Reply – TAMPA, Fla. -- Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers center
Your Name
or Cancel
In Reply To
TAMPA, Fla. -- Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers center
— by lucky lucky
Joe Hawley, who recently decided to call it a career after eight seasons in the NFL, is about to embark on a very unusual journey. Starting this week, he'll travel to 48 states over a period of six months, all while living out of a van and adopting a minimalist lifestyle. He wants to free himself from the [url=][/url] excess, to live in the moment and to figure out who he is away from football, which is all he has known for most of his life.
He sold his Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe and has given away most of his possessions to charity. His furniture -- including a $4,000 suede sectional couch and a $10,000 stained hardwood dining room table -- has gone to a Tampa-based charity called Metropolitan Ministries, with approximately 80 percent of its residents experiencing domestic violence and trying to get back on their feet. He gave away 70 percent of his closet to the Salvation Army. He has gone from eight pairs of jeans to two and from 50 shirts to 10.
"If it doesn't fit in my van, I'm giving it away," said Hawley, 29, who spent three seasons with the Bucs and five with the Atlanta Falcons. "I thought about putting it in storage when I'm on the road, but I kind of want to start over when I'm done with the trip and have a fresh start, so I decided to give it all away. ... I don't need a lot of things to be happy.
"I thought that it'd be awesome to give it all away to people who really need it. Like what's the money to me? I [could] get stressed out trying to sell everything and make pennies on the dollar on everything, but I decided I was just gonna give it away."
He was inspired by a Netflix movie [url=]Shaquille O'Neal Jersey[/url] called "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things." It's a far cry from what he saw in the NFL, where players often drove multiple cars and wore $500,000 Rolex watches. "It's just about living with less material possessions," Hawley said. "I've always admired that, and I've always wanted to experience what it's like to not have a lot of stuff and kind of experience the moment, live in the moment, live in the world and not worrying about trying to accumulate more. The more stuff you have, the more s--- you've gotta worry about.
"Every time I've gotten rid of stuff over the last few weeks, I've literally felt a weight lifted off of my [url=][/url] shoulders. It's kind of unraveling these chains that you have that lock you down in this place. I kind of want to feel that freedom of not having anything holding me back."
He also wants the freedom of not having a regimented routine. He wants the peace of waking up to birds chirping instead of an alarm clock. He wants to skateboard down to the beach and cook hamburgers on the grill, to sit in a local coffee shop talking to perfect strangers. He wants to hike and ride a bike through rugged terrain and fall asleep under a blanket of stars.
Hawley felt the end coming this past season. He went from a full-time starter in 2015 and 2016 to being active for just four games in 2017. He spent most of last season helping Ali Marpet make a transition from guard to center. When Marpet went to injured reserve, Hawley started the final two games of the season and felt the physical toll. He rolled his knee up twice and it still grinds and pops. When the Bucs declined his $2.5 million option in February, it helped make the decision easier.
"Most football players don't get a chance to leave on their own terms," Hawley said. "I'm so grateful for the ability to walk [url=][/url] away when I want to. With a lot of people, they get cut or they don't make a team at the end of training camp or they don't get drafted or they're in high school and they don't make [it] to college. So most people always have that thought in the back of their head of, ‘What if I could have played or what if this didn't happen to me?' I got to end my career and gave it everything I had, and I have nothing left to give [url=]Florida Panthers Womens Jersey[/url] to the game of football. I'm very grateful for that because there's no regrets."
Trimming the excess has been about so much more than just getting rid of stuff for Hawley. It's about his health too. He has lost almost 50 pounds thanks to a ketogenic diet. It's helping his body recover from inflammation and stomach issues, including ulcers, from trying to maintain a playing weight of 300 pounds.The majority of his calories now come from meat and fats found in whole eggs and avocados, instead of junk food and carbohydrates.
"I feel clearer. My appetite is gone. I have a lot more energy. There's not a lot of up-and-down swings. Like after you eat, you don't crash," said Hawley, who was listed at 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds last season. "One of my life goals is to try and have a six-pack, and I've never in my life had it. I've never been able to have one, so I'm kind of excited to try and do that."
Like so many NFL players retiring in their late 20s and early 30s, Hawley immediately began to worry about what was next. He had spent his whole life working toward accomplishing a lifelong dream of playing in the [url=]Authentic Ryan McDonagh Jersey[/url] NFL, but in doing so, he neglected other passions he had growing up, such as art. He always wanted to try photography too. [url=]cheap nfl jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale nfl jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale nfl jerseys[/url] [url=]cheap jerseys[/url] [url=]wholesale jerseys[/url]