured fluidity, the kind that only comes with lots of practice.

“Shoulder?” He guesses, as a swimmer—shirt damp from being put on before the torso is fully dry—approaches him. He studies him for a moment. “You came here for a shoulder injury before, right?”

“A few weeks ago,” the student says.

“And it’s come back?” Mr. Sessions leads the swimmer through a series of motions. The questions come with practiced fluidity. “Can you move it like this? At what point does it hurt? When did this start bothering you again?”

There are dozens of athletes in the room, but Mr. Sessions gives his patient his absolute focus while he’s with him. He is methodical, calm, and efficient.

He has to be.

Each and every day is jam-packed for Mr. Sessions, who teaches five periods of sports medicine, and then works as an athletic trainer for the remainder of the day. “I finish when the last sport is done,” he says. “In football season, that can be midnight. In spring season, it’s anywhere from 7 to 10 p.m.” He stays in good humor all the while, despite the immense stress of having only one pair of hands when there are dozens who need him.

When asked what first appealed to him about sports medicine, he deadpans, “The lack of activity, clearly.” It lasts a second before he breaks into a smile. He’s busy as he talks, checking on a track team member’s hamstring, pointing students toward supplies.

Before he was an athletic trainer, Mr. Sessions was an athlete himself. “I played soccer my whole life through college,” he says. “And if I wasn’t going to make it as a professional, this was the next best thing!”

AHS is fortunate to have him. The athletes all greet him with familiarity; even though he’s flooded with students to treat and constantly busy, he’s focused and positive, and the physical therapy room is brighter for it.

“My favorite part of my job is that I get to help people get healthier,” Mr. Sessions says. “I get to see an athlete from the moment of injury to the moment of return and throughout the whole process in between.”

And the athletes all trust him to get them to that moment of return. There is no trace of dread in the physical therapy room. Some heroes wear capes—others coax joints and muscles back to full strength.

So thank you, Mr. Sessions, for giving so much of your time and energy to help us recover.