3 : JR Nisivoccia, Physical Therapist: We Laughed, We Cried, We Hugged

A well hydrated JR Nisivoccia.

A well hydrated JR Nisivoccia.

In episode 3 of the Heads 'N Tales podcast I interviewed JR Nisivoccia who is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience.  JR was the physical therapist who helped me gain my strength back after the two head surgeries I underwent and he also helped me get through the lowest point mentally/emotionally I have experienced to date. 

Just to give you an idea of the type of guy JR is, after only knowing me for about a month prior to my head injury, he came to my house while I was still recovering and brought me lunch.  It was the day of my senior night and earlier that week my coach asked me to talk to my team prior to kickoff.  I was really nervous about doing this and JR helped me outline my speech while we ate.  We decided I should talk about how you never know when your last play is going to be.  I always prided myself on giving everything I had on every play, but to be honest, when I walked out onto the field on October 5, 2007 I didn't think it was going to be my last game.  Long story-short, I had half the team in tears and we ended up getting our first win of the season.  That was almost 8 years ago and JR continues to have my back because he is currently my boss at Atlantic Sports Health Physical Therapy.

In this episode, JR shares his personal story of rehabbing from an ACL injury in high school and how that eventually led to his current career path.  In addition, JR shares stories of perseverance from some of the patients he has treated over the years (keep tissues handy).  Below ares some of the questions that I ask JR:

  • What were the biggest obstacles in your recovery?
  • How did you overcome these obstacles and how long did it take you?
  • What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to an athlete who is recovery from an ACL injury?
  • What was your transition to college like without sports?
  • Why did you choose to pursue physical therapy for a career?
  • What characteristics do patients possess that lead to the most successful recoveries?
  • After seeing a lot of injuries through your job, does it make you worried about your own kids?
  • Why are sports valuable for you kids?
  • What is your definition of perseverance?

This interview was an emotional rollercoaster for us, we really did laugh (a lot), cry (a little) and hug.  JR provides great insight into what it takes to overcome any obstacle you come across in life and he will keep you laughing the whole time.

Thanks for everything, JR!  

- Kevin Saum

Download Episode 3 : iTunes | Stitcher