News

Flaten finds a niche in JMU kinesiology

Former Air Force Staff Sergeant and professional cyclist now studies exercise science


 

SUMMARY: Flaten represents the portion of JMU’s students that are veterans going back to school after their time in the military. According to Flaten, JMU has various resources available to veterans including a veteran adviser that helps them with the cultural adjustment of student life.


By: Brittany Bell
Creative Services Student Writer

David Flaten

For seven years David Flaten worked in security forces for the United States Air Force. In 2014, he was accepted into the Air Force’s World Class Athlete Program and began training as a professional cyclist. He chose to train in Harrisonburg and now four years later he has returned to attend JMU.

Flaten first discovered Harrisonburg after visiting another cyclist friend who lived in the area. He immediately fell in love with the challenges of our mountain trails and knew they would be perfect for his training after he joined the athlete program. Famous marathon mountain biker Jeremiah Bishop helped with Flaten’s training until his release from the program in 2016. After a stint at the Dover Air Force base in Delaware he returned to Harrisonburg to start his college career at JMU studying kinesiology.

“I got to travel the world while racing but something kept drawing me back to the trails here, “ Flaten said. “I figured I would move somewhere that would challenge me physically, and now JMU is challenging me mentally to grow as a well-rounded individual.”

Flaten represents the portion of JMU’s students that are veterans going back to school after their time in the military. According to Flaten, JMU has various resources available to veterans including a veteran adviser that helps them with the cultural adjustment of student life. Flaten has had an easier transition due to the time he spent here training.

David Flaten

“I think the adjustment was so easy because I’ve already lived the training-civilian-mountain biker life, and now the only new variable is school and a puppy,” Flaten said.

Flaten’s plan is to earn a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, and then continue his studies in graduate school. He hopes that his education here will enhance his current career as an online coach to athletes all over the country. Currently he prescribes workouts and nutritional plans to follow, but he wants a better understanding of how the body works. After college, Flaten plans to continue virtual coaching full-time so that he has more flexibility for his own training.

“That’s why I’m focusing on kinesiology and exercise physiology,” said Flaten. “I’m looking to learn the foundations of being a better coach and understand how things work and know what I’m talking about.”

Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Back to Top

Related Articles