Sgt. 1st Class Samantha Goldenstein
Rank/Branch: Sergeant First Class, Army
Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri
Injury: Hip injuries, including bilateral femoral acetabular impingements with labral tear
Program Participation: Adaptive Reconditioning
Sgt. 1st Class Samantha Goldenstein recovered from bilateral hip injuries at the Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, Warrior Transition Unit (WTU). As she progressed through her recovery surrounded by the support of the WTU Cadre, a team of medical and non-medical professionals, she found a new calling that enabled her to stay in the Army: serving as Cadre herself.
Shortly after arriving at the WTU, Goldenstein found a passion for cycling, excelling so much that she represented the Army at the 2014 Warrior Games in both cycling and track and field. Now, this Reservist serves as the Adaptive Reconditioning Coordinator at Fort Leonard Wood, helping other wounded, ill and injured Soldiers understand how much is still possible. Adaptive reconditioning, which includes competitive sports and activities such as yoga, horseback riding, hiking and gardening, optimizes recovering Soldiers’ physical, cognitive and emotional well-being.
"It's just finding new things I could do with my limitations," said Goldenstein. "I was looking to participate in a long distance sport other than running. I found cycling. I had never cycled before I was stationed at the Warrior Transition Unit, and it’s a real blessing."
In this new role, Goldenstein shares that passion with other Soldiers. "For me and my position as the adaptive sports coordinator, it’s great to be able to show my Soldiers that this is something you can do post-surgery and post-injury,” she said. “I want to be a role model for the Soldiers here."
Thinking toward the future, Goldenstein said she hopes to stay as mobile and competitive as she can while keeping a high level of athleticism. “Staying active in sports helps me to forget my physical limitations,” said Goldenstein. “My limitations have forced me to find new activities to participate in, and because of this, I have found many more sports that I enjoy."
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