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Big Sur Marathon…. What a Race!

My running coach has us write a marathon story after each race, so I figured I’d blog about it….I really don’t even know where to begin, because words just can’t do the Big Sur Marathon justice, but I’ll try my best….. Kind of like Boston, Big Sur is a bucket list marathon. The course runs along HWY 1 from Big Sur State Park to Carmel, CA. 26.2 miles of the most beautiful scenery you could image. You are running through Mountains, Redwoods, Ragged Coastline, and the beach. Did I mention running mountains? Yea, it’s a brutal course too…… Which is why I had shied away from this race, I really don’t like hills. I mean, really, REALY don’t like hills.

So last summer when the registration opened up, I thought if I can get my friends to go and make a trip out of it, I’ll do it. So out went the emails to my best friends, we always take a trip and this could be the trip. Wasn’t hard to convince them to spend a week in Monterey, CA. So, I had no excuse and I signed up and so did my best friend Rebecca. Ha, she said she knew if she didn’t, she would be ticked at herself for not doing it once race day came. Big Sur was her second marathon.

So on Friday April 26th we arrived in Monterey and hit the expo. For a smallish marathon the expo was excellent, easy to navigate, hardly any lines to get our packets. Overall great experience. We went back the next morning to hear Jeff Galloway speak about race strategies. I needed all the help I could get. I had done my hill training and YES there are hills in Memphis, but as my Mentor (old school athletic trainer) Eddie put it when I told him I was running Big Sur..”Are you ******* NUTS? They have ******* mountains out there, NOT Hills!!!” (for those of you that know Eddie, you get a laugh from that and know exactly what he said)

Jeff Galloway gave some great info and said to expect 15-20 minutes slower race time than you usual. I did my best to make myself not have a time goal to go out and just enjoy the race, and I did pretty good. I just wanted to beat my NYC time, which I did;)

Race day started at 3 am, thank goodness for the 2 hour time difference. We caught the School Bus shuttle at 4 am to take us to the start at Big Sur State Park. Thank goodness I typically don’t get car sick, going up that winding road would definitely make one sick. I heard a few did. We met a nice couple from Florida, it was her first marathon. About an hour later we arrived at the start wearing our throw away sweats. We found friends of Rebecca’s from Columbus, OH and luckily I found my running bud Daniel and we hung out until 6:15. So hear’s a teaching moment….I was careful not to drink too much fluids, so I wouldn’t have to make pit stops during the race. It’s recommended to have 6-8 ounces 2 hours before the start. A runner should be hydrating 1-2 weeks before the race, not cram it in the day before or race morning… So we had our pit stop before the race and then we lined up at 6:15, walking up a big hill. Which means the start was down hill. So misleading…

The race started right on time 6:45, right after the moment of silence for Boston. Our corral was 3rd about 6-9 minutes behind the official start. I said bye to my friends when we lined up because we don’t run the same pace, I met others waiting around me, a woman from Sacramento, who had only run 14 miles in training because she was injured and she was gonna take it slow… Thanks….Ha! who am I kidding, I know I’m slow and off we went. Taking it easy and holding myself back the first 5 miles. I went out way to fast my last marathon and suffered greatly, I wasn’t goin to make that mistake again, especially with the hills I was about to face. Hurricane Point is a 550 ft 2 MILE up hill climb at mile 10-12. That wasn’t the first hill and it sure as heck wasn’t the last. The first 5 miles were in the forest, huge trees, a winding road which opened up to the “plains” with mountains to the right, coast to the left and beautiful green pastures. I’d love to say this was flat, but it started some of the rolling hills, luckily we saw whales out in the ocean to distract us. The sun had just come up so when you looked back at where we came from, the fog was lifting and the sunlight shinning down created a halo over the forest, breath-taking really….

We past Punta Sur, a lighthouse off in the distance, and onto Hurricane Point. At the base of it was the Taiko drummer’s pounding a way, to help you pound away at the pavement. This is where I had the most fun, believe or not, the biggest hill. I talked to several runner’s on the way up Hurricane Point. A couple running on their 7th wedding anniversary, her dressed in white, him in black, her maid of honor in pink and his best man in pink and a pink skirt. Hilarious! I talked to a gentleman in his 50’s who proceeded to tell me he had been injured and only able to go as far ar 12 miles in his training, YIKES! I saw 2 girls who had run Boston, they had their Boston bids on the back of their shirts and their shirts said something like “We are Boston We will not be stopped, We are Boston Strong“or it was “We will Keep Going, We will Stay Strong, We will Run Now“. I asked them if anyone had taken a picture of them running to get their shirts. They said no and when I offered they jumped for joy. I’m kicking myself for not taking a picture myself. I ran with them most of the hill. They told me Miska was stopped at mile 25.5 and the other girl, who I forget her name, was stopped at 25. They were both Boston natives and obviously great friends. Miska found a dime and picked it up. She started talking about how her brothers made fun of her when she would pick up a penny that wasn’t heads up but that her grandmother always told her she should pick up a pennies even if they are not heads up, because “if you watch your pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves“. Before I knew it, I was at the top of Hurricane Point. As I made the turn at the top, I could hear the piano a mile away just past Bixbey Bridge. What a breath-taking site. As I ran down to the bridge  another runner said “Words can’t describe” and I said “Amen” because words or pictures can’t describe the beauty I saw especially coming down to Bixbey Bridge.

I crossed the Bridge and tried to take a video of the piano player, some how that didn’t work so well, it was upside down. And now 13.1 half way point, this is where it started to get tough. 12-13.1 was down hill, but 13.1 was up hill then down, then up another hill. The mile marker at 14 was a picture on Kenyans saying “We call that walking in our country” well guess what? it was… I was walking up the hill, and the 35 mile an hour head wind wasn’t helping either…….The head wind got us from mile 9-20 I think, I just remember it being brutal and forever there…..I continued to talk to those around me and I thought “Lord, just get me to mile 20, I know I’m good once I hit 20“. I pray a lot during races, especially from 17 on….I got there and I did have a sense of relief, but mile 20 begins the hills of Carmel Highlands, OH What FunThank God! for the Strawberry lady at mile 23. Woo hoo!! a down hill at 23.5!! which honestly at that point the downs hurt as much as the ups, so I don’t know why I just said Woo Hoo…. The down hill winded down to Carmel Montesary Beach, where the belly dancers were shimming at mile 25, right at the bottom of a straight steep up hill. “Seriously??? mile 25 ya gotta put a steep up hill??” What goes up, must come down, thank goodness.. I can see the finish and mile 26 marker, which was a picture of a choir and all it said was “Hallelujah”…. Amen to that…. I hit the finish looking for my friends Jo and LJ, and found them right before I crossed the finish, grinning ear to ear.

I finished Big Sur!!! Jeff was right, 20 minutes over my usual time but beating my NYC time. Crossing the finish after 26.2 grueling miles, is the BEST FEELING in the World esp if the announcer calls your name “MONica BAker from MEMphis, TN”……….. I walked around got my chocolate milk and banana and returned to the finish to wait for my other friends. I got to cheer for Daniel as he came across the finish. I saw the man who said he’d only run 12 miles cross the finish line and I screamed my head off as Rebecca came across. I had a blast cheering on the runners and seeing their faces of Joy as they crossed the finish line. I saw the Boston girls too.

Seeing them reminded me, I never had any fear of something like Boston happening. I didn’t worry about my friends at the finish or my running buds. I was just caught up in the moment and I LOVED every Hard Minute of it. After the race Rebecca and I topped it off with an ice bath in the Pacific Ocean…….What a race………

Rebecca and I with out Medals
Rebecca and I with our Medals
Jo and Me at the finish
Jo and I at the finish
Pics i took on the course
Pics I took on the course
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The Dream of Boston Marathon becomes a Nightmare…

My mind has been racing ever since I saw the first Tweet from @runnersworld @ 1:55 pm CST “#BostonMarathon press room on lockdown. Loud noises heard near finish line.” I thought this has gotta be a joke, right? or maybe a random gas leak? It seemed like hours, but was only two minutes before the 1st image was posted on Twitter of Smoke rising up from the finish line area. Still, I was in shock, this couldn’t be an attack… NOT on the Boston Marathon……

The Boston Marathon is the Super Bowl/National Championship of Marathons. It is the single most recognized race in the world. Qualifying for Boston is the Ultimate accomplishment for a marathoner and it’s only for a select few. As of September 2012, 0.5% of Americans have run a marathon and of that 0.5% only approximately 10% are fast enough to qualify for Boston. Once you’ve been bitten by the Marathon bug, the ultimate goal is the Boston Marathon. Honestly though, for many of us, like myself, it’s just a HUGE DREAM. I would have to run an hour and 8 minutes faster than my best time to qualify, but it’s still the Ultimate Dream……

As a kid you dream of being a professional athlete, high school you dream of state championships and college scholarships and for a select few,post college, a real dream of becoming a professional athlete. For most former athletes, after college, we are left to find a new sport, a new goal. My love for running led me to half marathons and then to Full marathons. The Marathon is my sport, if you’re an athlete or a former athlete you understand. So in my adult life, one of my biggest dreams is to run Boston. That dream turned into a nightmare for so many yesterday at 2:45 est.

If you have ever been to a marathon, you know how fun the finish line can be. To see the pure joy on runners faces or even the collapse of a completely spent exhausted runner who gave their every being to get to that finish. It’s electric! You see other runners stop to help pick up a fellow fallen runner and get them across the finish line. In what other sport do your fellow competitors help you succeed? In what other sport does no one get booed? Only a marathon….. It’s hard to describe your feelings at the finish, honestly, I always cry. I’ve ran 6 and I still cry. You are just over come with emotion and elation all at the same time. During a marathon you go through every emotion, excitement at the finish, extreme nervousness at the start, feeling completely defeated and exhausted around mile 20…only through determination does one finish 26.2.

I watched the horror of the Boston Marathon unfold, I just stood in front of the tv motionless, not saying a word, tears streaming down my face, at work I might add….. So many thoughts running through my mind. I knew that most of the people affected would be spectators from the location of the smoke, friends and family supporting their loved ones……..My 1st thought was of my best friend Jo. She cheered me on at the finish of my last marathon in Dallas. She was about 20 yards from the finish. I thought of my friends Rebecca, Billy, and Brandon, who made the trip with me to NYC to cheer me on as I finished the New York Marathon. I thought of my parents who made the 4 hour drive to Springfield, MO to cheer me on along the course and at the finish of the Bass Pro Marathon. I thought of my running buddy Jack, who got me to my first sub 5 marathon and all of my running buddies for that matter. I thought about my friends Ed and Karen who literally followed me around Memphis playing the fight song as I ran my first marathon, St. Jude.

I thought what if that happened to them just because they were there to support me? And then I hear the story of the 8-year-old Martin Richard who was killed. He ran out to hug his dad as he finished the race and then returned to the sidewalk with his mom and sister, seconds later the bomb went off killing him and severing the leg (I believe) of his sister and badly wounding his mother. How does one reconcile such tragedy?

My mind then raced to Who did I know that was running? were they ok? Then I got the text from LJ, Christy Renfroe, our friend from college, had finished just before the blast but no one could get a hold of her. Now this was really personal. Luckily, Christy posted on her Facebook her and her husband were safe. Immediate sense of relief…. The only sense of relief I had yesterday…

I admit this tragedy has hit me hard…. I’ve always grieved and been heart-broken for the victims of other tragedies like Newtown, or Columbine, but this? This hits home. Honestly, striking fear to my core….. Last night, I questioned whether I would run a big marathon again, like New York. Not so much for my safety, but more for the safety of my friends and family. Can I go out and run and not worry about them at the finish. Can I stand in a crowd of runner’s at the start and not be fearful of this happening again?? The fear is still there this morning. Just that un-nerving feeling, ya know, unsettled. I was afraid to go to sleep last night, for fear of the nightmares. So what did I do? I prayed….. And then I prayed some more…..

In 11 days I will line up to run the Big Sur Marathon in California. Luckily, I will have my best friend Rebecca with me at the start and Jo and LJ will be at the finish. As we set out on a journey along HWY.1, I know we will have heavy hearts, but I also know with a lot of prayer that the LOVE of Running will overcome. We will cover 26.2 miles of the most beautiful scenes in the world and do it all in the honor of the victims and their families of Boston, as well our own friends and family. The innocence of my sport was lost yesterday, but I for one will not be overcome fear. I will choose Love….. The Love of Running…. The Love of Others….

The Light Shines in the Darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”-John 1:5

To help victims of the Bombing donate to One Fund Boston

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Perfect words….Spectators are what makes a marathon.

Athletic Training, Uncategorized

Does this stuff really work?

I know it’s crazy for me to think “Does this stuff really work?” I mean, I’ve been a Physical Therapist/ Athletic Trainer for 13 years, so I shouldn’t doubt that what I do everyday works, right???? Well the PT/ATC in me unequivocally knows that it works, but the runner in me, well If you have ever worked with marathoner’s you understand…… God forbid you tell us to take a week off to prevent a minor tweak from turning into a full-blown injury. It’s ironic really because I truly understand both sides. So if I suggest to a runner to take time off, then I mean you gotta take time off and let it heal. My PT/ATC mantra to injured runners is “better to take short time off now, than long time later” When you tell them short time is a week and long time is a months, that usually gets through to a runner.

So when I had my own little injury at the first of January, My marathoner mentality took over. I was running early pre-sun up with my running group and it was a fairly chilly 28 degrees. I made the mistake of not warming up enough, and 15 minutes into a 14 miler I took a step and felt a sharp pain in my calf. I thought “that didn’t feel good” but I thought it will just work itself out after I warm up some more. That didn’t happen, there was pain with every step, so after getting 3 miles out I told my group I had be smart and bail. I headed back, able to run but with pain. I had strained my calf, my right Soleus to be specific. I stretched off a curb when I got back to my car and then rushed home and iced it immediately. I was limping the rest of day and in pain, even with just walking. I knew I didn’t feel a pop, so I hadn’t completely tore anything, but a strain is microtears in the musculotendon junction, so a strain is still a tear.

As a runner, I started to freak out, I’m training for Big Sur Marathon in California, extremely Beautiful, but Extremely hilly. I had to be able to train, I couldn’t be out for weeks or I wouldn’t be ready. (Can you hear the marathoner Anxiety?) Then the PT/ATC stepped in, “Calm down Monica, let’s be aggressive you can fix this” I literally said that to myself……..I iced 4 times that day, wore a compression sleeve and wore heels when I went out to dinner. The heels put my calf in a supported shortened position, not a stretched, which helped to take the stress off the calf when I walked. The day after the injury, I rolled out my calf on a foam roller, then stretched and finished with ice. I repeated that 4 times that day. Important to note I didn’t force the stretching, just easy stretch, no pain. The third day I added ultrasound with estim (I was back at work and had access) and a very painful self massage, prior to rolling out my calf on foam roller, stretching and ice. I did that whole process 3 times, plus tossing in some extra icing when I had time. The fourth day I continued the whole process but I started adding bilateral calf raises after rolling out my calf. I let pain guide me, limiting the reps to no sharp pain and using both legs. Day five I did the elliptical for cardio, without pain. By day Six I was able to do single leg eccentric calf decel progressing to a single leg calf raise, I was still continuing the whole process 3 times a day, with extra icing. By day 7, the marathoner anxiety took over I have to run!! Luckily the PT/ATC tempered my mentality. I used Kinesio tape to compression wrap my

20130226-091659.jpg calf and went out for a slow 3 miler. I walked 4 minutes to warm up then started slowly into my 3 miles. I didn’t feel sharp pain, but did have a tightness and discomfort in my calf. I just did my 3 miles, rolled out my calf, stretched, and iced. The PT/ATC won…

The day after I wasn’t super sore, but I was sore, so I continued my rehab routine and went to yoga. Week two, I did my daily rehab routine, ran 3 miles twice that week with no set backs. Two weeks after my injury I did 6 miles of interval run walk with no pain only little tightness. Week 3, I continued my rehab routine with yoga and my running and 3 weeks post injury I ran 10.5 miles without pain, still doing my run walk intervals (3 min run 1 min walk) but that’s how I do marathons. Some of you may have heard of the Galloway method, I highly recommend it. I’ve ran 6 marathoners using this type of training.

After my 10.5 miler, I wasn’t any more sore on my injured calf than my healthy calf. Woo Hoo I was back training! I continued my calf strengthening and stretching a minimum of 3 times a week for 2 weeks. I iced any time I felt a lil soreness and I stretched really well after Every run. I continue to stretch really well after every run. Since my 10.5 miler, I’ve been able to do long runs of 11, 14, 19, 10, and this past Sunday I ran the Little Rock Half Marathon as part of my training for Big Sur with no issues. So yea this stuff does work and I didn’t need a research study to tell me that………

Fingers crossed for continued healthy training, a little luck doesn’t hurt either;)

Athletic Training, general medical care, Uncategorized

The Dreaded “C” word, Concussion…. part 2

So What do we do if an athlete has sustained a potential concussion? Most High Schools and Colleges have policies and procedures in place to manage concussions. A neurological sideline assessment should be performed by a qualified medical professional at the time of injury. These tests may include short-term memory assessment, balance and vision tests, pupil responses and any other special tests deemed necessary by the professional. If an athlete sustains a loss of consciousness (knocked out) the athlete should be disqualified from play for the rest of that day. For a medical professional this is the easy call…. The tricky call is when there is no loss of consciousness. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association Position Statement on an athlete who exhibits concussion symptoms after a blow to the head, but does not have loss of consciousness states as follows: Athletes who are symptomatic at rest and after exertion for at least 20 mins should be disqualified from returning to participation on the day of injury. Basically means no symptoms at rest and after jogging, sprinting, sit-ups or any sport specific, non contact activities. If the player is able to return to play they should be closely monitored during game or practice and then reassessed 24 and 48 hours after injury for delayed onset of symptoms.

So what happens after the game? Parents this is where you need to pay attention….An Athlete with a concussion should avoid taking medications except acetaminophen aka Tylenol after the injury. The athlete should rest and return to daily activities as tolerated. Here’s tips for all the parents out there, video games and watching tv MAY increase concussion symptoms. If symptoms increase, the activity should be stopped. Remember, this is a brain injury, concentration requires the brain to work, so for it to heal the brain needs to rest. This May also mean keeping the athlete out of school, especially if symptoms are remaining at rest. A common question asked by parents is should I wake them up during to the night? The NATA recommends if the athlete sustains a loss of consciousness or had a prolonged period of amnesia, or still experiencing significant symptoms at bedtime, the athlete should be periodically woken up to check for deteriorating signs or symptoms. The athlete should follow-up with the medical professional 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours following the injury for reassessment. This may included computerized neuropsychological testing, a common test is the Impact. IF there is no computerized testing available; symptoms are used to grade progress and return to sport.

Once an athlete is symptom free at rest and non-sport daily activities then the athlete is progressed through exertion testing, like jogging or biking to sprinting. Once the athlete is symptom free with basic level exertion, then a return to sport can be initiated like non contact drills. The athlete must be symptom free during the activity and after the activity to progress to the next level. There is no set time-table on how long this process may take. Could be a day, could be several weeks.

For the parents of young kids who don’t have access to a Certified Athletic Trainer you may have to rely solely on your pediatrician, please remember these steps. If you’re a parent of an athlete who has had multiple concussions, I highly recommend seeking out a Pediatrician or Neurologist who has experience in managing concussions. The Impact website provides a resource to find a physician who is experienced in Impact testing, thus, experienced in concussion management. But if you are on your own, a simple and easy way to know if your child is ready, allow your athlete to play out in the yard once symptom free at rest. If the symptoms return, you know they are not ready to return to sport or play.

The right equipment is key to preventing concussions. Proper fitting helmets and mouth guards are important to help absorb impact forces through the head and neck. Another theory to prevent concussions is having strong neck muscles, the idea is that the stronger the neck muscles, the better ability to absorb the impact. Pop Warner a popular football little league, established practice rules to limit the amount of full speed collisions in an attempt to decrease the amount of repetitive head trauma and prevent concussions. A highly regarded neurosurgeon Dr. Robert Cantu suggests no athlete should tackle before the age of 14. “Our youngsters have big heads on very weak necks and that combination sets up the brain for greater risk of injury” said Cantu.

And so the debate begins, are ‘we’ doing enough? Are ‘we’ going over board? Can our favorite sports survive? Concussions have become a very hot topic, hence the title “The Dreaded C word“. It’s gotten to the point that Brian Urlacher of the Chicago Bears admits to hiding his concussions…. So yes it’s a hot topic, and now it’s your turn to chime in, let me know your thoughts………

Athletic Training, Uncategorized

The Dreaded “C” word, Concussion

The dreaded C word, Concussion……The media coverage The last few years has drawn a lot of attention to concussions in sports. From news of protocol changes in the NFL, to Congress looking at mandating policy on how to handle concussions in youth sports. The term Concussion seems to be everywhere and yet the average person probably doesn’t know what a Concussion really is……..Let’s start with the definition…. The CDC defines a Concussion as a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury resulting from a blow to the head or shaking of the head that alters brain function.

So how do we know an athlete has sustained a concussion? Well, There is a mechanism of injury; a blow to the head, neck or body in which impulsive forces are transmitted to the brain. Concussions can occur in any sport or even just horsing around. The leading high school sport with concussions is football followed by girls soccer. Concussions are not just a guy thing, and it seems to affect each gender differently, so it’s very important to watch for any of the signs and symptoms.

The NATA lists Signs and Symptoms of a Concussion
      • Blurred Vision
      • Dizziness
      • Drowsiness
      • Excess Sleep
      • Easily Distracted
      • Fatigue
      • Feel “In a Fog
      • Feel “Slowed down”
      • Headache
      • inappropriate Emotions
      • Irritability
      • Loss of Consciousness
      • Loss of Orientation
      • Memory Problems
      • Nausea
      • Nervousness
      • Personality Change
      • Poor Balance/Coordination
      • Poor Concentration
      • Ringing in Ears
      • Sadness
      • Seeing Stars
      • Sensitive to Light
      • Sensitive to Noise
      • Sleep Disturbance
      • Vacant Stare/Glassy eyed
      • Vomiting

Different combinations of these symptoms can occur and may not show up for hours after the initial injury. Symptoms may also worsen with physical and/or mental exertion. A key point to note is that an athlete DOES NOT have to Lose Consciousness (knocked out) to a have concussion. Loss of consciousness occurs less than 10% of the time. Headaches are the most frequently reported symptoms by both males and females. Males report disorientation, confusion and amnesia more often than females. Girls report feeling more drowsy and being sensitive to noise. Girls also have a higher incidence of concussions than boys in similar sports, like soccer.

So why is there such a big deal made about concussions? Well besides the fact that it is categorized as a traumatic brain injury…. We are more aware of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS) and the risk of Second Impact Syndrome (SIS). SIS is rare, but often fatal and occurs from having a second concussion before the initial concussion has healed. Young athletes are particularly at risk for SIS, all of the cases reported have occurred in athletes under the age of 20. PCS is concussion symptoms lasting for weeks to months to a year or even longer. Both of these injuries can be prevented with the right management of the initial concussion.

Another reason Concussions are such a big deal is the long-term effects of repeated concussions. Some may have heard of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), especially after the deaths of prominent former NFL players who were diagnosed with the disease. CTE is a progressive neurological disorder resulting from multiple blows to the head over several years, most commonly recognized in boxers as the term dementia pugilistica. To make it simple CTE is neurodegenerative changes in the brain. These changes may result in memory problems, behavioral and personality disturbances, parkinsonism and occasionally, motor neuron disease like ALS.

So yes, Concussions are a big deal. So much so a movie was just released, Head Games Documentary about the dangers of Concussions.

Now that I’ve been the Debbie Downer of the day let me be Very clear I do not believe we should end our favorite sports! Proper management, education and prevention is key to the safety of athletes. Concussions are a very hot topic in the sports world. Some debate wether we are being over sensitive, while others debate the sports world isn’t doing enough. I could make a case for both sides, but thats not the point of this blog. The point is to educate athletes and parents. I personally realized the need for this when I recently had someone close to me contact me on what to do when their child had suffered 6 concussions in the last 5 years…..Not all schools are lucky enough to have access to an Athletic Trainer. Parents and coaches are on their own to identify and deal with an athlete with a concussion. Stop Sports Injuries provides a great educational tool for athletes, parents, and coaches. I highly recommend you take a look.

Stop Sports Injuries

I’ve been asked over the years by parents if I would let my child play football. (I don’t have kids) I answer with a resounding yes! The positives out way the negatives in my opinion. Now if you asked would I let them play tackle verses flag pee wee football, well that’s a debate for another time. Again, I cannot stress the importance of the management of concussions. Concussions can be complicated and should be evaluated and managed by a qualified medical professional, unfortunately there isn’t always access to a medical professional at the time of injury. So now you know what to look for……..Which leads us to my next blog entry…… What to do when an athlete has a concussion…….

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Man that was FUN!

I had to take a quick minute to write about my Memphis Tigers and the Victory over UAB, the last Battle of the Bones! So this is just a fun post, not technical sports medicine stuff. This past Saturday The Tigers beat UAB 46-9! A huge win for a program that has struggled for the last 4 years. Pat Forde tweeted ‘@YahooForde: For Memphis to beat down anyone (even UAB) says that program is getting better. Enjoy the rib trophy, Tigers.’

Yes the Battle of the Bones has a trophy, bronze ribs….Only in the south, right?..

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November 22, 2003 was the last time both Memphis Football and Basketball won on the same day. The last time theTigers scored over 40 points against a FBS div 1 team was Tulane 2008 and the last time the Tigers scored over 40 points in a game, UT Martin 2009. So yes, this was a huge win. Mainly because it does show the progress this coaching staff has made. This team doesn’t quit! With only 2 wins on the season, a lot of teams would pack it up and call it a day. Not this Memphis Tiger Team, Not This Memphis Program. These guys work hard Everyday and now it’s paying off.

Now there is an outward visible difference between the Fuente era and the previous coaches’s program. A lot of us knew the program was heading in the right direction, but the W’s weren’t showing it and let’s face it, that’s all some people care about. Now the W’s are starting to come and they are a result of the hard work, mental focus and discipline that Fuente not only demands from his players but EXPECTS from his players. Well I think Tiger fans can EXPECT to see a lot more Gatorade baths too…

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Well done TIGERS! Here’s to a lot more FUN games!