Day 37 - Compete

Welcome to the NFL

Every NFL player has their "welcome to the NFL" moment, a defining play or instance that burns itself into their memory, solidifying their presence in the big leagues.

In my rookie year, I finally made it to training camp after a lengthy contract dispute with the Seahawks. The resolution came just in time for the grueling days of full pads. This was the moment when the men were separated from the boys, where the physicality of football truly shone.

Practice was intense, tempers flared, and the defense was playing with an aggressive edge. Running backs were being thrown around, a violation of the unwritten rules of practice where we are all teammates. As an offense, we were hyped up, determined to make our presence felt. And in the midst of it all, there was one play that stands out in my mind.

Picture this: in American football, the defense's role is to stop the offense from scoring. Safeties, typically positioned farthest from the line of scrimmage, act as the last line of defense. They prevent long pass plays and assist in tackling runners. But then there's the strategic move known as a "safety blitz," where a safety charges towards the quarterback to disrupt the offense's rhythm.

“Set hut!” The QB yelled, signaling everyone to move on the snap of the ball.

It was on that play, in the midst of the chaos, that I found myself face-to-face with a charging safety. Time seemed to slow down as I made my read.

I was a step too slow. In college this way okay, but in the NFL, everything was faster. Much faster. Young rookie, Kam “Bam Bam” Chancellor was coming with a full head of steam my way.

“Ooooh,” I could hear coaches and teammates in awe at our collision. Kam, had my number that play as I slid across the field face down. Pants dirtied and knees now bloodied, I didn’t see him coming. My pride would not permit me to accept defeat so easily. I cannot lie. There was some jawing back and forth. From my perspective, he jumped the snap of the ball, charging earlier than the play was in motion. Kam would say otherwise.

The next play it was on. Coach Carroll beckoned the team to run through the play again. Perfect. I wanted another shot at him. Let’s just say we were engaged and had to be separated.

Oddly, we had a newfound respect and relationship with one another after that practice. He challenged me and I pushed back. And ultimately, we were better because of it. We were better men.

We need more of this in society. As a global team, we can push each other righteously; ultimately knowing it can help us all become better.


Most shy away from conflict yet healthy forms of competition play a vital role in personal and collective growth. How can you bring out the best in those around you?


Shift your mindset from comparing yourself against others to figuring out how to bring the best out of yourself, try to embrace setbacks and challenges. Write down ways to stop thinking about your failures and how you can see every moment as a growth opportunity.

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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