what’s the fifth down?

Hi! I’m Grant.

I already know. A voice in your head is asking: What the heck is The Fifth Down?

Well, in short, it’s a memoir of my journey in, through, and out of the National Football League–the good, the bad, and the ugly with all the grease you won’t hear about on ESPN.

You see, I dreamed of playing in the National Football League. And after years of training, I did it. I climbed from the practice squads to the elusive 53-man rosters of the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, and Tennessee Titans, taking the path of many unknowns before me and carving out a short lived career in the NFL.

It was awesome. Until I realized I wasn’t happy.

Then I retired (or the NFL grew tired of me). Either way, not so awesome.

In the years that followed my retirement, when The Fifth Down really began, I struggled to find purpose and meaning in my life. This book recounts my experiences in the NFL, the unforeseen challenges I faced (and ran from at times) when my football dreams came to an end, and how yoga led me back to a path of self-love. Fast-paced and unapologetically honest, The Fifth Down  is a fresh take on the NFL workweek and the reality that awaits most former players after the game ends.

So hey, sign up and stay up to date with me and this project. There’s much more to come–a kickass  Kickstarter Campaign, new posts, and a chance for you and a friend to win 50-yard line seats to the next Super Bowl. Or a tryout for an actual NFL team. Or a year supply of Toradol. Or…ah, fuck it. How about just sign up? Click here.

 

 

 

 

those eyes

When you know, you know.

I had heard this saying many times over the past decade of my life when the conversation about finding a life partner would come up. I believed those words at one point during those years, mostly while attempting to jam round relationships into square ideas of what I thought intimacy should be. Then I gave up on them entirely, selfishly focusing only on the healing and loving of myself. We can only love someone else as much as we do ourselves. And the moment I let go of the possibility of finding the wife I had envisioned in my happy dreams, the children and the home that came with them, immediately I experienced a release, like a rush of water breaking through a dam, getting rid of the debris I had let accumulate inside my heart through repetitious relationships. The pressure was gone. And what replaced it was love. Love for myself.

I want to share it with this woman, all of me. I want to see what comes back when I do, the intensity the softness. I want to experience all of her over the course of both of our lifetimes. I want to continually grow with her as we dance and laugh our way through this life, giving our unborn children the childhood I wish I had. Those words, when you know, you know, which had been given up for the betterment of myself, now make complete sense. I know without a shadow of a doubt, this woman in front of me, her soul, is calling out, I can hear it. And in my mind there is an echo, there you are, they reach hoping to grasp and hold, it’s as if I’ve known her my whole life and we are reuniting for the first time in years.

As our eyes meet again, hers speaking a silent hello, she turns, faces me, I smile nervously and say hello. We had seen each other in passing throughout the year in this gym, but we never went beyond a hello or a typical greeting I used while checking people in. My mindset, during that time, was what member of this fancy club wants to date someone working behind the front desk. I have moved past this victimizing way of thinking and now here we stand, not speaking, just standing in the silence, in the stillness of something that has the possibility of being endless. There aren’t any clever or witty things spilling from my mouth, my tongue feels as if it’s twisted in several complicated knots.

All I can do is bow my head, laugh, and apologize. You look beautiful, I tell her. She smiles and touches of redness appear on the tops of her high cheek bones. Those eyes.

I can’t stop staring into her beautiful eyes.