Nickadoums Heinzman: Championing Health and Wellness

Nickadoums Heinzman: Championing Health and Wellness

Meet Nickadoums Heinzman, a dedicated athlete from Billings, Montana, who has taken his passion for sports and health to a whole new level. Nickadoums, a seasoned participant in Special Olympics for nearly 20 years, recently completed the Athlete Leadership Program for Special Olympics Montana (SOMT), earning the esteemed position of a 2024 Health Messenger. His mission? To inspire and educate others about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

A Journey Through Sports

Nickadoums is a versatile athlete, excelling in golf, track, basketball, and bowling as part of the Billings Adults team. Among these, golf holds a special place in his heart as his favorite sport. His long-standing commitment to Special Olympics has not only honed his athletic skills but also fostered a deep sense of community and leadership.

Becoming a Health Messenger

Driven by a desire to spread the word about staying healthy, Nickadoums applied to becoming Health Messenger in 2023. This role required him to complete a practicum. He focused on nutrition and hydration, where he delved into the intricacies of a balanced diet and the importance of staying hydrated.

Nutrition Focus:

Goal: Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Strategy: Choose fruits in their natural state, avoiding added sugars.

Implementation: Nickadoums increased his fruit intake by making smoothies and using fruits like grapes as snacks. He also found that pre-washed and pre-cut salads made it easier to consume more vegetables.

Hydration Focus:

Learning: Emphasized the importance of water over sugary drinks.

Practice: Drinks five bottles of water a day.

Nickadoums didn’t stop at personal improvement. He took his newfound knowledge to his team, educating them on the hidden sugars in sodas and sports drinks. He even brought a bag full of sugar to practice to visually demonstrate the sugar content in popular drinks, leading to a vow from his teammates to reduce their soda intake.

Spreading Awareness

Nickadoums’s commitment extends beyond his role as a Health Messenger. He has become a source of support and knowledge for his family, particularly in helping his mother manage her sugar intake by reading labels and ensuring her foods are low in sugar and carbs. His practical advice, such as making homemade fruit parfaits with no added sugar yogurt, showcases his proactive approach to health.

Personal Growth and Aspirations

Through his involvement with Special Olympics, Nickadoums has transformed from a reserved individual to an outgoing leader eager to meet people and share his health learnings. This is his first leadership position, but he has future aspirations to become a Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) messenger.

Life Beyond Special Olympics

Nickadoums’s life is rich with activities beyond his athletic and health advocacy. He has worked at Albertsons in Billings for 8 years, demonstrating dedication and a strong work ethic. An Eagle Scout, he enjoys diamond paintings and finds solace in listening to various types of music, having attended concerts of stars like Rod Stewart, Kip Moore, and Tim McGraw.

In Reflection…

Nickadoums Heinzman exemplifies the spirit of Special Olympics and the impact of its Athlete Leadership Program. As a Health Messenger, he not only champions his health but also wants to empower his peers and community to make healthier choices. His journey from a quiet participant to a proactive leader is a testament to the transformative power of sports and community support. SOMT is fortunate to have Nickadoums Heinzman advocating for health and wellness, one fruit smoothie at a time.