I watch way too many romantic comedies. I can’t stop reading a book in the middle of a chapter. I often say that I would give up my athletic talent to be able to play a musical instrument—preferably the cello. I’ve fallen in love with writing. I value creative expression almost above anything else. I believe people matter. I believe the church matters, too—flaws and all. I walked away from my childhood dream and the life I once dreamed of and in return found a life worth living for. I fight fear and doubt daily. I also believe that fear and doubt don’t disqualify you. And most importantly, I’ve never been happier.
Hi, I’m Caleb. A short time ago, I walked away from playing in the NFL and moved half way across the country in a desperate attempt to salvage the life I thought I wanted. Even though I fulfilled a childhood dream of playing the game, I’m the first person to tell you that by every metric system of the NFL, my ‘career’ was far below average.
You see, something drastically had changed, or so it seemed, from playing college football at West Point to playing in the NFL. If you don’t know, there was a two year delay between the two. But, like any other professional, I took those two years serious and put myself in the best physical shape I have ever been in.
Physical performance wasn’t the issue.
Something had happened internally, a hijack of some sort, and I needed to know why.
Why, when the pressure got real on the field, did I want to do nothing more than run and hide. Why was it when I was in a team meeting the thought of me getting called on would send me into a panic attack nothing short of me inhaling and exhaling in a brown paper bag. Why was it that I lived in a self–imposed prison bound by the shackles of constantly worrying what my teammates thought of me? Why was it when they called me up from practice squad to play on Sunday I wanted to cry when I should be rejoicing?
Why was playing it safe on the practice squad, at an arm distance away from failure, so much more appealing to me?
There was something going on the inside of me that I couldn’t get a grip on and couldn’t make sense of. Trying to identify the root of the issue in the midst of the emotional turmoil was literally like finding a needle in a haystack while bombs were being dropped to the left and right.
My every day reality was pure chaos. I was just really good at hiding it.
I decided to take a risk and walk away from everything. Literally, everything. While I was offered several job positions around the country, I was fully aware that although my surroundings might change, the tamed monster hidden beneath the layers of performance would soon resurface once the pressure got real enough, and that scared me.
I guess you can say that deep down I knew if something didn’t drastically change, I would soon end up as another statistic on the evening news.
I decided to commit a year of my life to a church in Fort Erie, Ontario, that focuses on dealing with the matters of your heart in a real and tangible way. In other words, deal with the fear of rejection that haunted me, the fear of never measuring up that robbed me of my happiness, and the fear of living an insignificant life.
At the time, I really didn’t know what I was in for, but three years later I’m still serving the church while now helping others walk through the same transition as I did.
My life will never be the same.
I was fully expecting to leave after that year and return back to the life that I thought I wanted. But, I just couldn’t. I experienced more than just personal freedom—I experienced a taste of that which I’ve always known to be true, but just didn’t know how to put to words.
For the first time in my life, I found something worth living for.
With all of that being said, I would love to connect with you here. It doesn’t require much, just your email and I’ll send you a message from time to time. What do you say?