Laura Roman

Here's something that may surprise you: Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

I know what you're thinking: Where did 2017 go? Wasn't it just Labor Day?

I know. I know!

But there's no turning back. Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and there's nothing we can do about it. The question is, are you prepared? Do you have your plans nailed down? Do you know if you are hosting family or friends? Have you figured out what you're cooking, if anything?

We praise athletes, at every level, for their ability to compete, to dazzle, to perform under pressure, to inspire and — maybe most importantly — to win.

And when they fall down, when they tear, break or injure themselves, they promise to pick themselves back up, come back stronger than ever and carry their team to victory — thus solidifying their seemingly superhuman performance.

But what goes into recovery? How do athletes get better? And then how do they stay healthy?

Often, recovery — and general pain management in sports — involves medication.

More than a year ago, Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sat, then knelt, during the national anthem before NFL games. Kaepernick took a knee to protest the treatment of African-Americans and minorities in the U.S., and his actions have generated a lot of conversation.

After 14 years in the NFL, Anquan Boldin is ending one career to begin another. The 36-year-old Super Bowl champion and potential Hall of Famer is leaving football to focus on social activism and charity work full time.

Just last month, Boldin signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills. But not even two weeks later, he quit.

"Football takes up a huge amount of your time," Boldin tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "I wanted to be able to spend as much time as I felt was needed to work on advocacy."

What opportunities are there for a coal-mining community after its main industry has waned?

In Somerset County in southwestern Pennsylvania, that's not an easy question to answer. For this county of roughly 76,000 residents, renewable energy and health care offer hopes for its future. But first it has to attract qualified workers.

No one likes to take tests. Sitting down to take a standardized test on a beautiful Saturday morning would not, almost certainly, be categorized as a fun weekend activity. Yet, it's a requirement many of us face at one point in life. So we sharpen our No. 2 pencils and get to work.

When Yomi Wrong was born in 1972, doctors told her mother, Sarah Churchill, the newborn may die during the night.

Yomi was born with a rare genetic disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta, which causes bones to break under the slightest pressure.

"Your skull was fractured; your arms, your ribs," Sarah explained to her daughter at StoryCorps in San Francisco, Calif. Doctors told Sarah the best thing to do was to leave Yomi in the hospital because she probably wouldn't survive.

The Federal Communications Commission's public commenting system experienced delays Sunday night. That was the same night comedian John Oliver did a segment about net neutrality on his HBO show, Last Week Tonight and encouraged viewers to file comments on the FCC's website.

Well, he did it — sort of.

In April, Carter Wilkerson set out on a mission to get free chicken nuggets for a year. What he may not have known was that his inquiry would become the most retweeted tweet of all time.

It was his fondness for nuggets that inspired Wilkerson to ask Wendy's how many retweets he needed to get free chicken nuggets for a year. Wendy's, playing along, set the bar high: 18 million.

Challenge accepted.