As a retired athlete, I still like to do what I can to stay fit, and I have the greatest trainers in the world—my kids. They are my workout; I chase kids. They don’t sleep, they have endless energy, and they are very athletic. So, when you retire, it’s all about chasing kids.
Seriously though, when I work out. I’m not really into lifting weights. I don’t have time to be doing squats or any of that other lifting stuff. Plus, I have back issues and knee issues after a long professional career.
So, I tend to focus on functional strength movements like push-ups and sit-ups. Most importantly, I eat to my activity level. So, if I do this really long, intense workout and create this big window of like 6000 calories, then I’ll pig out. If not, if I’m busy in the office, chasing kids, and being a dad then I’m eating a salad or something else healthy.
Back in the day, guys used to come to training camp out of shape and use it to get back into shape. But then guys started getting injured and figured out that wasn’t the way to go as an athlete.
Fitness should be a 24/7, 365 thing. I didn’t understand that during my career or after. I kind of rebelled when my career went a certain way. I was kind of like, “Forget this! I ain’t working out today. I’m going to go to the pool and chill out.”
My sense of discipline would tell me that was not what I was supposed to be doing, but I didn’t listen.
But today’s athlete has too much going on right now not to maintain their discipline. Everybody wants your spot. You got people coming over from different sports. You got basketball players becoming some of the greatest tight ends of all time; guys like TO dunking in every celebrity game. So, if you want to keep up with today’s athlete, there is no time for you to be out of shape.
Whether you are a superstar or not, the career of an athlete ends the same way—with some level of pain management being necessary. My body is messed up. I deal with pain management every day. I didn’t play as much as Kobe Bryant or Kevin Garnett, but I played enough at a tough position.
The game takes a toll on the body, and you only get one. Nowadays athletes have sports science, medicine, and devises that can rejuvenate the body faster. All we had back in the day was ice. But at the same time, if you kept showing up in the training room, the coaches would be on you about that, so you kind of had to fake like you were 100 percent healthy.
What I tell guys now that are getting older and wonder what they should do is simple—move. Move, Move around. You don’t always have to be doing something sports specific like shooting baskets or throwing a football.
The real world is different, and you have to train your body in different ways, for things that happen unexpectedly. You have to do things to prepare your body to be able to react when it is not always at its optimum positions.
Staying fit post-retirement is just like life. It’s not always going to go smooth, but you can be prepared to make a pivot-- in life or sports -- with your body.
When it comes down to it-- just move. The more you sit, the more everything is going to get tightened up especially when you get older. So, do yoga, do Pilates, ride a bike, skateboard if you can skateboard (where your helmet and all that good stuff). Walk up a hill and take a picture.
You can’t just sit around banging Dusse and medicating every day. As much as everyone likes to say cannabis is beneficial, it isn’t beneficial if your ass ain’t moving around all day.