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Apr 3, 2023

In this episode of Change It Up Radio, Paula Shaw is joined by former NFL middle linebacker Gary Plummer, who played for the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers. They discuss the physical, mental, and emotional toll that his time in the NFL took on him, including his experience with early-onset dementia, as well as the high price he paid for greatness.


Gary shares stories from his time in the NFL, the attitude toward injuries and the pressure to play through pain, and the long-term physical and mental health consequences for football players. He emphasizes the need for players to be more open about their physical and emotional pain and seek help when needed, as well as the important role that supportive friends and family can play in their lives.


Gary also highlights the importance of taking small steps towards healing, whether through yoga, gratitude walks, or other activities that bring joy and peace, taking care of one's body through proper nutrition and exercise, and how these practices can help in mitigating the damage caused by brain injuries as well. Finally, he expresses hope that his story can help others understand the risks associated with professional sports and the importance of self-care and being of service to others.


Some key topic points covered in this episode include:

  • The invincible mindset that professional athletes often adopt and how it can negatively impact their decision-making
  • The evolving knowledge and understanding of the long-term effects of concussions
  • The importance of nutrition and physical fitness in recovering from the damage caused by concussions
  • The importance of seeking help and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health, especially for men in traditionally "macho" roles
  • The power of taking small steps towards healing and finding the right activity for oneself
  • The importance of being of service and giving back to others


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