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Episode 57 — Aaron Taylor — Feel Your Way to Freedom: Growing Up Fatherless, Becoming a Father, and Winning a Super Bowl Along the Way

Summary

“Never rob a man of his pain or his gold because both will serve him equally well.” Super Bowl champion Aaron Taylor reflects on a journey to emotional freedom that continues far beyond his accomplished career in the NFL. For every feeling he'd been pushing away, Aaron came to find that “on the other side is infinite possibility.”

Show Notes

“Never rob a man of his pain or his gold because both will serve him equally well.”

Super Bowl champion Aaron Taylor reflects on a journey to emotional freedom that continues far beyond his accomplished career in the NFL. For every feeling he’d been pushing away, Aaron came to find that “on the other side is infinite possibility.”

Join Aaron, Brett, and Joe as they talk about performance anxiety, feelings in the locker room, and how faith affects decision-making. They touch on the nature of accomplishment, how to raise children who hear their own voices of approval, and the value of having our identity shattered to pieces. Aaron shares a tearful moment with his absent father that produced an unexpected gem of gratitude. The episode closes with the story of a critical choice Aaron made at age 15 that changed his life.

“At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what we do, it’s about who and what we become in that process.”

Links and references from the episode:

  1. Mentalhealthbestpractices.com
  2. Check back in 16 years for a follow-up interview with feedback from Aaron on the referenced conversation with his son.

About Aaron:

CBS Sports Analyst and College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Aaron Taylor, has a “larger than life” personality, but its roots may surprise you: the former Super Bowl Champion credits his success to the principles of Gratitude, Service, and Teamwork.

Instilled from an early age, these principles became the inspiring foundation for the creation of college football’s only non-individual award, the Joe Moore Award, annually recognizing the Most Outstanding Offensive Line Unit in College Football. Through the Joe Moore Award, Aaron set out to not only preserve the legacy of his coach but also to shift the focus from a “Hey, look at me!” mentality to a culture of teamwork, of putting the greater good above ourselves in society at large.

Aaron was a decorated offensive lineman at the University of Notre Dame from 1990-1993, earning unanimous All-American honors both his junior and senior years. In his final season in South Bend, he won the prestigious Lombardi Award, annually given to the best interior lineman in the country.

In an incredible culmination of his childhood dream, Aaron was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 1994 NFL Draft and was a member of the Packers’ Super Bowl XXXI championship team. After a two-year stint with the San Diego Chargers, Aaron was forced to retire due to injuries after the 1999 season.

Off the field, Aaron is a moving and inspirational speaker. His candid approach and sense of humor make him an effective storyteller who is able to weave a powerful message of resilience, perseverance, and the importance of having a championship mindset. 

Behind the winning smile and accolades, Aaron finds meaning and feels “most alive” when being of service or bringing value to others. Shortly after retiring from the NFL, Aaron established the Aaron Taylor Impact Fund and recently co-founded The Foundation for Teamwork, dedicated to fostering the most essential aspect of all societal endeavors: Teamwork.

Aaron currently resides in Southern California and New York with his wife and three children.