I can look back at it now as definitely like an initiation into adulthood. Almost overnight in the NFL, I was put on a pedestal and I was supposed to be this icon or this image of what a professional athlete was supposed to be. I felt like I just got stuck trying to be someone else and I forgot who I actually was.
Depending on their fondest memory of you, most people hold on so tightly to their fondest memory they don’t usually let you be anything greater than that. And that’s one of the things I think I allowed myself to be a victim of earlier in my career. What I learned as I got older is I decide. I decide what it’s like for me, not other people. You can be whatever you’d like to be. You just have to choose it.
I started practicing yoga. I started learning some hands-on healing stuff. And I found really good chiropractors, really good massage therapists, and what I found is I've been able to actually peel off layers of trauma on my body and actually move better now than I did.
To talk about balance, it's easier to talk about what's out of balance. And I think anytime that you have any disease, and disease meaning lack of ease, lack of flow... dis-ease. So any time there's disease, you're out of balance, whether it's jealousy, anger, greed, anxiety, fear.
I led the NFL in attempts the past two years and they really didn’t go out and get a quarterback to help me so I knew it’s going to be all on me again. I could see my mortality as a football player, that I’m not going to be able to do this much longer. It just became obvious to me that playing football for me is not going to be fun, not something I’m going to enjoy and it’s time for me to do something different.
One of the biggest things I've done is learn how to love myself, flaws and all. Even the things I don't like about myself, I accept. People have made fun of me and made me self-conscious about talking so softly, for example, but I accept that as who I am and I'm not changing it for anybody. I'm at peace with who I am now, and once you've achieved that, all the other stuff disappears.