What in the world has happened? It seems like months ago I was in New York on a huge stage sharing my opinion on athletic training and concussions; in particular secondary schools and adolescents. Now looking at the blog I have realized it has been some time since posting.
I would be lying if I said I just flat had no time, although it seems to be very scarce now-a-days. In truth I have not had the motivation to post stories and thoughts – which happens in this blogging thing. I truly appreciate those that have visited and have interacted on Twitter (I have found it easier to communicate in 140 or less when in this “mood”).
If you throw in the chaotic weather here in the Midwest you have a “perfect storm” that has prohibited me from being on here for some time. With all the snow and ice I have been relegated to stay-at-home dad and then when school is back in session we have a back log of games that need to be made up. One aspect that people don’t fully understand/appreciate about high school athletic trainers – if there is a game we MUST be there. Not because it is our job but because we want to be there for “our” kids and families that rely upon us to take care of them. This creates many nights that were originally scheduled to be family or personal time to be work time.
If I have learned one thing in this career its to balance your family life and personal time. Unfortunately many athletic trainers burn out because of such demands and honestly the family dynamics pressure a career change with stable hours. If you throw in the blog it can be hazardous for your stability; this is why I always go back to the advice from Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) when I started “don’t let the blog run you, you run the blog.”
There are times when my wife – my best friend and rock in my crazy world – deserves all my efforts around the house so doing the honey-do list takes priority over this blog. There are times when my three kids need my attention and play/free time and take priority over the blog. There are times when a parent calls and asks that I accompany them to a doctor appointment to ease fears and “decipher” what a doc is saying and take priority over the blog. There are times when I have had 4 game nights in a row putting in more than 40 in four days with 2 days left in a week and I am tired and my rest takes priority over the blog.
I will say that there are times when I wonder if even putting effort into this space on the web is even worth the effort; then I get an email or phone call or tweet that makes me realize I am and have been doing a service. For that reason I feel like I owe an explanation and thank you to all of you!
From about February to June/July is basically the slow time on the blog; more family obligations, more sports coverage at the high school, preparation for the upcoming Fall sports season, and the biggest catalyst for concussion news (football) is in hiatus. This does not mean that our information seeking and education should wane. It means we should change-up how we do that as not to get monotonous in our message.
Going forward you will see posts from me but I am accepting other posts (not from sponsored or ad driven people) to help spread the word. So, you will see other guest writers posting on here and it will be less frequent than in the months of August-January. I also will be spending the time I usually devote to the blog doing presentations: Skyping into the class room and going to colleges as a guest speaker. This is also an invitation to drop me a note and arrange a presentation on about anything athletic training and concussions (although I can talk just about anything you can dream up and it may be entertaining to see me rap poetically about 19th century literature – wait don’t ask me to do that).
Along with the education in the formal sense I entertain many more interviews during this time; again in the hopes of keeping the information fresh. A lot of time and energy goes into those chances I have at educating those not necessarily looking for it. Additionally there are some opportunities for me to go to conferences and expand my knowledge in concussions along with other needed skills, like: shoulders, backs, core and lower extremity to name a few.
One thing I won’t do is “pimp” out my blog – I get about $120 every 4-5 months for hosting it. I use that money for my wife and kids for unexpected gifts of thanks just for being strong enough to have me in their life. It is hardly life changing income, in fact if I were not getting a dime I would still be doing what I am doing.
Really this rambling post is about owing you all a debt of gratitude for keeping me coming back and changing some of all your lives. Stick with The Concussion Blog, and make sure you follow on Twitter because that is where I do most of my work in this part of the year.
I understand I have zero control over time but I do have control of what is on this blog. So thank you!
Dustin Fink, MS, ATC