CTE is NOT a Laughing Matter

When I saw the logo for The Opening, I was stunned. Speechless is a state you find me almost never. But…

What can you possibly say about a group using a death skull inside of a football helmet as their logo? The Opening describes themselves as “four days of dynamic competition for the nation’s most elite high school football prospects”. 

With all we currently know about CTE and what causes it, using a logo like this is a mockery of the truth of what can happen to youth football players whether they are elite players or the average kid who starts playing a collision sport at the age of eight or younger. Risk everything? Really?

Horrifying.

Sponsors of these events are Nike and Riddell. Speechless again. These are groups who know  what is going on with concussion in football. Why would they choose such an image? 

So I’m writing a blog post today when I really can’t even adequately express how I feel about the fact that large companies, who should know better, would chose such an image to portray their product. 

We need to protect our children’s brains, not risk everything! Everything is a life or death issue. CTE IS life or death and it’s real and it shouldn’t be mocked or belittled. People are losing their sons and daughters due to collisions sports being played with no regard to the fact that a concussion is a brain injury and should be treated accordingly. 

Be aware! For more information about concussion and CTE, visit StopCTE.org. Also, if you are a parent or parent group interested in stopping repetitive brain trauma in youth sports, please join the Save Your Brain Campaign

 

 

 

Being Social on Social Media

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Yesterday, as I was riding my bike, I was thinking about just how awesome social media has been in my life. I love nothing better than to engage with new friends all over the world. And, really, isn’t engaging with people the very definition of social?

I used to love twitter so much. I still do but the truth is, it’s just not as much fun as it once was. The people I was friends with in the beginning have moved off of twitter and over to facebook. Fortunately, I connected with them there so I haven’t really lost anyone that I cared about but I’m sad that I don’t have the extensive conversations I used to have on twitter. I still work it really hard but that’s just it: it’s harder now than it used to be to have a conversation on twitter. At my gym in California, I was talking to one of the guys and he said, “Oh, twitter is just a broadcasting platform”. Umm, no it’s not. Is that what people think now? Is that why it’s changed so much?

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I have twitter followers from around the world. 53 different countries! I love that but talk to me, please!

Over the past year or so I’ve fallen madly and passionately in love with snapchat. By it’s very design, it’s an engagement platform and I’m rather blown away by all of the incredible people I’ve connected with there.

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 As the reigning Mrs. Southwest International, I have my community service platform to promote and I’ve done it well on snapchat. I’ve had conversations with people all over the world and I’m set to make appearances as Mrs. International in five foreign countries should I win the international crown. 

I’m absolutely amazed to have connected with people who realize that keeping kids safe from concussions is a message that needs to be spread far and wide and I, personally, will not rest until I’ve told everyone. Just this morning, I connected with another of my followers who is, himself, a former hockey player and a TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivor. I learned that his mom has been helping TBI survivors for 26 years through a foundation she started. That’s good stuff she is doing. 

The reason I connected with him is because, in his snap story today, he asked what the meaning for Snapchat ROI is to you. To me, currently, it’s the connections I’ve been making for my platform. But it will no doubt change over time as my life changes. 

This is the sort of thing you miss if you aren’t social on social media, though. You will never make the incredible connections that could change your life. I love people and I love social media. I will keep engaging my little heart out on all platforms because, truly, social media is a dream vehicle that can take you anywhere you want to go! 

 

Book Review: Fever at Dawn

Fever at DawnFever at Dawn by Péter Gárdos

This was a good book about Miklos and Lili who both survived their respective concentration camp imprisonments. They were each being nursed back to health in rehabilitation centers many miles apart.

Miklos was determined to find a wife for himself and began a letter writing campaign to 117 girls who met the requirements he established for a wife. Lili writes him back and they communicate via letter for six months.

This is a fictionalized account of the author’s parents actual love story. It’s a sweet story and I found myself cheering for their relationship amidst the efforts of external situations and people to ruin it.

The book is light and easy to read. A love story.

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Book Review: I Almost Forgot About You

I Almost Forgot About YouI Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! As I was reading I realized taht the reason I love reading Terry McMillan’s books is that I would want to be friends with the main character. Georgia Young is no different.

Georgia is nearly 55 when she finds that a man she used to know has passed. This makes her re-evaluate her own life. She has been a successful optometrist but feels bored and that there’s more in life for her.

She decides to get in touch with the men she’s loved in her life to see where they are and how their lives have progressed. She wants to tell them she was glad to have been in their lives since they all taught her something. She manages to make peace with her two ex-husbands and then thinks pursuing the rest may not be the best idea.

While she’s trying to decide how to change her life. She puts her house on the market and makes plans to sell her share of her practice. Different events occur that make her realize that she really likes her home and she takes it off the market and decides to start making “art” from furniture in her garage.

Her friend throws her a party for her 55th birthday and invites a man she loved, but never even admitted that love to herself, in college. Eventually, in a rather short time, Georgia realizes this is where she’s supposed to be in her life.

I loved being part of Georgia finding herself. I’m glad she ended up with Stan, happy. I highly recommend this book. I couldn’t put it down! :-)



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Book Review: The Girl From Summer Hill

The Girl from Summer Hill (Summer Hill, #1)The Girl from Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. No, I LOVED it. Such a great story and I loved the way it ended. The book is a modern day take on Pride and Prejudice. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice (I know I need to rectify that) but I’m not sure if it would have made me love the story any more.

At first I thought it was going to be a standard love story where Casey and Tate would be together and then split up over and over again. I probably would’ve been okay with that because I really loved the characters in this book. But that isn’t how it went. When the character of Devlin turned out to be such a bad guy throwing unexpected twists into plot, I was surprised and excited. It gave the book so much more depth.

Casey is a cook and she is planning to take care of the food needs for the play that’s being produced in Summer Hill for the summer. While standing in one day, she unknowingly gets her own part in the play. Tate came to Summer Hill to try and revisit his mother’s early life. Casey and Tate start out on the wrong foot but over the course of the story, they fall in love.

This is a wonderful book. I loved it so much I didn’t want it to end. Seeing the Book 1 in the title makes me happy because I can’t wait to read more about the folks from Summer Hill.




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Keeping Athletes Safe in Sports

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I was excited to learn last week that Chris Nowinski was coming to Oklahoma to speak about the concussion crisis. Chris is the founder of  the Concussion Legacy Foundation and, while I’ve interacted with him on twitter, I hadn’t ever met him in real life. I was also interested to learn what he had to share.

Nowinski-press conference - OKATCFirst there was a press conference. Our current pending concussion legislation in Oklahoma was discussed. Chris said it was a good bill. That it took the best of already exciting bills and added some other, innovative ideas. It is expected to be signed by Governor Fallin this week.

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Then it was time for his presentation Solving the Concussion Crisis: Keeping Athletes Safe in Sports. Chris talked about how concussions are an invisible injury that one can play through. They don’t cause pain, like a broken limb, and the symptoms are difficult to diagnose. Nearly one in four concussions are caused by head to ground impact. 

Many times, the athletes don’t want to report their symptoms because they don’t want to appear weak or let their team down. In a survey, when concussions were called a “ding” more athletes reported having experienced one. 

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About the problem, Nowinski said not a whole lot can be done about the problem if we keep hitting people in the head so much. 

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From his presentation, it was easy to see that education and more understand are key to at least moving in the right direction in the concussion crisis. It was an honor to meet Chris Nowinski.

 

Book Review: Lilac Girls

Lilac GirlsLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Without a doubt, this is the best book I’ve read this year. I was so caught up in the story and did not realize, until I read the Acknowledgements, that this is based on real people and real events from World War II. Real. Brave. Women.

The book follows three women. One, a New York socialite, Carolyn. The second, a Polish teen, Kasia. And third, a German Nazi doctor, Huerta.

The stories of the three women are initially woven separately but I knew that they would eventually come together which they did. Kasia was sent to Ravensbruk concentration camp wtih her sister, Zuzanna, her mother, and a friend. Kasia and her sister become part of a group eventually referred to as Rabbits because they had heinous operations done on their legs which caused them to hop rather than walk.

Herta, the Nazi doctor, is the one that operated on them. Carolyn, the socialite, works with the French to try and keep children clothed, families together, during the war. Eventually, she arranges for the Rabbits to come to America to be operated on to become whole. She also finds out that Herta, who’d gone to jail for her war crimes, had been released after serving only 5 years of her sentence. She wants to see her medical license revoked permanently and arranges what Kascia needs to get her to the town in Northern Germany where Herta is a practicing family medicine doctor.

The is a gripping story of real events that happened during World War II. The characters are wonderful and I loved getting to know them. Herta was a villain and was written about well.

I can’t recommend this book enough. I loved it!

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Attitude

Yesterday, I woke up with this in my head.

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I thought, “where in the heck did that come from?”. Usually, I wake up with bad 70s songs in my head wondering the same thing. But this made me stop and think.

The first thing I did was search google to see who’s quote it was. It wasn’t there so I guess it’s my quote given to me by my sleeping brain. I couldn’t get it out of my head. David and I talked about it while we were walking. 

I’m fully of the belief that your attitude determines how you go through life. I choose to be positive because negative is just too hard. So if you choose to be positive, you belong to the group of people who are happy, getting things done, and having a great life. If you choose to be negative, your life stinks and it’s hard. It’s really a pretty easy choice.

So, anyway, I hope that in the future I’ll wake up with more of these great ideas instead of “I love, little baby ducks, old pickup trucks, slow moving trains, and rain“. ;-)

Safe Kids Day

It was SO much fun to participate in Safe Kids Day with Safe Kids Tulsa

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I was in Tent 5.

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Because of my focus on keeping kids safe from concussion in youth sports, I got to man the Youth Sports Safety game.

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Before we started tossing bean bags, though, I talked to all the kids about proper safety equipment, hydration, and warming up before playing.

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The kids were fun, smart, and interactive. They all were excited to tell me about the sports that they play. Of course they all loved the bean bag tossing. 

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I love it when I’m part of making a learning experience fun! :D