One-on-one with Queens College Head Athletic Trainer Daniel Hernandez. He joined QC as an Assistant Athletic Trainer in 2013.
Why did you decide to become a physical trainer?
When I first got into physical therapy, I was in high school. In my junior year, I saw how beneficial it was to be an athletic trainer, and, at the time, I was looking into careers and I knew I liked sciences and math.
I really hate an office, formal setting. I don’t like sitting at a desk; I find it is unsettling. When I realized this setting was very active, I went into my undergraduate [to] declare [a physical therapy major] and I never switched.
What made you so passionate about the career?
It’s the fact that everyday is different. There’s always a new challenge [and] there’s always something new. Everyday in itself is unique. The challenges you face everyday are unique, [and] it’s the variety that I really enjoy.
What is the toughest aspect of your job?
You always have to work with a lot of things at once. You have to be really good at multitasking. It can be very taxing if you’re not used to it.
Normally, I’m doing five things at once. You have to have the right mindset for it. The job is not just about having fun and being able to watch games.
What’s your favorite aspect of it?
There’s nothing better than doing game coverage. I was paid to travel with the woman’s basketball team and go to the NCAA tournament. It’s awesome. I got to experience that from the sidelines.
The Yankees’ trainer gets to watch every Yankee game from the dugout, [and] that’s insane. If you love sports and that experience, there’s nothing better.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to do a lot of outdoor activities. I’m a camper and love to go to a large amount of sporting events even when I’m not working. But I only really get time during the summer. During the school year [I’m] busy the entire time; there isn’t a lot of down time.
The bonus of that is you never have any free time to spend money. When the summer comes, I have all this money to spend because I did nothing for the last 10 months.
What’s your favorite sport?
I will always love football. It’s annoying to work because you don’t get to watch the games. In football, you’re frequently working on things because they are constantly getting bruises and being tapped.
What’s Favorite movie?
That’s easy: Princess Bride. There are so many great jokes in that I can’t get enough.
What is something people don’t know about you?
Most people are surprised that I’m an adrenaline junkie in my spare time. If I’m not at work, I’m on my motorcycle, and if I have free time, I’m going to try and go skydiving, surfing and snowboarding.
I love being outdoors and going fast. Looking back, that’s probably why I got into this major because it’s very fast paced. I’m really into any kind of extreme sports. I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s almost second nature.
If I have free time, I’m likely going camping and mountain biking for a while. After [I’ll do some] kayaking down some rapids and finish on the beach.