Jul 12, 2018 - Education

Genetics with a kick, a soccer injury sparks a genetics education

By Luis Nunez, Marketing Intern — Genetics Club 

I have always loved to play soccer. At a young age I trained daily, but as I grew older I realized it took more than just playing the game to perform at my best — it took a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and a weight lifting regimen.

For most of my childhood, I focused on being healthy so I could be a better soccer player, but that changed after I suffered a season ending injury. Now I am active and eat healthy not because of soccer but to take care of my overall health.

Just like when I first learned that being a great soccer player meant doing more than just playing on  the field, I’m now learning that maintaining good health requires more. Knowledge is key.

This knowledge didn’t come easy. After fracturing a bone in my foot, and having to go through multiple surgeries due to complications, I wanted to know more about my own body and why I might have responded differently to various treatments. My doctors suggested that some complications that I experienced could have been influenced by my genetics. This intrigued me and I wanted to learn more.

While going through different surgeries, I asked myself: What did I do wrong to be going through this horrific experience? But I soon realized that some things in life are out of my control. I decided to explore genetics and how my genes could affect both my health and my recovery. Although I can’t do anything about the genes I inherited, I do have the ability  to learn more about them and make better decisions based on what I learn. Also as an athlete, understanding my body and how it works is crucial to my overall performance.

Finding accurate resources to learn about genetics can sometimes be difficult. At 23andMe, through the education website, you can learn about genetics in different ways. For example, through webinars or articles. You can also continue the conversation at your college by starting a Genetics Club where you can invite your friends to join the journey of learning about genetics with you. So don’t stop asking questions, stay curious, and join the 23andMe Genetics Club. Sign up today and keep the conversation about genetics going at: https://education.23andme.com/

Luis was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a senior studying Marketing at Menlo College and plays collegiate soccer as a center midfielder. He loves soccer and has been playing since he was 6 years old. He also enjoys running and working out and loves to visit new coffee shops.

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