. He also had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. And he doesn't have children or permanent roots."I started getting really stressed out about all these ideas I've had on what it is that I want to do, and my mind was racing," Hawley said. "I took a step back and [url=http://www.authenticfloridapanthers.com/authentic-denis-malgin-jersey]Denis Malgin Authentic Jersey[/url] was like, ‘Wait, hold on. I'm never gonna have this opportunity where I have this much time, free time to go do what I want and travel.' So I was like, ‘You know what? How about not stressing about what's next and taking a step back and go do what I've always wanted to do.'"
He purchased a 10-year-old Ford E-350 Cargo Van for $55,000. He spent an additional $20,000 converting it into a camper, which includes the ability to raise the ceiling and accommodate his height. There's a mini-kitchen inside with a [url=http://www.bengalsnflofficialprostore.com/WOMENS-JOSH-MALONE-JERSEY.html]http://www.bengalsnflofficialprostore.com/WOMENS-JOSH-MALONE-JERSEY.html[/url] small sink. An external shower connects to a 16-gallon freshwater tank, and it has a generator. He'll take the portable grill that quarterback Jameis Winston gave him for Christmas and the YETI cooler Ryan Fitzpatrick gifted him with Fitzpatrick's face on it. He'll wash his clothes at laundromats or at friends' houses that he stops at along the way.
He still bears the scars of a life spent in the trenches, so the bed will take the most getting used to. He hasn't slept in it yet, but he is hoping that a foam mattress cover will help. "I got an ACL, MCL reconstruction in my right knee," Hawley said. "I dislocated my kneecap twice -- that was when I got rolled up two years ago. I played through that, but it's still bothering me. It still grinds. I basically have no cartilage left in both my knees. I have bone spurs in both my ankles. I've torn labrums in both my shoulders -- never had them fixed. The right one's been torn for four years.
"I've got bulging discs in my neck -- that one almost ended my career a couple years ago. It was really scary. I had a stiff neck for like three weeks. I couldn't move and it wasn't getting better. I was like, ‘Oh crap, this is serious.' But those are the major ones. Obviously a lot of fingers, hands, wrists, elbows. The head is a whole different thing -- that's really scary to think about."He had one diagnosed concussion when playing [url=http://www.broncosfootballofficialstore.com/Chris_Harris_Jr_Jersey]Chris Harris Jr Authentic Jersey[/url] at UNLV. He has taken hits to the head that have caused headaches, but no blackouts.
"That's another reason I've changed my diet and my lifestyle and why I meditate," said Hawley, who also gets chiropractic adjustments and massages once a week. "I want to try and grow my brain and protect it in any way I can, because I know that's a serious issue that I'm going to have to deal with later on in life." He doesn't plan to watch any football on his trip. He won't even have a television. He'll keep up with his fantasy baseball team on his iPad, and he plans to check out some major league ballparks, but that's about it. It's not that he doesn't like football. It just became very monotonous for him.
She also urged him to document his experiences on the road in a blog and on social media. She thought it might be able to help others. "I want to share it, and hopefully I inspire people to realize that it's not all about [material possessions]," Hawley said. "Experiences are just as important." He wants to help people who are at turning points in their lives or trying something new for the first time, even former players. A person's identity is often tied to a job like professional football and suddenly it's over -- and it can happen very unexpectedly.
"Transitions can be scary for a lot of people -- big transitions in life -- and that's what [url=http://www.football49ersofficialonlines.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_PIERRE_GARCON_JERSEY.html]http://www.football49ersofficialonlines.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_PIERRE_GARCON_JERSEY.html[/url] I'm going through,” Hawley said. “What I've found is that every time I've had a big transition in my life and going with the unknown is when I've felt most alive. I'm really excited about this opportunity I'm going to take to dive into the unknown.
The Grand Canyon is on the list and so is Niagara Falls. The Bucs played in Phoenix the past two years and [url=http://www.teamusahockeyjerseys.com/Adidas-Jimmy-Howard-Jersey]http://www.teamusahockeyjerseys.com/Adidas-Jimmy-Howard-Jersey[/url] this past season in Buffalo, but there was no real time for sightseeing on those trips. He wants to check out Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Glacier National Park in Montana and Zion Canyon in Utah. He wants to venture down California's Pacific Coast Highway, including a visit to Redwood National Park.
"One of my goals is to do a multinight hike, like a 200-mile hike and camp and hike and camp," said Hawley, who purchased a tent and a fishing pole. "If I find somewhere beautiful, I may just go take off. "I might drive up to Alaska, because you can drive there. It's like over [url=http://jetsshopfootball.com/darron-lee-jersey_c-474.html]Darron Lee Authentic Jersey[/url] 1,000 miles through Canada to get there. I might as well. I've got nowhere else to be. [And] I love sunsets. Actually, [url=http://www.officialpacershop.com/authentic-22-t-j-leaf-jersey.html]http://www.officialpacershop.com/authentic-22-t-j-leaf-jersey.html[/url] one of the things I'm going to try to do is take a picture of every sunset that I see on the trip and make a collage at the end or a book of sunsets. Maybe like "Joe's Guide to the Perfect Sunset" or places around the country where the best sunsets are?"
He'll be doing more than just taking in beautiful scenery and sharing it with the world or showing people how he maintains his new fitness regimen on the road with TRX bands, power blocks and yoga mats. "When I'm on the trip, I want to give back," Hawley said. "I want to visit children's hospitals and do some charity work, as well, in different cities as I'm going."
With estimated career earnings of around $12 million, he's in a good place financially to be able to give back, and he won't have to rely on a steady stream of income."I made good money the last couple years, and if you live [url=http://www.officialfootballtitansprostore.com/Daquan-Jones-Jersey]DaQuan Jones Authentic Jersey[/url] below your means, which I always have, you can make that stretch out," said Hawley, who believes that the offseasons, when he wasn't receiving weekly game checks, helped prepare him for retirement. He also earns money renting out his home in Atlanta.
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