Auto Injury T R I B U N E
When Do We Stop Believing in Ourselves? THE SECRET TO SUCCESS
W hat’s the secret to success? We all have dreams, so why do some people achieve them, while others don’t? Some people will blame luck and believe fate dealt them the hand they have to play with. I don’t buy it. I believe that in order to succeed, you have to believe that you can do it. Believing in yourself doesn’t mean you’ll never fail — it means that failing isn’t enough to make you give up. There will always be obstacles in life and things that don’t go according to plan. But when you know in your gut that you can achieve your goals, then you don’t give up because of those obstacles. The people who are “lucky” are those who believe in themselves. Everything might not have always gone their way, but they were able to bounce back every time until they finally succeeded. When the going gets tough, it’s not always easy to keep believing in yourself. It’s important to find ways to motivate yourself to keep working hard. When I was younger, I found a great way to motivate myself was by watching something that would motivate me. For example, when I didn’t feel like working out, I’d watch the movie “Conan the Barbarian,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Seeing Schwarzenegger battle across Hyboria always convinced me to hit the gym. I’d use this method of motivating myself later in law school. Whenever I was having a rough time, I’d turn on an episode of “Law and Order” and find my enthusiasm for the law again.
I was glad to have such strong motivation, because the early days of my business were rough. The firm started in my house and my truck. Before I had my own office, I would take calls on my cell phone. Whenever prospective clients wanted to meet, I would tell them I had court the next morning at a courthouse in their area and offer to meet at their house. They thought I was the nicest lawyer ever, and no one ever found out I wasn’t really coming from a courthouse. When I finally got my office 16 years ago, it was such a relief. The place looked horrible, we didn’t have any office furniture, and there wasn’t even a sign on the door, but we felt like top dogs. Here was the result of all that hard work, the product of all the years I kept believing in myself. Every day, I come into work proud of what I’d accomplished. It was a long, hard road, but I knew I could make it and that kept me going. Today the firm continues to expand, becoming greater than even I imagined it could be. It’s proof that when you want something in life, the first step is to believe you can get it.
Of course, belief alone isn’t enough to guarantee success, no matter how many hours of inspirational TV you watch. You have to channel that belief into hard work. I wanted to be a lawyer so I could run my own business. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was ready to start my own firm from my first class in law school. When I got my bar results and saw that I had passed, I used the last $300 I had in the bank to buy a printer and a fax machine. I came home that day and told my wife that I was starting my own business in one of the rooms of our house. That’s when Karen decided to tell me she was pregnant. This was our first child, and the news was equally surprising and wonderful. I went and watched an episode of “Law and Order” to jump-start my motivation. I needed to get a better life for everybody, including my son.
And if you need some extra encouragement, “Conan the Barbarian” still holds up.
–Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr.
El Abogado Ramiro (El Abogado Amigo) y su equipo hablan español
HOW THE ART OF SLEEP HAS CHANGED OVER TIME
ARE YOU READY FOR FIDO?
There are few things in life that feel better than crawling into a comfy bed after a long day. Sleep is an essential part of human health. After a mere 24 hours of sleep deprivation, bodily functions and mental faculties start to go haywire, and 11 days seems to be the longest a person can live without sleep. While people acknowledge that sleep has always been a necessary part of human existence, very few know how drastically nightly routines have changed over time. Here are three significantly different historical approaches to sleep. BRAIN FLOODS For centuries, theorists associated sleep with blood loss and other health problems. But by the 1800s, notable physicians blamed sleep on a process known as congestion theory. In this theory, sleep was thought to be brought on by an overwhelming flow of blood to the brain, effectively flooding it and sending sleepers into a dreamlike state. SLEEP GAPS While many modern sleep experts support the consecutive eight- hour sleep regimen, historically, people had completely different sleep schedules. Medieval society actually had two sleep sessions a night — known as biphasic sleep — with a gap of wakefulness in between to eat, pray, talk, read, or write by candlelight. But by the 1920s, this practice of having two sleep sessions each night entirely receded from the social consciousness. Historians attribute this shift to innovations in artificial lighting and work schedules during the Industrial Revolution that required workers to stay up longer and sleep less. COZY BLANKETS Most people find it difficult to sleep without some kind of covering, like a blanket, over their bodies. While researchers of the past entertained the idea that blankets offer some kind of primal protection for sleepers, they now believe the coverings help with temperature regulation, as maintaining a comfortable body temperature is necessary for good sleep. However, according to a recent study conducted in Sweden, weighted blankets help with much more than just temperature. Due to the added pressure, weighted blankets provide deep pressure touch (DPT), which increases the body’s amount of serotonin — a chemical that helps decrease blood pressure and rapid heart rate. Because of the effects of increased serotonin, weighted blankets are believed to help with anxiety and insomnia. While sleep patterns may change over time, the human need for sleep will not. As you crawl into your bed tonight, take some time to think about the way your ancestors approached their nightly snooze sessions. It’ll put you to sleep faster than counting sheep.
HOW TO DECIDE IF YOUR FAMILY CAN CARE FOR A PET While we don’t know exactly why humans keep pets, one fact is certain: Millions of people love them. In fact, nearly 70 percent of households in the U.S. have a pet. But no matter what you see on your favorite dog Instagram accounts, keeping a pet isn’t endless playtime. Ask yourself the following questions before buying or adopting a furry companion. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO? Owning a pet can change your lifestyle. To start, you will have to consider the animal’s well-being when hosting events or taking vacations. You will also have to make room in your budget for pet- related expenses. Additionally, some animals can live for upward of two decades. Discuss how responsibilities will change as a pet ages and what your future will look like before making the commitment. DOES AN ANIMAL FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE? When choosing a pet for your family, gather research from animal experts and other pet owners. Calculate the cost of owning a pet, and evaluate how that animal will fit into your lifestyle. For example, dogs are one of the most high-maintenance and expensive animals to own, but they tend to be more involved in family life than a cat or a hamster. That said, your home’s size and location may make it better suited for a smaller pet, as many larger animals require more square footage and plenty of outdoor space. IS YOUR FAMILY READY? Every family is different, and it’s important to have an honest discussion about the implications of owning a pet. If you have kids, consider how much they will be able to contribute to such a responsibility. Another factor to consider is how much free time you have to spend with your pet; some animals require more attention than others. To avoid major conflict down the road, discuss care and responsibility plans as a family before welcoming an animal into your home. Keeping a pet can be a source of joy for your family, but it can also be a source of stress. Before making any major choice, talk to your family members and consider what owning a pet would mean for all of you.
WILL CITY ORDINANCES MAKE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS SAFER?
2. Only one rider is allowed per electric scooter, and the speed limit on electric scooters is 15 mph max. 3. Don’t “text and scoot.” Just like when you’re behind the wheel of the car, riders are not allowed to use their cell phones while on an electric scooter. 4. When you’re done riding, electric scooters must be parked upright. Don’t leave your electric scooter blocking the sidewalk. While these city ordinances may help tackle some problems of electric scooters, personal safety for riders and pedestrians is still a huge concern. There is no law that requires riders to wear safety gear, but we strongly encourage everyone who uses electric scooters to wear a helmet, as well as knee pads, elbow pads, and close-toed shoes. It’s also important to keep both hands on the handlebar, pay attention to traffic and pedestrians, and don’t wear earbuds or headphones while riding. It looks like Birds won’t be flying anywhere this summer, so if you plan on using them, be sure to do so safely.
When Alfred Hitchcock warned about “the birds,” he probably wasn’t picturing electric scooters. But the streets of Atlanta certainly felt like a horror movie last summer when thousands of electric scooters from Bird and other companies appeared overnight. There are plenty of benefits to these readily available electric scooters. It’s reported that around 25 percent of commuters who use electric scooters have started using their cars less to zoom around the city. Unfortunately, there have also been plenty of problems. Improper use leaves electric scooters discarded in the middle of sidewalks and, like any motorized vehicle, there are safety risks for riders. A report from the emergency room at Grady Hospital noted that they see around 100 injuries each month related to the use of electric scooters. In early January, the Atlanta city council voted to allow the scooters to remain on the streets, but with stricter regulations. In addition to charging companies to put electric scooters on the streets, new city ordinances also impose safety rules on riders. If you’re planning on scooting anywhere this spring, here are four new rules you need to follow. 1. Electric scooters cannot be used on sidewalks. Riders must stick to shared paths, bike lanes, and the street.
BEWARE THE BIRDS (AND THE LIMES)
ASPARAGUS AND AVOCADO SOUP
This hearty soup is the perfect meal for those late winter days when you think spring will never come. It can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.
• • • •
12 ounces asparagus 1 tablespoon olive oil
• • • •
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss
3. Transfer asparagus to blender. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. 4. Season to taste and serve.
asparagus and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
Inspired by CookEatPaleo.com
Solution on page 4
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Weight Training with Conan the Barbarian
Should You Get a Pet? The History of Snoozing
New Rules for Electric Scooter Safety Asparagus and Avocado Soup
Who Was Elizabeth Porter?
Marietta’s New Park Celebrates the Legacy of Elizabeth Porter
On Aug. 31, 2018, the citizens of Marietta gathered together to celebrate the opening of Elizabeth Porter Park on 370 Montgomery St. NE. Every day since its opening, kids and families have filled the park, enjoying the picnic areas, trails, water fountains, and the city’s largest playground. The sight of the community finding joy at Marietta’s newest park would have no doubt put a smile on the face of the woman the park is named for. Elizabeth Porter was a person who deeply loved her community. Long before a playground or splash pad were on the site, a citizen-led initiative built a hospital to serve the African-American community of Cobb County during the era of segregation. When the integrated Kennestone Hospital opened just a few miles away in 1950, the hospital was turned into a recreation center. Elizabeth Porter, lovingly remembered as Ms. Porter by all who knew her, was the center’s first director. At the time, the center — nicknamed the Canteen —was the only community center in Marietta open to African-Americans. A true pillar of the community, Ms. Porter created a place where young people felt safe and welcome. She worked
to provide kids with everything they needed while at the Canteen, from basketballs and sewing lessons to help with homework. No task was too small if it meant serving her community. In an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal, Ron Porter, Ms. Porter’s grandson, shared fond memories of this remarkable woman. “My grandmother didn’t know the word ‘can’t,’” he said. “That is one of the things she would never say. She always told people ‘can’t’ isn’t in her vocabulary. It shouldn’t be in yours. It should be ‘can.’ Can do.” After serving as director for 22 years, Ms. Porter retired in 1974 and the Canteen was renamed in her honor. When the city voted to create new parks in 2009, the decision was made to tear down the over 60-year-old building. But there was no question that the new park would continue to celebrate Elizabeth Porter’s legacy. The next time you’re at this beautiful park, be sure to thank Ms. Porter herself by visiting the life-sized bronze statue that was erected in her honor.
TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY
Bill Bruton, City Manager and Ramiro Rodriguez
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