Shift Got Real
If you do a quick Google search on my name along with the words “NFL player” you’ll see that I don’t have any gameplay stats. That’s due to a fluke shoulder injury that sent my NFL dreams crashing down just as quickly as they’d come. Within a two-month period I went from having it all in the NFL to being a personal trainer at my local gym to support my family. Despite my reality, I realized that I had been given another chance to change my life just like I had earlier in my childhood. I had to pivot and I had to pivot quickly. I’ve come to realize those pivots have always been shifts. I decided that with my football career over, the only way I could provide the kind of life I wanted for my family was to become my own boss.
With a degree in kinesiology, I decided to open my own gym. Business was okay, but not great. Entrepreneurship is a series of failures before you strike gold so I wasn’t deterred even though I encountered many ups and downs, but along my journey to provide for my family, I lost it all again. The gym ate up all of my time which meant I had nothing left to give my wife, my now three kids or myself. My marriage was falling apart, my children missed me constantly and I’d gotten out of shape all within the span of just two years. Eventually my business tanked and I almost went bankrupt. So not only was I broke, I felt broken and alone, was losing my family, and becoming a total miserable failure. Every day alive was filled with the weight of my failures hopelessness, so one evening I took a long drive with the intention of ending it all for good.
Fortunately, I didn’t find it within myself to take my own life that night. I am so glad that I didn’t because soon after I had a conversation with someone that changed my entire world. While I was failing and struggling to be the man that I wanted to be, a close friend of mine viewed me as an inspiration and a hero because, despite the odds, I overcame. Prior to this conversation, my only focus was financial success so that I could provide the lifestyle that I felt my family deserved, no matter what. But then I had a thought, “what if I could be an inspiration for others?”