I am really honored to be named as a Fulbright Specialist, by the U.S. Department of State. What does this mean? Hopefully soon, I will be heading off to somewhere in the world to share my passion and knowledge for journalism, sports, the important role of women in media. It is a big responsibility to represent a free press, and I am super thrilled to be selected to challenge myself like this.
mid-July, Chicago: I will be the keynote speaker at the Big Ten-Ivy League TBI Conference, which has done so much over the years to advance the discussion and research in sports concussions and brain injury. I will also be doing some media training, in the important area of how researchers/clinicians and sports media can best work together. We often don’t speak the same language.
I realize it’s a sign of me getting older, but time really does fly. Good times, bad times, boring times, all seem to fly faster and faster. Seems like it was just the start of 2016, and there was so much work ahead on various projects.
Now it’s 2017. And I can say the same thing, some for new projects, some for continuation of others.
The year 2016 was particularly a roller coaster ride, both from what was happening in the world, and life. I am choosing to focus on the good, remembering the time spent in Paris, Rome, Miami and with family and friends, the release of Back in the Game and all the amazing opportunities to learn and grow from it, and the chance to continue to have an impact with my writing. Getting to discuss concussions, youth sports, safety, science and medicine has been a joy, and I have truly appreciated every chance to be with the public. There is a thirst for responsible concussion information for youth athletes, and I am so heartened to see the global discussion swinging back to medically-grounded thoughts instead of solely emotion.
Wishing everybody the best in 2017!
There is more to come with Back in the Game, with several more appearances planned! Follow us on Twitter!
I can’t even summarize in 20,000 words all the things I have learned since the book launched 6 weeks ago. It’s been a powerful experience, getting to talk to so many different people about their impressions/experiences with concussions. One profound thing I have learned is how we are “concussion aware” as a society, aka we know the word…but getting into what a concussion looks, feels, and acts like is still very much lacking.
We’ve boiled things down in the media to: concussion = bad. Which is slightly true, as in you never would choose to have a brain injury. But the message that concussions heal, and you can fully recover if you get good treatment and take things seriously. Playing the “bump on the head” tack (cough, cough, looking at you Donald Trump), not wanting to reveal the injury for fear of stigma, or more simply, not knowing what to do or where to turn for good medical care, are all serious issues.
Going from “who cares?” 10-15 years ago to now people being worried enough to remove kids from sports is a radical change. I’m hopeful that Back in the Game, and the many others out there who care about their youth athletes, will swing the conversation back to a real place.
Yeah, I know. I little too cute and wordy for a headline. But it is true! Back in the Game is indeed alive and in the world. The book is available at all Barnes & Noble locations, as well as Amazon, Goodreads, and the independent booksellers I love so much. And if you don’t see the book, ask for it.
Writing a book is a funny thing. While you are in process, it seems like the work will never end. Reporting, thinking, writing, ripping up what you wrote, reading it, changing it, editing it – over and over, chapter by chapter. In our case with Back in the Game, we’ve been thinking and working since early 2013 on this.
My co-author, Jeff Kutcher MD, and I were lucky, because we both knew what needed to be said, how it should be done. Concussions are a daily discussion in sports, with an array of information. Some is accurate, some is fantasy, some in the middle blurred.
So we’re looking forward to the world getting to see the book soon – as in the end of July for some…and starting the discussion about concussion and youth sports.
We hope to educate youth sports parents and coaches, and even reach teen athletes about concussion. Don’t live in fear of concussion – but also don’t be cavalier. It’s an injury to the brain, simply put. So of course we need to be careful. But telling kids not to play sports because of concussion fears is also a harmful situation.