Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is one of the most well known race car drivers, and athletes, in the world. He also has one of the most publicized struggles and experiences with concussions in the sporting world.
But it wasn't always that way.
On a recent appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, Earnhardt goes in-depth about his experience with concussions, before and after he realized they were actually a big-deal problem.
Earnhardt says that at one time, he just thought concussions were a part of racing. They'd happen, you'd joke about them with friends, and then, eventually, they'd go away, and you were cured. That was his experience for most of his career.
Until 2012. During a test in Kansas, Earnhardt lost a right front tire and hit the wall, hard, at 185 mph. He knew that something was wrong when he got out of the car, but he didn't say anything to anyone, like usual. He ended up feeling ill for four weeks, but then the symptoms cleared up. Earnhardt thought he was better. Then he had another crash a few weeks later, and the symptoms came right back. Something wasn't right.
I won't spoil the interview, but Earnhardt's discussion on concussions is enlightening and very self-aware. And if you've had a concussion but didn't take it seriously in the past, this interview will make you want to take it seriously in the future.