A day in their scrubs

November 11th, 2013

D2 Ben Lively, shown here at White Rock Lake with 5-year-old Bruder, a German shorthaired pointer. With weekends spent on the go, there’s little room for scrubs in Lively’s routine.

This month we hear from Ben Lively. As the D2 class sports representative, his pursuit of all things fitness and outdoors comes as no surprise.

But what many may not know about this sports enthusiast is that he is also an Iraq War veteran and former Marine sergeant. After joining the military at age 17, Lively completed two tours of duty with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, first in Fallujah in 2004 and again in Ramadi in 2005.

Upon leaving the military, Lively didn’t exactly follow a traditional track to dental school. After a stint in McKinney, Texas, building custom homes, he earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at Dallas while managing a personal training business. Here’s more from this self-starter who makes the transition to scrubs look easy.

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Dental school survival strategy: You can stress about every little detail and complain because you got a 70 on a test, but the grade isn’t going to change. Do the best you can and move on. I didn’t really stress at all my D1 year. I just had the philosophy, “I am going to do the best I can and get the grade I get. I have my limbs; I’m alive.” You learn how to do hard work and do what’s needed, whatever it is you want to accomplish.

Most productive time of day: Mornings; I try to come up here on weekends at 9 or 10 and study as much as I can. Once the night comes along I start dragging.

Best way to unwind after a long day in the clinic or lab: working out, playing soccer, being with Bruder, shooting guns — really anything active or outdoor related.

Favorite energy food: I don’t think I have an energy food — no coffee, no caffeine, no Cokes, nothing. My favorite food is probably fajitas, but those are opposite of energy food. I never drank coffee in the Marines or smoked cigarettes. I guess I’m lucky I can stay awake when I need to.

Goal after graduation: I will probably try to move back down to central Texas and get established in Austin and start a family. That’s two years from now so for now I’m just playing it by ear. We’ll see what happens.

What people may not know about you: I guess a lot of people don’t know I had my own business, Performance Boot Camp. I would have a class at 5:30 in the morning and 5:30 in the evening, and I would go to school at UTD during the day.

Also, I love learning about space and physics; things such as dark matter, the Large Hadron Collider, or reading updates on the Mars Rover. Cooking is also something I enjoy and do several times a week.

—Jenny Fuentes

— Jennifer Fuentes