Submit

The Iso: Darren Waller

Mar 25 2020
Photo by
D. Ross Cameron/AP Images
Photo by
D. Ross Cameron/AP Images
Darren Waller
Las Vegas Raiders
Mar 25 2020

This might sound crazy, but try to imagine this time as just another chapter in your own unique origin story. There is no obstacle we can’t overcome, no pain we can’t heal from, and no situation that isn’t ultimately working for our good. We can derive positivity from anything if we have the right perspective. 

I’m an addict, in recovery. In rehab, almost three years ago, I developed a prayer and meditation routine that I’ve been doing during my self-isolation. (I use the Insight Timer app.) I also watch some pastors online who have been holding morning prayer calls and reading brief messages every morning and night. (Shout-out to Michael Todd of Transformation Church and Dharius Daniels of Change Church!)

Since support-group meetings in my area have been canceled, I’ve been listening to audio recordings on the Narcotics Anonymous Speakers app. It’s one of the ways I’ve continued to discipline my mind while I’m stuck at the house. I’ve been trying to keep myself stimulated physically, mentally, creatively and spiritually, so checking in with the app really helps on that front.

Courtesy of Darren Waller

Maybe this is the perfect time for self-reflection, to cultivate your creative talents. This could be your opportunity to invest deeper and more meaningfully in your relationships — the important ones, where things might have fallen into disrepair. Enjoy the company of your family. In today’s world — so busy, bright and demanding — our greatest fear is sitting quietly with (and listening to) ourselves, because we are afraid of what we may discover. 

Pro tip: Core workouts can be done anywhere, anytime — without any equipment. As far as training goes, my core has been my main focus, along with push-ups and resistance-band training. This has also been a great time for me to dive deeper into stretching and foam-rolling in ways I haven’t before.

I’ve thrown myself into my music — music is everything to me. I’m a recording artist and producer (I go by D Wall), so this quarantine has been very productive for me, creatively. I finished recording five music videos from my project Wall Street (out now on all streaming platforms!!!) right before we were encouraged to practice social distancing — so be on the lookout for those real soon!

I’ve been watching more movies than I have in quite a few years. Some of the most recent that I watched and really enjoyed were Knives Out and 21 Bridges. I’ve been enjoying some of my favorite podcasts, as well: the Bruce Lee Podcast, On Purpose with Jay Shetty, and Knuckleheads with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles. (I promise The Players’ Tribune didn’t pay me to write this — I really love to listen to Knuckleheads!)

I love reading, too. Just finished reading Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. I’m currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow, and next up, on my nightstand, is Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I’m human so I get restless at times, but reading and keeping busy has really fed my spirit. 

No matter what, I will not succumb to fear, and I will not allow anything to take the joy and passion I have for life and living. What I’m saying is: Don’t forget to smile! Laugh! Crack jokes on the ones you’re quarantined with. Blast your favorite playlist, and have your own dance party. Though fear and unpredictability surround us on every side, we don’t have to be held captive by them. 

We can still choose gratitude. We can still have dinner with our loved ones and remember how blessed we are. I challenge you to go the next 24 hours of your life without complaining, even though you have every reason to. If you can be content with your life, when seemingly everything is being stripped from you, imagine how much greater your life will be when we persevere through this dark time — like we always do.

You know, I’m trying to make this strange time in our lives as productive and peaceful as I possibly can for myself, but that doesn’t take away the severity of what’s at hand. I challenge you to meditate, keep a journal, express yourself with rigorous honesty, and become just as comfortable with your flaws as you are your strengths. Slowing down could be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. It was for me.

If I had one message of encouragement to the people in my city, my country, and all across the world, it would be to remember who you are. We are strong, resilient people who are capable of displaying love, kindness and patience in the most violent of storms. Remember all of the tough times and uncertain situations you have endured. We’re lucky to still have life.

Darren Waller
Las Vegas Raiders