Football is Killing its Players

For the last few years, as evidence has been mounting about brain injuries befalling NFL players, I’ve found it really hard to separate the violent aspects of football I tolerated from the jaw-dropping highlights and strategy I enjoy so much.

I actually have several hundred words written on the topic of CTE in a draft on this blog that I will hopefully get a chance to publish someday, but this video sums up my thoughts pretty perfectly on the matter. It’s kind of unbelievable that given what we know about how football affects the brain, that we’re all just okay with this.

As with many ‘traditions’, it’s very hard to even discuss because some people refuse to even acknowledge there might be a problem with something their families have enjoyed for generations.

The other aspect mentioned in this video, the fact that they are talking about college football, where players get literally zero compensation (and if they take endorsement money or any other kind of gift, they face suspension), while coaches and other staff associated with this billion dollar system are paid up to millions of dollars a year. It’s quite clearly exploitation, and like they said in the video, “I’ve woken up”, and I just can’t look at football the same way again.

Whoops!

It happens to the best of us from time to time. Looking back at the last 8 months, I see that I’ve gone from right around 190 lbs all the way up to 205 lbs as of this week.

Now, granted, most people aren’t tracking their weight with extreme granularity like I am, so I have *definitely* seen this coming. Since my now 7-month old daughter was born back in April, I’ve gained almost exactly 15 pounds.

Back in 2015, when I started measuring and tracking my weight on a regular basis (at least daily), I used a spreadsheet and portion control to lose about 60 pounds in the course of about 9 months. At the time, I had set up a bot to let me automatically tweet my weight to hold myself publicly accountable for what I was (over)eating, and it worked wonders, even if nobody ever actually commented on the fact that I was doing it.

Waking up to a measurement of 204.27 lbs this morning means that I’m resurrecting the Twitter bot:

I’m hoping this will have the same effect as last time, and that being more deliberate about my goal of getting back under 195 lbs will help resolve my current lack of willpower and get me back on track so I can fit easily in to my clothes again.

If you’ve struggled with weight gain in the past, or are currently unhappy with the number you see on the scale or the way you look, I get that. It’s just a number, but it really affects the way you feel and the way you think about yourself, and making changes isn’t always easy.

I hope after 1-2 months of doing this, I will be able to turn off the Twitter bot because it will have yielded extremely positive results, but we will have to wait and see. You can always keep tabs on my progress here for a view of the last 3+ years: Tracking My Weight.

Another Positive OC Transpo Experience

Three years ago, I shared a story that was similar to this, and I like to point out when somebody clearly really cares about their job and makes my day better because of it. I know, not all bus drivers are amazing, but I think it’s worth recognizing when you have a really positive experience.

This morning shortly after 7 AM, my bus (the #12 towards Bank/Slater) was rumbling down Montreal Road towards Den Haag, and I was stuck on the wrong side of the street, willing the light to change faster so I could catch my bus. It has been a snowy morning, and I was hoping I wouldn’t have to wait another ten minutes getting colder if I missed this bus due to bad timing.

I’ve been hearing the announcements on the bus recently about how you shouldn’t run across the street in traffic against a light to catch your bus (obviously, because that’s super dangerous), and so I resisted that urge and stood helplessly stranded, hoping the light would change faster.

Fortunately, I managed to make eye contact with the bus driver, who I recognize as I arrive on time for this bus about 25-50% of the time. The crosswalk had already started counting down, and when the bus pulled up to the stop, the count was at about 10 seconds. At this point, I was fully prepared to wait for the next bus, and I would not have faulted the driver if he had just continued on his route. However, he let the last few seconds of the light run down, waiting for me as I hurried across the street.

As I got on the bus, he thanked me for not running across the street against traffic, and I thanked him for letting me cross the street and get on his bus. It made a difference of a few seconds to the other passengers (if they even noticed anything out of the ordinary), but it absolutely made my morning! Bus drivers can get a bad reputation sometimes, but they are people who have good days and bad just like everybody else, and I think it’s worthwhile to point out and share stories about the good ones.

I’ll be submitting this story as part of a report to OC Transpo giving positive feedback about my driver this morning, and I hope this gets back to him. It’s very uplifting having somebody recognize that you did something nice for them, and we could all use a little uplifting these days.