Neri Getraide is a 24-year-old student-athlete from Israel. She is majoring in HPE with a minor in athletic training and plans to graduate in the spring of 2021.
Neri chose this field of study to help her realize her dream of becoming a physical therapist and working with professional athletes. "As an athlete, I know how physical therapy can affect your whole season. It can be the difference between achieving your goals and not being able to play, run or perform at all," she said. "Being an athlete, I find a lot of interest in the human body and the human body systems, I find the different body mechanisms being absolutely genius, and the idea that we can heal our own bodies by movement and different exercises is amazing to me."
She hopes to become an "excellent physical therapist," so she can work with athletes at the highest levels and stay involved with the competitive aspects of the sport even after the end of her athletic career. She hopes to be a part of athletes' success and to help them reach various international championships.
Neri is currently a junior at ENMU, having transferred from Iowa Western Community College. She earned a place on the dean's list for her work last semester and hopes to achieve the same marks this time around.
On top of her work as a student, Neri is a student-athlete on the track team. "I am running the 800 and grateful for the opportunity I have to represent ENMU and work with our amazing track and field team and staff," she shared.
Neri grew up in a small village with her two older brothers, one younger brother and her parents. "We live on the Carmel Mountain, viewing the Mediterranean Sea and a five-minute drive from the closest beach. Growing up on the beach, I learned to surf when I was 14 and fell in love with this sport," she said.
Dr. Sarah J. Wall, an associate professor of kinesiology at ENMU, has helped Neri understand the steps to take in order to become involved in physical therapy in the U.S., for which she is very grateful.
The student-athlete's favorite place on campus is the Greyhound Stadium track. "When I get there, every little worry or stress are disappearing and, from that moment, the only important thing is the next run, the next set, the next time. I found myself getting to my absolute physical and mental limits on that track, and there is no better feeling than to know that you gave your all," she explained.
The functions of the human body are a point of great interest to Neri. Her favorite class at Eastern has been Anatomy and Physiology. It may be the hardest class she has taken yet, but she doesn't let that deter her from learning all she can.
Neri's passion for her sport was a large part of her decision to come to Eastern. "I chose to attend ENMU because Coach Jeff Kavalunas gave me a once in a lifetime opportunity to become the athlete I've always wanted to be, and I took it with two hands," she described.
This Greyhound has some advice for those looking to pursue their passions in life: "Just go for it. It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it once you realize that you get to do the thing you love the most for the rest of your life."
Neri's favorite parts of the ENMU experience are the bonds she has made, and the sense of family she has formed: "Being so far from home sometimes you need this comfort and support, especially when you are a full-time student and an athlete."