5 Ways Football Can Change Your Life

5 Ways Football Can Change Your Life

An amazing game, but better men.
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It’s been almost three years since I’ve strapped on a pair of shoulder pads and put on a helmet, but every time I hear the pads pop somewhere, I still get the same chills down my spine and little boy-like excitement that I did then. Coming to grips with the fact that I will probably never take the field again as a player is a tough pill to swallow for me, as the game has given me so much and helped define me as the man that I am today. So with football season around the corner, I present a tribute — if you will, a love story — about the things that this great sport teaches thousands of young men all over the country.

1. Physical Toughness

There are not many people that are willing to be physically pushed to the limits every single day practically year round. Whether it is getting stronger in the weight room, doing hill sprints, suicide runs, pushing the blocking sled around, running routes over and over or enduring hit after hit every single day, football players are some of the toughest guys around. They learn that in order to be successful, you gotta sweat and bleed for it, which ties into the next attribute.

2. Mental Toughness

In addition to being big, strong and fast, a football player has to be mentally ready to endure the everyday grind of getting up early in the morning, eating a light breakfast and getting ready to bang heads all day. It is the understanding that you need to make yourself and the team better at all costs. It is being able to bounce back after a bad loss, and take it to your opponent the very next week. It is NOT giving up and quitting, when everything inside of you is telling you to quit. Anyone can be positive and enjoy being a part of the team when things are going well and you’re winning games, but the true mark of a man comes in how he responds to adversity, when things aren’t going so well and the team is struggling. Be that guy who accomplishes the mission when the odds are not in your favor.

3. Camaraderie

If you played football your entire life, like I did, chances are that you’ve been playing with the same group of guys since you were 4 feet tall! These guys have seen you at your best and at your worst. They know your physical capabilities and what you’re truly made of. Some will be your friends for life, and will always be there for you. Collective suffering and triumphing together creates special, inseparable bonds between people, and the gridiron is the perfect place for that. A true band of brothers.

4. Unforgettable Memories

While much of life is all about bettering yourself and being the most successful individual you can be, it is also a team game. People need to work together to accomplish their goals and help each other succeed. Football teaches that as one of its first lessons. You cannot win a game with 11 individuals. You can only win as one team, united under a common purpose, drive, and passion. If one man doesn’t do their job, the entire team suffers as a result, so everyone must put forth their best effort in order to achieve the desired result.

5. Teamwork

While much of life is all about bettering yourself and being the most successful individual you can be, it is also a team game. People need to work together to accomplish their goals and help each other succeed. Football teaches that as one of its first lessons. You cannot win a game with 11 individuals. You can only win as one team, united under a common purpose, drive, and passion. If one man doesn’t do their job, the entire team suffers as a result, so everyone must put forth their best effort in order to achieve the desired result.


Football is America’s game, and it produces quality individuals who can take on life in a way that will better them as well as those around them. Great game, but even better men.

Cover Image Credit: Robert Forbes/Forbes Image

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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5 Things Every Marathoner Knows To Be True

Are you guilty of wearing your running watch even when you're not running? Yeah, you're probably a marathoner.

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Whether you just signed up for your first marathon or your 50th one, you know running is not easy. Training comes with a boat load of accountability, motivation, and sacrifices. You know what you're getting yourself into.

You know that your body is going to hurt in places it never hurt before. You're going to snap on people you care about because you're cranky on your rest day. Of course, the dreaded chafing. But we wouldn't want it any other way.

Running becomes your medicine, and your day isn't complete without your daily dose.

1. Run-ger is a real thing.

When your miles increase faster than your body can recover, you are hungry literally 24/7. You may think that's an exaggeration, but until you find yourself waking up at 3 A.M. to sneak into the kitchen for a snack, you won't fully understand.

You just ate breakfast? Oh, that's cool. It's time for a mid-morning snack? Hm, you already finished your snack? Well, I guess it is lunch time at 10:30! So on and so forth.

Your idea of what a typical day of eating looks like goes completely out the window while in training. Your body has no concept of time. It just knows that it is hungry and needs food... NOW.

2. You wake up feeling like your legs are bricks.

You thought the beginning of your training was hard? Well, wait until you wake up feeling 80 years old and your legs are super stiff. It only gets worse as the weeks go on. The thought of running seems impossible, and then you lace up to find out that running, actually, is impossible.

But you keep trucking along, mile by mile, until you hit your distance for the day. No one said marathon training would be easy, and no one ever said your legs would feel fresh!

3. Waking up at 6 A.M. for your weekend long run...torture. 

It's finally the weekend, and yay! You think you can finally sleep in, and then you remember you have a 20-mile long run and have to wake up at the crack of dawn! Totally not fun. But you can get donuts after...so, so worth it!

4. Your running buddies become your best friends during training.

The secret for motivating yourself through long runs? Surround yourself with people who make running fun and the miles fly by. No one wants to run alone for three hours. Your running buddies become your favorite parts of training.

5. When it's finally your rest day....

The day you've been waiting for all week is finally here. As your legs are thanking you for giving them a break, your hunger is still ravenous. You feel like a big fluffy marshmallow and you just want to eat all the food...and so you do!

That's part of training! Rest days are an important part of being a good runner.

The marathon is a monster of a distance. You swear you will only ever run one, but after that first race, you become addicted. You're already signing up for your second or third marathon, and before you know it, you qualified for Boston. The funny part is, you know just how hard 26.2 miles is physically, mentally, and emotionally, but you love to push yourself past your limits.

Marathoners are a special breed. Welcome to the beast side.

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