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Former Denver Nuggets Trainer Joins New Team

3:38 PM
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If you ask Steve Hess, he is always right where he is supposed to be.

Six months ago, the longtime head strengths coach for the Denver Nuggets made the difficult decision to step away from his role with the team and into a new career as Chief Performance Officer for Panorama Orthopedics & Spine Center. Hess had such an impact on the Denver Nuggets that the team recently dedicated its strength and conditioning room at the Pepsi Center in his honor.

“I was absolutely shocked,” said Hess, who has lived in Centennial for 15 years. “It was beyond my wildest dreams. It took my breath away. I got emotional.”

Hess is known, at least in part, for his emotions. Or, rather, his boundless and contagious positive energy. Even he admits he has only one speed: “700 m.p.h.”

While still serving as a consultant for the Nuggets, Hess has brought his enthusiasm and skill set to the team at Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center, which has some of the state’s top physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons, Hess says.

“We utilize everything available to us to make them the best they can be,” he says about the clients at Panorama.

Since the age of 6, Hess knew he wanted to be involved in professional sports. He fulfilled that goal, working with NBA greats like Allen Iverson and Marcus Camby during his tenure with the Nuggets. He had those occasional moments during pre-game shoot-arounds when he would pinch himself to see if it was all real.

Now, he has taken all of the knowledge gained in the last few decades and applied it to a medical setting, where he is part of a larger plan to enhance physical fitness for anyone from current and former professional athletes to CEOs of large companies. Hess helps develop programs based on each individual’s goal and “what their body is showing us.” He has taken on this fresh challenge with the same gusto he has applied in all previous endeavors, and couldn’t be more optimistic about the future.

“Exactly what I’m doing is what I’ve always wanted to do,” said Hess, who believes he is fortunate to have inherited his mother’s energy and his father’s tireless work ethic.

The reward for his hard work comes in the form of results. Although he’d like to see more than the 5-6 clients who visit each day, he’s all about tangible achievements and the well-being of the people who pass through his office doors. Hess is having so much fun, he says he probably won’t ever retire.

“People keep me motivated. When someone moves better or loses fat or someone makes it into the pros, they did it,” he said. “And when you see this, it’s the most unbelievable thing ever to know you may have had some part in their success.”

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