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Run Your Own Race


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

I’m constantly measuring where I am. Am I doing enough at work? Am I giving enough at home? Endlessly taking inventory on how I feel.  Is my money good? Is my relationship where I want it to be? Daydreams of chasing riches full speed ahead, thinking If I’m lucky I will hit the lottery. Is money able to fix all the poor decisions people make over a lifetime?

My mind is playing tricks on me!

Stopping myself, I realize that’s probably not a good place to be in my head. I sound so crazy trying to turn all of those thoughts and questions into sense. Truth is I don’t know what the future holds, so no need to worry today about things I can’t predict. Nor should I fear things that may never happen.

There is an agitation and sadness that comes on us when we think we just don’t have enough. The right clothes or a shiny car. The sadness comes from chasing these things so hard. Envy has ruined many men and their families. When we’re not satisfied, we start to think everyone else has it better.

How fast I get to peace of mind depends on how fast I can turn inward from the noise and just appreciate my life.

My job is my job. I live where I live, my bills are my bills and I’m on my journey. I can’t mimic someone else’s journey. This is my walk. I run my own race.

We must appreciate where we are in life. Sometimes we make our worst mistakes when we want more. I’m not saying it is wrong to want a better life, but I think we all know when the desire and motivation for more is misguided and ill-advised. But we press on hoping for more when we know all too well the risk involved. It’s been said, better to know what you know than to risk it all on treasures, trouble and the unknown.

Living life is an experience full of uniqueness. Figure out what harmony and success looks like for you. What works for me, almost certainly will not work perfectly for you.

A man lifetimes wiser than me said “Better is one handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit… with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”

Meaning, sometimes by reaching for more we pull back two fists filled with struggle and aggravation.

Appreciate where you are, get to know yourself and run your own race.

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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