126 : Swapping Brain Surgery Stories w/ Former Red Sox Prospect, Ryan Westmoreland

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Ryan Westmoreland was a 5th round draft pick by The Boston Red Sox out of high school in 2008.  Ryan had a phenomenal rookie season with the Lowell Spinners of the Class A-short league where Ryan batted .296 with 7 home runs, 35 RBIs and a .401 on base percentage in 60 games. Unfortunately, a Cavernous Malformation in his brain cut his pro baseball career short, but he is lucky to be here to share his story with us in episode 126.

Ryan and I are the same age and have experienced similar adversities in our 28 years on this earth. We also went through some of the lowest points in our lives at the same time due to uncontrollable and unforeseen events that detoured the paths we dreamt up for ourselves since we were kids.  If you are a frequent listener of the pod, I am sure you have felt the same way at some point or feel that way now.  In this episode Ryan takes us through the highs, the lows and gives us all advice on how to make it to the other side when nothing seems to be going your way.  More talking points in our conversation can be found below: 

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  • What a cavernous malformation is and why Ryan's was in the worst possible spot.

  • Symptoms he experienced during spring training that led him to think something might be wrong.

  • Ryan takes us through the surgical and rehab process.

  • Ryan's determination for blazing a trail back to professional baseball after surgery.

  • Fighting through the frustration in his return to pro baseball.

    • Struggled with fine motor skills.

  • Setbacks that led to surgery #2.

  • Taking it day by day through the bad days.

  • What went into the decision to retire.

  • Overcoming thoughts of suicide.

  • How Ryan's adversity influenced his coaching today.

“Go out there and show people you’re a good person.”

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  • Why Ryan's health is his number one priority today.

  • Battling the thoughts of "why me?"

  • Significance of Ryan's tattoos.

  • Where his interest in fitness came from.

  • How Ryan's athletic performance benefitted from playing multiple sports through high school.

Photo: Boston Herald

Photo: Boston Herald


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