BY: STEVEN EDELMAN
I imagine Bill Buckner must have repeatedly asked the "What if?" question to himself for years after the Boston Red Sox lost the 1986 MLB World Series. What if he, the Red Sox first baseman who made a mistake in the ninth inning that cost the match and the series to his team, perfectly recovered the ball for a withdrawal and the Sox became champions?
What if his teammates stayed in Boston and the team played with winning results for the next decade? What if they became a heirloom that will be remembered for generations?
“What if this never happened” is a question that goes beyond sport. It is a self-examination we all ask ourselves after major mistakes we have made or tragedy we have experienced.
The answer we tell ourselves, most of the time, is something more positive than we would have liked. It leaves us unhappy with the life we are living now. It's a counterfactual thought and it's a way to avoid facing uncomfortable truths from our experiences.
About 12 years ago, I was a sports reporter in San Diego. A decision I made one night changed my life and those of my loved ones forever. I had too much to drink at a party and thought it would be a good idea to get other people's attention by pulling a risky trick on the third floor deck. Unfortunately, during my attempt I fell 25 feet into the concrete below.
I was unconscious and an ambulance took me to the emergency room where the doctors diagnosed me with a traumatic brain injury. There was severe damage to parts of my brain and I didn't know what could be cured.
After waking up from a three month coma, my recovery began. In a rehabilitation hospital, I had to relearn how to walk, talk, understand information by listening to others, and understand how I ended up in the hospital. The process was difficult and demanding. Nonetheless, over the course of several years, I gained most of what I had lost.
It seems like the usual positive ending to this story, but it wasn't that simple. I was angry. I was angry with God for why I, a drunk man, was being given another chance when others were not. I was angry with friends who didn't understand why I was different from the person I was before the accident. I was angry with myself for putting all the people I loved in stress and pain. Most of the time, I was mad at myself for not appreciating what I had until it was gone.
It was then that my "What if?" the self-talk has started. What if this accident never happened? What if I continued my career as a sports journalist and didn't have to stop to recover? What if my relationship with my friends and family continues to grow?
What if I don't waste all that time and go on a trip? What if there were other opportunities that I missed during my healing time? The questions never ended and I fell back into a dark place with no idea how to get out.
The way I finally got out of this depression was to stop denying my past by creating a made-up “what if” story that was unrealistic. I had found a way to get to the present.
It was about changing my model to a new one where I was in control. In many cases, injuries are beyond our control, but how we absorb them is within our control.
Since the accident, I easily forget people's names, it's not so easy to learn new information. I am not exactly who I was before my brain injury. Yet this is a new chapter in my life where I have different expectations and new priorities. I have a supportive wife and a newborn son who only receives my love and attention. I'm not denying my past and what happened, however, I am part of something bigger than a "mistake" that I made and overcome.
The truth is, Bill Buckner never played the "What if?" self-talk game with himself despite being threatened after his mistake and his family. He took responsibility for the mistake and found a way to ignore the anger that Red Sox fans and the media had long created. Buckner only cared about his family, and he understood that a misstep doesn't describe a person's character.
I am Steve Edelman, a TBI survivor who has never lost who I am. I entered a new chapter in my life with a caring wife and a healthy one year old son.
BrainHQ is your online headquarters for sérieux out your brain. Think of it as a personal gym, where you exercise your memory, attention, brain speed, people skills, intelligence and navigation instead of your abs, delts, and quads. Just as our bodies require care and exercise over the course of life, so do our brains—especially as we age. BrainHQ provides the exercise your brain needs to be at its sharpest.
The BrainHQ brain-training program represents the culmination of 30 years of research in neurological méthode and related medicine. It was designed by an international team of neuroscientists, led by Michael Merzenich—a professor emeritus in neurophysiology, member of the National Academy of Sciences, co-inventor of the cochlear implant, and Kavli Prize laureate.
Changing your brain takes some work—so while the BrainHQ exercises are sometimes fun, they can also be difficult. But they always give a useful, meaningful workout to your unique brain. Using a special algorithm, each exercise adapts in difficulty as you work so that you always train at the optimum level for you—where you are most likely to improve your performance.
It takes less than five minutes to do each BrainHQ level, so you can use it in tiny biroutes or long blocks, depending on your schedule. Plus you can use BrainHQ on almost any computer or mobile device, so you can take it on the go. If you want, you can set up personal training goals and have BrainHQ send you training reminders when you want them.
BrainHQ has 29 online exercises that work out attention, brain speed, memory, people skills, navigation, and intelligence. If you want, you can have BrainHQ tell you exactly which exercises to do, and in which order : the personalized se reproduire feature, designed by scientists, continually measures your performance and serves up the exercises that are right for you.. Or if you prefer, you can style your own program, choosing exercises and workouts that meet your personal interests, mood, and schedule.
More than 100 published scientific papers show the benefits of BrainHQ exercises and assessments. Most of these were independently conducted by scientists at respected universities, such as the University of California, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins. Of course, every study is conducted on a different group of people, and individual results vary. Click any benefit below to learn more about the studies behind the benefit.
From staplers to shelves to software, Demco supplies libraries with what they need to run. In 2015, they added BrainHQ to that mix. Through Demco, libraries can purchase BrainHQ to offer to their cardholders. People “check out” BrainHQ for free, like they would a book. Right now, it’s available in many public and military libraries across the U. S. —with more on the way.
Brain sport has basic principles : variety and curiosity. When anything you do becomes second nature, you need to make a change. If you can do the crossword puzzle in your sleep, it’s time for you to move on to a new challenge in order to get the best workout for your brain. Curiosity about the world around you, how it works and how you can understand it will keep your brain working fast and efficiently. Use the ideas below to help attain your quest for esprit fitness.
Brain fitness programs and games are a wonderful way to tease and challenge your brain. Suduko, crosswords and electronic games can all improve your brain’s speed and memory. These games rely on logic, word skills, math and more. These games are also fun. 1
You’ll get benefit more by doing these games a little bit every day. Spend 15 minutes or so, not hours.
Daily meditation is perhaps the solo greatest thing you can do for your mind/body health. Meditation not only relaxes you, it gives your brain a workout. By creating a different mental state, you engage your brain in new and interesting ways while increasing your brain fitness.
Your brain needs you to eat healthy fats. Focus on fish oils from wild salmon, nuts such as walnuts, seeds such as flax seed and olive oil. Eat more of these foods and less saturated fats. Eliminate transfats completely from your diet.
Stories are a way that we solidify memories, interpret events and share instants. Practice telling your stories, both new and old, so that they are interesting, compelling and fun. Some basic storytelling techniques will go a long way in keeping people’s interest both in you and in what you have to say.