Day 12 - Breaking Bread

Never Eat Alone

Back in 2017, when I was new to the Chargers, my former head coach Anthony Lynn taught me a priceless lesson. I've always been an early riser who appreciated quiet moments alone in the cafeteria. But one morning, when Anthony chose to sit next to me, I couldn't resist the chance to learn from my boss.

Spotting me alone, he questioned my solitude. With the cafeteria almost vacant, I responded, "Just preparing for the day, Coach."

Anthony, looking serious and committed, decided to share an insight that would stick with me. With his slight southern drawl, he said, "Russ... I'm pleased you're here. We're shaping the Chargers' culture, and you're a part of it. But I'm not only interested in the player, but also the man. Ponder the message you send when you isolate yourself. We can't truly be a team without knowing each other."

He used the allegory of 'breaking bread' to explain. This act symbolizes a communal meal. Eating alone negates the need to break bread since there's no one to share it with. But eating with others requires the bread to be divided, symbolizing sharing and unity.

This wisdom affected me profoundly, transcending beyond football and into my daily life. Recently, we had a contractor at our home whose work seemed endless and frustrating. I decided to invite him to sit and eat with me. Though he didn't eat, this moment of offered connection prompted him to open up, share about his life, and vastly improve his focus and responsiveness in his work. We had connected as people, not just through a transactional relationship.

While there is certainly a valuable place for retreating in solitude, the lesson from Anthony Lynn about the significance of getting to know each other and building relationships still impacts me to this day. It's a poignant reminder that true teamwork and connection aren't limited to the football field but extend to all life aspects.


Consider a time in your life or an ongoing habit that you have of removing yourself from the crowd. Maybe you think of yourself as an “introvert” or maybe too much “social distancing” from the COVID years have become habitual. Regardless of the reason, ponder the relationships that you are missing out on by consistently avoiding social interactions.


Invite a neighbor, contractor or acquaintance to join you for a meal. Focus on relationships that you wish to see flourish.

Not a medical professional, my advice should not replace medical advice or treatment. Seek professional medical advice if you have specific health concerns, especially when planning to fast. Any fasting advice I provide is general and should be followed alongside personal health guidelines and consultation with a healthcare provider.

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