132 : Navigating Concussion Recovery - A Personal & Clinical Perspective w/ Molly Parker DPT

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Molly Parker is a physical therapist that has had post concussion syndrome and a sensorimotor disorder for 7 years. She has seen over 70 healthcare providers and spent thousands of hours researching. She says that she did everything wrong and got worse for over 4+ years and is now trying to prevent you from making the same mistakes when it comes to your recovery from PCS! She believes that she has finally figured out how to harness the power of neuroplasticity and is hopeful for a second chance at life for herself and you! 

“I honestly felt really lucky, I felt like I walked away with only a concussion.”

Below are some topics we touch on throughout this interview:

  • The story of how getting hit by a cab back in 2011 changed Molly's life.
  • How her background and network as a PT at the time of her accident influenced her recovery (negatively).
  • Immediate symptoms included : “legs felt like they were broken,” dizzy, disoriented, headache.
  • Why Molly kept pushing through her symptoms.
  • How the development of a sensory motor affected her recovery.
  • Long-term severe symptoms included : difficulty completely normal day-to-day tasks, which eventually got to the point where she wasn’t able to care for herself anymore.
  • Why it took two years to get an official diagnosis that her symptoms were concussion-related.
  • How the symptoms eventually led to her losing her dream job.
  • The similarity between career ending injuries in athletes and Molly’s experience with losing her job.

“Everything I worked hard for had come to fruition and then I slowly started to lose it all.”

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  • Molly's frustration in searching for answers especially from her peers in PT.
  • Conversation with Dr. Nancy Byl that led her in the right direction and significantly improved her symptoms.
  • The connection between her vestibular symptoms and her sensory motor disorder.
  • The treatments that helped her the most in her recovery.
  • Movement Disorders Program at UCLA 
  • Dr. Alyssa Elder and Dr. Allan Wu were the PT/neurologist team from UCLA.
  • Physical therapy for a sensory motor disorder and how they used sensory motor re-learning
  • The emotional toll PCS had on her and coping strategies.
  • Why Molly recommends seeing a psychologist during your recovery from PCS.

“I just had to let go of that blueprint of how my life was supposed to be.”

  • What neuroplasticity is and why you should never lose hope.
  • The importance of finding a treatment team for your PCS and where to start your search.
  • Money saving tips for medical bills.
  • Nutrition’s role in PCS.
  • The role of sleep in recovery and sleep hygiene tips.
  • Advice for family members.
  • How you know when you are in the clear.
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Download Episode 132 : iTunes | Stitcher 

131 : Preparing elite athletes for transition to life after sport should begin in childhood w/ Dr. Andrew Martin

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Dr. Andrew Martin, PhD is Scientia Professor and Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of New South Wales specializing in motivation, engagement, achievement, and quantitative research methods. He is also Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Fellow of the (Australian) College of Educational and Developmental Psychologists, and President of the International Association of Applied Psychology’s Division 5 Educational and School Psychology.

I came across Dr. Martin's article published on “The Conversation” Titled : Preparing elite athletes for transition to life after sport should begin in childhood and knew I had to get him on the pod!  It is safe to say that he didn't disappoint! This is a must-listen for parents of young athletes, coaches and athletes struggling in their transition to life after sports.

Fun Fact: This episode was recorded in the future.  Dr. Martin was recording on June 6th at 9:30 am and I was recording at 7:30pm on June 5th!

Below are a list of talking Dr. Martin and I discuss throughout this episode:

“Long after our physical abilities have faded, our self-worth will still be our core foundation and our core need and core drive.”

  • How Dr. Martin's lack of motivation in school influenced his interest in educational psychology.
  • Dr. Martin’s experience of with diminished self worth and loss of identity in the sport of cricket.
  • How identities are formed early in life.
  • Why some parts of identity are genetic.
  • Symptoms athletes show when struggling in their transition to life after sports.
  • How social media has brought the athlete transition into the spotlight – high profile tragedies
  • Explanation of Contingent self worth. 

“When you succeed you feel worthy, when you fail you feel worthless.”

  • What parents can do to develop a healthy identity for their children.
  • How to separate worth from achievement.
  • The development of fear of failure.
  • The strategies people use to respond to fear of failure.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Self sabotage and it's relation to anxiety.
  • Disengagement.

“ no one part of our life should contribute more than 1/3 to our self-worth or self-esteem.”

  • The danger of special treatment – consequences and boundaries.
  • Does being an elite athlete require and unbalanced identity?
  • How you can make yourself well rounded without cutting into your training time.
  • The importance of celebrating the attitude and effort over ability.
  • The importance of how meaning is attached to failure and success.

“Mistakes are growth opportunities”

  • The difference between male’s and females in their transition to life after sports.
  • It’s not too late, tips for establishing a new identity.
  • The benefits of developing a personal best regime.

Where can you connect with Dr. Andrew Martin?

Research Gate | University of New South Wales

Download Episode 131 : iTunes | Stitcher 

130 : Get Up | The Art of Perseverance w/ Adam Greenberg

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 Photo: http://getup.mackenziedaniel.com/

Photo: http://getup.mackenziedaniel.com/

This week's guest is famous for one pitch that changed his life forever.  The pitch was a 92 mph, first pitch fastball to the back of the head on his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs.  This unfortunate event gave Adam the record for being only one of two players in history to have an official at bat without ever taking the field.  After seven years of continued hustle to get back to the major leagues, battling post-concussion symptoms and countless other injuries, he signed a one day contract with the Miami Marlins in 2012 to finish that at bat.  Adam was an All-American at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.  Outside of baseball Adam founded the Health & Wellness Company Lurong Living and is author of the book “Get Up, The Art of Perseverance.” Adam's book should be a must read for any athlete who is dealt adversity, especially if they are struggling with post-concussion syndrome.

I was first introduced to Adam's story through my buddy Joe who hired Adam to speak to the athletes at NJIT.  After Joe's recommendation and reading Adam's book I knew I had to get him on the pod.  

I apologize in advance for dips in audio quality throughout this episode, but luckily Adam was kind enough to re-record the roughest parts.

Below you will find a list of topics Adam and I cover throughout the interview:

“If you play sports you are going to have setbacks.”

  • Why baseball is a game of failure.
  • The odds against baseball players reaching the major leagues.
  • Goal setting principles.
  • Weight room accident that kept him out of for the first time baseball and how Adam dealt with it.
  • How your attitude can create opportunity.
  • How to make fuel for your fire with the naysayers.
  • Symptoms from the concussion suffered in Adam's first major league at bat (17 mis-diagnosis).
    • Positional vertigo
  • The different treatments that helped alleviate his symptoms.

“I picked baseball, baseball didn’t pick me.”

 Photo :  CT Post

Photo : CT Post

  • What is was like going through this injury in the early years of concussion awareness.
  • How to make injury recover a game.
  • How Adam's mental game got stronger after each setback.
  • The importance of setting small goals along the injury recovery journey.
  • The one at-bat campaign story.
  • How pain can serve as a teacher.
  • Why if you quit, you are no help to anyone.
  • Adam's transition to life after baseball and how Lurong Living helped this transition.
  • The injury that gave Adam closure.
  • Adam educate's us on deer antler supplements.
  • Adam's latest project with Four Diamonds Sports.
Get Up: The Art of Perseverance
By Adam Greenberg, Ben Biddick

WHERE CAN YOU connect with Adam Greenberg?


Where can you learn more about Lurong Living?

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Download Episode 130 : iTunes | Stitcher