August 7, 2008

The game of life

Siddeeq Shabazz

I am a first time blogger, so I am not sure if I know all the rules, but I’m going to try my best to offer a piece of me in an intelligible way.

When first asked to blog I wasn’t sure exactly what I would talk about, because I feel I don’t know that much about “Our League” and I’ve never really been big into names and politics and facts and figures. I guess you could say I’ve always been more of a free spirit in that regard.

I like the saying “Live and Let Live,” never getting too involved in others business, drama, or what have you. Not to say I don’t see the merit in being knowledgeable in worldly subjects, because I do, it’s just never really been my thing. However, I have always felt I had a big calling in life, and that one day I would impact the world, and that has sparked me at an early age to try my best to mentor kids and be a good role model in whatever platforms I’ve had. The majority of the platforms in my life, believe it or not, have come from being a part of this great game we call football.

It’s funny the parallels that are evident in this game to life itself that I’ve noticed as I’ve grown through the years. I remember in college I’d be asked to speak at the middle schools and my message has always been that you can “do, be, and achieve” anything you want in your life, but the context that it comes from is what’s changed the most.

To be completely honest with you, in college when I said that kids could do anything, be anything, and achieve anything it was because I felt like I had overcome so many obstacles to become the captain of my Division I NCAA Football team (New Mexico State) after starting as a walk-on, that I was living proof for these kids. I was so caught up in my own story that it was all I could see for these kids. I did it, so you can too!

Today; however, eight years, three children and more than a couple of shots at living out my childhood dreams, that same message of “doing, being, and achieving anything you can dream in life” has an entirely new depth to it.

The NFL was a rollercoaster ride for both me and my family but it led to some life affirming moments that helped bring me closer to leading the life I’ve always dreamed of. With YourDay ETC back home in Atlanta I am living out my life’s mission and figuring out how I can truly impact the world through Health and Fitness as a Lifestyle Coach.

YourDay ETC was actually the main catalyst in me realizing how little I was playing for in the game of life, and upon that realization, my life began to change.

The first thing I noticed was how blessed I was and how easy I had it. Once I got over myself, I saw how everyone has a story that is meaningful to them, and it’s not who has it the hardest that counts most, or who overcomes the most, but who turns their own story around and helps others live an impassioned and joyful life that has the biggest impact in this world.

Through all those changes in my life, I have found what a joy the game of life truly is, and it has actually brought me full circle with this game where I am now able to play more for the love of the game. It has actually started to feel like back when I was a kid in the streets playing with my siblings and friends till the sun went down. That’s when things were easy, but we grow up and add so much more meaning to everything that it loses its fun – that’s what I want to talk about.

I want to blog about how I am working on bringing fun back to this game we call football; where men strap on some tights and a helmet and run into each other full speed and how it relates to bringing fun back to the game of life.

Till next time, wishing you health, and prosperity,

Siddeeq M. Shabazz

Siddeeq Shabazz is a second-year linebacker with the Edmonton Eskimos.  He led the team in defensive tackles as a rookie in 2007. He is also a lifestyle coach for