“The real world” (life as an ex-professional athlete) ain’t as bad as I thought it would be. It took about a year or so, but thanks to my good friend Ryan Nelson believing in the man I am, I found a company that seems too good to be true…National Automotive Experts (NAE)!
I LOVE MY JOB! I honestly and truly and with ALL of me do! It’s seriously incredible.
Let me explain…
Soccer has been my life for my whole life! It’s who I was. It ruled my life since I was about 8 years old. And I had absolutely no idea how badly this would affect me when I retired. As a pro, I loved getting the opportunity to speak to kids and encourage, motivate, and inspire them in any way I could. I longed to use my platform to share my journey and faith. I wanted them to know that they were loved regardless of their looks, education, background, social status or performance. I encouraged them not to put their identity in sport or anything that could be taken from them. But to place it in the One who created them and slung the stars in the sky. Of course, I was preaching to myself as well. As this was a hard truth for me to live out because of the performance driven work I was in. And it’s wasn’t until retirement that I truly found where I was placing my identity….in soccer. And it was a hard realization.
When I retired, I really struggled. I felt lost. I tried to escape anyway I could. I had a really horrible panic attack that shook me to the core. I honestly felt like my life was over. I still struggle. I have my days. And I’m sure I always will. But I’ve found new life. No, not in NAE, but they’re are a huge reason why I feel like I can breath again. They believe in me and gave me a chance. And that, my friends, is worth more than gold. God’s used the people at NAE in my life in the most incredible way and I’m thankful beyond words. I’m thankful that they care about me as a person, care about my family, and that they value relationships and so much more over the bottom line (Apparently, not everybody does).
May I leave you with this. There are amazing companies out there made up of amazing people. I know, because I work for one. Life’s too short not to be working somewhere where you’re valued and appreciated. Life’s also pretty darn tough at times. So, wherever you are and whatever you’re going through, hang in there, don’t lose hope, and most of all, never forget Jesus hung on a cross for you some 2,000 years ago because He loves you more than you can ever imagine!