During this football off season while working on finishing my sequel to Crooked Lines, I’m happy to share an excerpt from Jake Byrne’s devotional book: First and Goal – What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up
The period of time between the Super Bowl and the beginning of the next football season.
On California’s Bear Mountain, my friends and I decided to have some fun and dress out of the ordinary one day while we went snowboarding. I was an American cowboy in jean shorts, wearing an American flag sleeveless shirt, and a red-white-and-blue bandana. I figured if I wrecked, someone would save the guy dressed in the American flag first.
Chris Marsh had the same idea and wore short shorts and red-white-and-blue suspenders. Max Craddock, a friend from Los Angeles, was rocking a majestic lion suit on the slopes and singing songs from the The Lion King.
Our flashy costumes and endless laughter gained us a lot of friends that day. Parents with kids approached us with cameras and asked for photos. Men handed out business cards, offering free places to stay. One guy gave me his daughter’s phone number. Our contagious joy and happy personalities even earned us kisses on the cheeks from elderly ladies.
I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun (Ecclesiastics 8:15).
In the NFL, the regular season is more mental than physical. The game plan changes every week, so we have to adjust the plays for different defense. Every week is a different learning process. Off season is a break from the mental process, but athletes must work hard at getting their bodies in prime shape for the upcoming season. Breaks now and then, especially ones that involves physical activity, are well earned and appreciated. On the slopes, my buddies and I—serious football players, not serious snowboarders—wanted to have a good time, make friends, and be the party.
While working hard toward your goals, take time to cut loose and have fun. King Solomon, who probably wrote the book of Ecclesiastics, was known as the wisest king. If he’s on board with having a good time, we ought to take his advice.
Jake Byrne grew up in Rogers, Arkansas. A type 1 diabetic since the age of fourteen, he has since been proactive combating the disease and mentoring diabetic youth. He played football for the University of Wisconsin as a tight end, and went on to compete in the NFL. Originally an undrafted free agent who signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2012, he has also been a Houston Texan, Kansas City Chief, and San Diego Charger. Jake lives in Dallas with his wife, Emma, and two four-legged kids: Duke the Dogo Argentino and Yeti the Great Dane.
Jake blogs at www.typewon.net. He can be reached through the following social media:
Facebook Page (Type Won): http://www.facebook.com/typewon1