109 : Transitioning To Life After Sports Like A Champ w/ Derrick Furlow Jr.

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I hung onto my athlete identity for far longer than I should have after suffering a career-ending injury in a high school football game.  For years I attempted to hold onto something that I knew was over when my surgeon told me I would never set foot on a football field again.  When he told me that, my platform for proving my worth to the world was gone.  This is a very scary and lonely place for athletes to be.  I wish I could have talked to episode 109 guest and former Tennessee Volunteer, Derrick Furlow Jr. back in 2007 to learn how to translate the same qualities that made me a successful athlete into a success in other areas of my life.  At one point during our interview, Derrick said that sports are "a temporary platform for a permanent purpose."  Sports end for everyone, but success and happiness don't need to after your athletic career does.  Derrick provides us with a roadmap on how to transition like a champion in his new book Whats Next? 

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Topics of conversation from episode 109 are listed below:

  • Where the inspiration for writing Whats Next? How to Transition Like a Champion came from.

  • Why non-athletes can also benefit from this book.

  • The struggles Derrick has seen a lot of his teammates and friends go through in their transitions.

  • How Derrick helps athletes apply lessons they learned in sports to the next phase of their life and applying skillsets.

  • What happened when Derrick sent text messages to 100 guys and 100 females asking what they learned from sports.

"If you cant manage small paper, you can't manage tall paper"

  • Why it is important to learn how to manage money even when you don’t have a lot of money.

  • The story of Derrick’s ACL injury which forced him to miss his senior season of high school football and the translatable skills learned from that experience.

  • The role that faith played in Derrick's life and athletic career and why adversity forces you to listen to God's plan.

  • Derrick’s strategy for earning a scholarship at the University of Tennessee and the power of adding value in every facet of your life.

  • Inky Johnson’s Injury (below) and the impact it had on Derrick and his teammates. Inky is definitely someone we need to have on the show in 2018!

  • How to get out of what Derrick calls "identity jail."

"You see a little, you see a lot. you see a lot, you see nothing."

  • Lessons learned from playing under coach Lane Kiffin.

  • Derrick's thoughts on health and safety in the sport of football.

  • Why it's better to be the hunter rather than the hunted if you want to stay healthy.

  • Why you need to get your mind right before you get your grind right in your transition to life after sports.

WHERE CAN YOU BUY Derrick's book? (Links Below)

WHERE CAN YOU FIND Derrick Furlow Jr?


Download Episode 109 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

105 : Why Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect & Recovering From 4 ACL Reconstructions w/ Christen Biskelonis DPT

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Christen Biskelonis is a Physical Therapist who overcame 4 ACL reconstructions and is the CEO of Journey Physical Therapy LLC.  We were connected by one of my childhood friends after she expressed her passion for injury prevention and safe body mechanics to him.  After talking about her own experience with ACL injuries we dive deep into what puts athletes at risk for suffering this type of knee injury.  Since Christen was local, we tested out my new camera by recording a couple videos on the red flags for at-risk athletes. Christen teaches us about proper landing mechanics and how to strengthen your hamstrings which are both major contributors to ACL tears (below). 

Are You At Risk?

Some Exercises you can do at home to help prevent an ACL injury from ending your season:

Equipment seen in this video:

The right way...

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The Wrong Way...

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Below are more topics of conversation Christen and I talk about in episode 105:

  • The story of Christen's first ACL injury (right leg), which occurred when she was just 14 years old while playing basketball.

  • What is was like being in a full leg brace and in a wheelchair on the first day of high school.

  • The story of Christen tearing the same ACL in the first basketball practice back from the original injury after doing a layup.

  • Why her second reconstruction, which required a pre-reconstructive surgery was the worst of all her surgeries.

  • Why surgeons tend to lean towards patellar tendon grafts for professional athletes and their role of mechanoreceptors.

  • The role of growth plates for young athletes and ACL surgery.

  • The story of Christen's third ACL injury (left leg) and an athletic trainers role in saving her leg.

  • The roles each knee ligament plays in stability.

  • What sparked Christen's interest in physical therapy.

  • The current state of health care and it’s impact on physical therapy.

  • What to look for in a rehab facility.

  • Why you shouldn’t wait until you get hurt to see a physical therapist.

  • The importance of stretching, rest and hydration.

  • Red flags for ACL risk factors.

  • Why teenage girls are at the greatest risk for ACL injuries.

  • Assessing ACL risks through movement screenings.

  • Why there are so many non-contact ACL injuries among NFL players.

  • The role music played in Christen’s recoveries.

  • Why practice doesn’t always make perfect.

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Download Episode 105 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud

101 : Everything You Need To Know Before, During & After ACL Reconstruction w/ Jenna Minecci, Author of "Surviving 7"

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Jenna Minecci is the founder of Jennactive, an ACL prevention company/support network, and the author of the book "Surviving 7, The Experts Guide to ACL Surgery, Recovery, Rehabilitation and Prevention."  I came across Jenna's story on Instagram and it didn't take me long to figure out that I needed to have her on the podcast.  Jenna suffered her first ACL tear while playing soccer when she was just 13 years old.  Both Jenna and her family lacked knowledge in the area of ACL rehab at the time and she ended up making some decisions that in hindsight, turned out to be mistakes. Some of these mistakes include the type of graft used and an insufficient amount of physical therapy post-surgery due to exceeding the number of paid visits from her family's health insurance provider. 

Jenna would chant “Patience and Persistence” to keep her spirits high when she was feeling down.

Jenna would chant “Patience and Persistence” to keep her spirits high when she was feeling down.

Close to two years after tearing her right ACL, Jenna tore her left ACL while goofing around with some friends.  This time she tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus.  This injury was much more painful than the first, but her surgery and rehab process was more of the same.  Both of her surgeries ended up failing and her revision surgeries were also unsuccessful. To date 1/3 of Jenna's life has been spent recovering from surgeries stemming from her two ACL injuries and she is undoubtedly an expert on everything that has to do with this type of recovery.  Jenna has since dedicated her life to preventing other athletes from suffering what she has gone through. Her knowledge on all things related to the knee and keeping it healthy is incredible and all this information can be found in her new book.  I picture Surviving 7 being in every athletic training room in the country to serve as a guide for athletes who unfortunately experience a knee injury.  Below are a few topics we touch on during our conversation:   

  • Jenna's experience with all surgeries to date, both repairs and revisions.

  • Advice for choosing the right surgeon.

  • Interview questions for prospective surgeons.

  • The pro's and cons of the different graft options.

  • What defines a failed surgery.

  • The loneliness experienced during recovery.

  • The stigma of the brace.

  • How Jenna has improved her productivity through journaling positive affirmations.

  • Mastery skills Jenna has developed through all of her surgery recoveries.

  • The roles that hormones play in ACL injuries and how to combat some of these changes.

  • Goal setting strategies.

"Don’t fight the process"


Website | INstagramFACEBOOK | TWITTER | Youtube

Where can you get your own copy of Surviving 7?

Download Episode 101 : iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud