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Determination and Patience – Siera’s Comeback Story

Exercise and nutrition are important to living a healthy, happy life, especially for Omaha Physical Therapy Institute’s rock star patient, Siera Zach!  Siera is a personal trainer, competitive weightlifter, and coach who has overcome an injury that kept her from doing what she loved.  Through her determination and patience, she is back and better than ever!  Check out Siera’s Comeback Story!

What was your injury?  How did you injure yourself?

The injury I overcame was a torn hip labrum. I injured myself through the wear and tear of being a competitive athlete most of my life.  My labral tear took me out of my current sport, Olympic Weightlifting.  Weightlifting consists of the “snatch” and “clean and jerk”, which both require squatting daily.  The pain gradually increased across the span of 6-7 months…

Finally, I had enough. I met with multiple physical therapists for a general screening with my last stop being Brent Cordery, physical therapist at Omaha Physical Therapy Institute.  He technically only had to spend 15 minutes tops with me, giving me ideas on what the problem could be. Instead, he spent 30+ minutes. Brent put explanations in the simplest terms.  He gave me exercises to try and said if I didn’t follow up with him in 2 weeks then he would call me.  And he did! I was hoping things would get better with the suggestions Brent gave me, but no such luck, so I followed through with surgery to repair my torn labrum in my hip.

What did you learn from your experience in physical therapy?

From my experience with OPTI, I learned that patience is key.  There was only so much I could do to help my body recover, and no matter how much I wanted it to be better the next week, my body just needed time.

What did you enjoy most about OPTI?

OPTI was the highlight of my week while I was in physical therapy.  Everyone was welcoming and passionate about their work.  It was truly the best 30 minutes, with great music and chats.

What advice would you give someone that is recovering from an injury?

The advice I would give to anyone recovering from an injury is BE PATIENT.  Do not rush what your body is not ready for.  Time gives you so many other opportunities.  My greatest opportunity was discovering myself outside of athletics.  Being an athlete my whole life, I truly did not think I had an identity outside of it.  Learn, meditate, find new ways to better yourself.  Remind yourself that these weeks, months, or years are the tiniest portion of your life and it is just a speed bump.

What have you accomplished since coming back from your injury?

I had surgery on my hip about 1 year ago.  Since then, I’ve been full speed back into competitive weightlifting, remotely lifting for Brooklyn Barbell Club out of New York.  I’ve earned life-time personal bests on almost every lift, squats included, which was the most painful part for months before surgery.  I have weightlifting meets on the schedule, with hopes of returning to Nationals in June 2021.

What activities/hobbies/jobs do you enjoy/have?

I share my love for fitness as a coach and personal trainer, teaching kids and adults how to make fitness more exciting rather than it feeling like a dreadful chore.  I’m also a photographer, getting to give people photos of themselves that they feel great in.  Anything I can do to make others feel more confident about themselves is pretty much my favorite thing to do.

I’m so grateful to have found OPTI.  They’re honest, trustworthy, and make the recovery process as fun as it can be.  I’m excited to continue grinding my way to the top as an athlete!

Thanks OPTI and Brent for helping me through this bump in the road!

– Siera Zach (OPTI alum, Personal Trainer, Olympic Weightlifter, Awesome Person)


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