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Macon trainer heads to Birmingham for 2022 World Games

The owner of Body Awareness Performance and Therapy in Macon has been helping heal athletes in Central Georgia for more than a decade.

MACON, Ga. — Through the doors of Body Awareness Performance and Therapy, you’ll meet the owner, Rodger Fleming.

His work in Macon has taken him as far as Guatemala and, now, to next week's World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, with an unexpected group.

“I had never played racquetball,” Fleming said. “I had never covered it as an allied health professional.”

Yes, racquetball.

Cryotherapy and infrared sauna are among the unusual treatment methods you’ll find Fleming using with clients at his west Macon practice. They’ve proven to be successful with athletes at every level, from Major League Baseball players to soccer moms.

But now – USA Racquetball.

After witnessing Team USA win gold at the World Championships in Guatemala City, Rodger’s hooked.

“No matter what's asked of you, you do it,” Fleming said. “It's a team effort, and that's what I love so much from Guatemala to the World Games. We're like a family.”

What’s more, Team USA’s don’t mince words when it comes to Rodger’s impact on the team.

“I mean Team USA got first place in the team overall competition, that's a really big deal,” former No. 1 and two-time world champion Rhona Rajsich said. “We haven't done that since 2014. So the fact that we had Rodger there with us and performed so well, he's kind of our MVP. He's our secret weapon I believe.”

When they make the trip to Birmingham next week, Team USA will also be one of, if not the only delegation with a dedicated trainer -- a no-brainer for everyone.

“It's confidence and it's actual 24/7 service,” team leader Cheryl Kirk said. “So that if they're in need of anything at all, he's their guy. And they're thrilled that he's going along.”

From working with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays, to even Rock and Roll Hall of Fame entertainers, the guy has done it all.

But even then for Rodger, the next opportunity is always the best one.

“It becomes the number one moment,” Fleming said. “I've been blessed and I'm humbled to have this opportunity. That makes it even more special, that they trust me to provide care for their athletes.”

And after one round of success with Rodger on board, it's safe to say Team USA isn't going to have it any other way.

“He worked on every single one of us at some point and I mean, before the trip was over, they were like, ‘you're coming on this one right?’” Rajsich said. “We’re grateful for him and we're leaning on him, frankly.”

The World Games begin on Thursday, July 7 in Birmingham, with racquetball competition beginning on Sunday, July 10 at the UAB Student Rec Center.

Following the World Games, Fleming will head to Eugene, Oregon for the World Athletics Track and Field Championships, beginning July 15.

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