Portales resident Joel Sievers is the team physician for Eastern New Mexico University, Portales and Clovis high schools. Sievers said he believes overcoming an injury helps young people learn how to overcome other obstacles they will face in life.
“I enjoy teaching athletes about their injury and how to rehabilitate and watching them return to play,” he said.
Sievers, a track athlete in his youth, calls himself a pole vault fanatic and remains involved in the sport as a volunteer coach. In his free time, he enjoys visiting the mountains to hike, climb and ski.
When I get in my car, the first thing I listen to is… some good Christian rock!
In an alternative life, I would have been a… mountain guide/ski bum.
What’s your idea of a perfect day? A day spent in the wilderness, hiking with a few good friends. Seeing mountains and wildlife, but otherwise peaceful solitude.
If I had an open plane ticket to anywhere, I would go to… Europe. I’d hike to hike and ski in the Alps and to see France and Italy and my family’s origins in Germany.
After a long, hard day, I love to… play with my children.
One movie I could watch over and over again is… Planes, Trains and Automobiles for Steve Martin and John Candy.
Tell us about your greatest individual accomplishment. My senior track season of college was special. I won a lot of meets, set a few records, beat several world class pole vaulters and was an All-American but winning the Husker Invite against many of the top vaulters in the country was definitely the highlight. And Brian Stacy was my coach by the way.
The most unique place I’ve ever traveled is to… Hawaii, the big island.
What’s your theme song? “Jump” by Van Halen.
If you won a $1 million dollar lottery, what would you do first with the money? Buy my daughter Jenna a new car.
Who’s invited to your fantasy dinner party and why? 1. Jesus – he offered the ultimate sacrifice. 2. George Washington – a great leader and interesting American historical figure. 3. Hippocrates – the founder of medicine. 4. Michael Jordan – the greatest athlete of my lifetime.
What do you think about Clovis? The town is crazy about sports and has had phenomenal success. This is a good area to live and I really like practicing medicine here.
What is your greatest hope? Salvation through faith in Jesus my savior!
What’s so great about your favorite sport? Pole vault; it’s so challenging both physically and mentally. You are competing as much against yourself as you are the bar and other competitors. There is usually great support between vaulters, even those from rival schools.
Tell us about a happy time. There are so many, but the births of each of my three daughters are the best.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing your job? Teaching medical students or coaching track and field.
What do you envision your life being like in 10 years? Hopefully, a little bit slower than it is now.
When you were a kid, what did you think you’d be doing as an adult? I wanted to be a farmer when I was little. Then I thought I would be a pro athlete.
If money were no object, what would you do to make the world a better place? 1st – Eliminate insurance hassles and financial problems from keeping people from getting high quality health care. 2nd – I would transform the health care system to really focus on preventative care and promoting healthy lifestyles. Most of the health problems people experience are preventable.
Who is your hero and why? My wife. She is an amazing woman. First, Traci somehow balances our marriage, time as a mother, working hard as a teacher and coach, helping with my clinic and is a great cook as well. She’s the ultimate multi-tasker. Second, she was a great athlete and has become a great coach. She is very competitive.
Tell us how you met your spouse. It was during our freshman year of college. I was lifting weights after practice when Traci and some teammates walked through. I told a friend “I need to meet that pretty blond girl,” and I did.
Tell us about your first date. We went to a Schlotzchy’s for dinner, then bowling. She bowled 170+, I bowled about 110. It was a little humbling, but I thought she was pretty special.
Tell us about a time you were afraid. I was hiking in Colorado with a friend, Kevin Bord. We got caught in a summer snowstorm above 14,000 feet. On our descent, sparks flew off the edge of my cap a split second before lightning struck approximately 50 yards from us. Very scary!
What do you not like about your job? Dealing with insurance companies and the uncertainty that comes with the new healthcare law.
What is your most prized possession? My family.
— Compiled by FNM Correspondent Liliana Castillo