For the last 6 years of my career I’ve been a 6’1” linebacker weighing in between 235 and 255 pounds, depending on the year. So when people find out that while playing in the NFL I weighed 315 pounds and played defensive tackle, they don’t believe me. In the last 3 years this has become more of a recurrence because I’ve been on three different teams. But nonetheless, I usually pull up a photo on social media or google to show them how I use to look.
The funny thing is that sometimes guys still don’t believe me as they look back and forth at my face and phone trying to wrap their mind around the transformation. Usually I’m sitting there grinning trying to reassure them it’s me, but I don’t blame them one bit.
About 5 years ago, after losing a significant amount of weight, I returned to my hometown of Oakland, California, to visit my family and host my annual football camp, as usual. When I arrived at my mother’s house, I was greeted by friends and family who were standing outside. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that my mother came out from downstairs and was
talking with my great aunt.
After finishing up my conversations and hugging my mom and aunt, I headed into the house. Once my mom made it inside, she told me that my aunt didn’t know who I was. I looked at her with a confused expression and asked, “Is Aunty sick or something?” My mom laughed! She went on to explain that when my aunt saw me, she didn’t recognize me. Even after my mom told her it was me, my aunt couldn’t believe it. It wasn’t until I actually hugged her that she finally knew it was me.
So I’m no longer surprised when people don’t believe me even after I show them a picture. If my own aunt, who I’ve know all my life and practically saw everyday for ten years, didn’t recognize me, it makes sense why it’s hard for other people to believe. But, it’s all been worth it. I’ve been able to prolong my career by adapting my body to my role on the team, but more importantly feel awesome physically.