Redirected: Embracing the Unexpected with NFL Long-Snapper Andrew East

by | Jan 9, 2019 | podcast | 2 comments

From entrepreneur to social media star to pro football player -- Andrew East has learned to take advantage of change.

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About This Episode

In this episode, Andrew East shares about his winding journey to professional football. Growing up in Indianapolis with several brothers, Andrew remembers attending football games as a kid and being wowed by the stadium, players, and abilities of the athletes. His older brothers, Guy and JD, were especially influential in turning his interest towards playing. He credits becoming a long snapper, however, to his father who played collegiate football at Purdue in the same position. Andrew recalls that, although he was successful in his position at a Division 1 high school, he wasn’t necessarily setting his sights on playing in college and definitely never dreamed of the NFL.

His goals changed, however, when he attended a summer football intensive at Vanderbilt University. Upon connecting with some of the coaches, Andrew began to entertain the idea of continuing his career. As the months of his senior year passed, though, and no calls came in with offers, he settled on playing Division 3 football on the same team as his older brother, JD.

All of these plans quickly shifted when Andrew got a phone call late in the spring offering him a scholarship spot at Vanderbilt. Aware that the roster had been filled, he learned that space had opened up on the team due to tragic circumstances. A fellow signee, Rajaan Bennett, had been tragically murdered by his mother’s ex-boyfriend as he attempted to protect his younger brother with special needs. Andrew shares that as he took the position on the team, it was never lost on him that his opportunity to play came at the price of another young man’s life. Even when practices were brutal and the balance with school seemed impossible, he always played in honor of Rajaan. Andrew finished at Vanderbilt with a Bachelors in Engineering and also completed his MBA — all while serving as two time captain of the team.

After graduation he joined the Kansas City Chiefs and expresses how unprepared he was for the transition to professional football. Unlike college football, there is nothing else to focus other than practice, games, and performance. Andrew shares that he began hyper-analyzing every play both on and off the field. He only ever thought about football — reliving mistakes and obsessing over form. This tunnel vision, compounded with the pressure of playing at the professional level, led to struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. The attacks became more and more frequent until he was eventually let go from the Chiefs. He was shocked, devastated, and disappointed. Sure that this was the end of his NFL career, he wallowed for several months not knowing what he would do next.

He credits his girlfriend at the time, Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson-East, for helping to pull him out of his stupor. Her encouragement plus support from his family led him on a journey of discovering emotional health and balance. He began focusing on other hobbies like film making, entrepreneurial endeavors, and supporting her budding YouTube channel. As he regained his footing and became more well rounded, the NFL offers came rolling back in. Over the past four years Andrew has played on seven different NFL teams. And although hopping around is not necessarily ideal, having other areas of interest and success has made each one of those transitions easier.

Outside of football he consults in social media development and small film editing — something you wouldn’t expect from a guy who couldn’t be found online just a few years ago. Never really interested in being in the spotlight, East has followed the lead of his wife, Shawn, who has dealt with athletic fame since she was just 14 years old. They were introduced to one another by his brother, former professional cyclist Guy East, who met Shawn at the Olympics. Andrew shares about his spontaneous engagement at a Chicago Cubs game because, “once I had the ring, I just couldn’t wait.” Now married, they approach their social media presence as an opportunity to help others, build community, and connect with people they might not otherwise. This was evident as they publicly shared about their miscarriage in 2017. Thousands of messages poured in from followers who appreciated their vulnerability and honesty about a painful subject that often leaves couples feeling isolated.

Having never fathomed playing in the NFL or running a social media business, Andrew has learned to simply be grateful. His unique journey has even led him to start his own podcast entitled ReDirected, which highlights individuals who have experienced unexpected career shifts that have been surprisingly life giving. He may not know what is next for him, but acknowledges that an openness to new opportunities and balance through all areas of his life are essential to his success both on and off the field.

 

Read Episode Transcript

Laura: Welcome Andrew East. I’m so excited you could join us today.

 

Andrew:

Thank you for having me on.

 

Laura:

Yeah. Well, first I kind of want to set the stage a little bit. Tell us briefly about your background like how you got your start in football and how it led to where you are now.

 

Andrew

Yes, I was born and raised in Indianapolis Indiana and my dad played football at Purdue and he kind of inspired in us the will to play football. And I remember my oldest brother Guy was a fanatic for football and just absolutely loved getting people’s autographs. We’d go to the Colts practices and do any event related to football. And so I kind of looked at what my older brother is doing. I was like, hey you know what football does seem like a pretty cool sport. And so he got into it. My second older brother JT got into it and then I naturally fell into it and so I played ever since I was in second grade. I’ve been playing football and I’ve loved it. It’s been so great. I feel like I’ve learned so many awesome life lessons from football. And so super fortunate to just have that sport and experience in my life and it’s led to so many quality relationships and experiences that I never dreamed of ever having when I was an eight-year-old starting out fast forward you know maybe in twenty-six now and it’s just been an awesome adventure sport has a way of doing that for sure.

 

Laura

What made you fall in love with football like was it something specific or just kind of that family connection you guys had?

 

Andrew

So Initially, I think I again my oldest brother Guy was just all about the autographs and just idolized these players and I think initially my draw to it was kind of the shiny lights and the fame and all that portion of it. But then once you start playing and you experience the team environment you experience the everyday kind of adversity that gets thrown at you physically and mentally. I think the constant growth that I was experiencing is what really continued my passion for it even though initially it was, Hey I want to be like my older brother and I want to be somebody that little kids like my older brother would idolize.

 

Laura

I love that. That’s great. Now you went on from high school to play in college. Was that vastly different? Or was it not too much of a change from high school to college football?

 

Andrew

I was not ready for college football at all. Coming from high school I took football seriously or so I thought. And then in Indiana, we played in a pretty tough conference. USA Today had our high school conference rated like second toughest in America.

 

So I thought that I was playing. I love football but then you show up and down south.

 

They have year-round football and I had never played one sports year round. I was always doing football and basketball and baseball and rugby and I love to play different sports but I’ve never fully devoted myself to one sport like you’re forced to do in college and so that was definitely a new experience. And then the level of athleticism and strength and discipline and dedication is just completely different than it was in high school. And so it took me a little bit to adjust to that difference but once I kind of understand how the whole system worked I absolutely loved it. Because again there are so many opportunities. I feel I can prove yourself and learn really.

 

Laura:

Did playing around it.

Did that get old?

I mean you’re used to changing up to different sports like how did you keep it from getting boring? I guess…

 

Andrew

So the coaches do a good job of keeping it interesting. They have a kind of different phases of competition is how our coaches structured. So in the off-season while we would still be doing football drills they would make it fun and have us compete in kind of different athletic competitions like tug of war or whatever it is and they put you on teams and you’re still kind of progress toward your goal of being a good football player but they make it fun in the process. I was fortunate to have really really good coaches that had the foresight and the wisdom to not just be football football football all the time which I think proved invaluable.

 

Laura

That’s great.

 

Andrew

Yeah

 

Laura

Well, so you didn’t just play football in college you were also the team captain for two years and you’re studying engineering in a little school called Vanderbilt. So how do you balance all of that?

 

Andrew

Not well. I’ll tell you that it was definitely tough. And my first year at Vanderbilt I did not enjoy much. I thought that I was going to play college football with my older brother at Wheaton College which was like a little D3 Christian school. But actually, the story of how I ended up at Vanderbilt was kind of what inspired me to stick around. I wasn’t a highly recruited player out of college. I did have opportunities to play out of high school. I had opportunities to play at Princeton and some smaller schools which would have been great. Obviously, Princeton is a great school. But football-wise I was so headstrong on playing division1 and so I was going to take any opportunity that came my way and fortunately I went down to a football camp the summer of my junior year and that summer was fully devoted to just trying to make that dream happen.

 

My parents were so supportive of that, my siblings were so sacrificial and like giving up their time and going on these family vacations together that would just be essentially a football trip for me. But I went down to Vanderbilt summer camp and I had a really I think good performance down there. But more importantly, I connected with one of the coaches in a deep way we like. I don’t even know how the whole conversation started. But right off the bat, we were kind of talking about our faith and how that’s impacted us as men and in our sport. And so I was like super encouraged I think wow Vanderbilt is going to be the school I go to and it’s great because you know it seems like there are coaches around that really care for me as a human being beyond just my athletic capabilities. But I didn’t hear from them for I guess it is eight months after that? And so science college signing day came and went in February no division1 offers. And I was like well you know I’ll go play D3 and that’ll be great because Wheaton is an awesome school and I’ll get to play with my brother.

 

But I get a call two months after signing day super late in the process even for kids who are not playing sports like most of my peers had decided already where they’re going to go to school. But I was just holding now and I got a call from the head Vanderbilt coach and offered me a full ride scholarship to Vanderbilt. And I was very confused because following the news it seemed like there were no more scholarships that Vanderbilt could give. And so I asked him that “well how did this come about? I didn’t think that you guys had any more to offer”. And he said, “well the highest rated recruit the venerable I’ve ever had his name was Rajaan Bennett. He’s out of Atlanta was a running back. Awesome guy. His mother’s boyfriend broke in the middle of the night and started just pulled out a gun just was shooting around the house and Rajaan jumped in front of his handicapped little brother and saved his life but took a bullet in the process and so Rajaanlost his life”.

 

And so that scholarship spot opened up and the coaches wanted to give it to me. And so here I was absolutely just floored because simultaneously the most tragic but wonderful thing just happened to me. Like this is my childhood dream that I’ve worked for and sacrificed so much for and I wanted to play Division 1 football but never that I ever think it was going to be under such tragic circumstances as you know a spot opened me up because somebody had died.

 

And that experience really shaped my experience at Vanderbilt as a whole. Because in a lot of ways I’m not going to say day in and day out. I was thinking about Rajaan but it was always a constant thought of I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Rajaan.And so on the toughest days were the workouts are awful or the coaches are just really riding you or your grades are struggling and you don’t have the balance. I was like, wow this opportunity has been given to me because this one kid made the ultimate sacrifice like he gave his life to save his brother. And here I am kind of picking up the scraps of this wonderful human being and I benefit from it. And so it was very difficult but that was kind of the backdrop to my whole experience.

 

My first two years I struggled hard I just didn’t go along with the coaches was really like not exceeding in the classroom. And then, ultimately it came down to me having a coach James Franklin who stepped in and changed my experience completely like just a guy that believed in me and who I was and I felt kind of self-conscious about me being a variable in the first place because of the circumstances that got me there. But he stepped in and was like, “Hey Andrew you belong here and you can thrive here”. And it wasn’t until I had that voice to speak into me. As well as an awesome mentor John Stokes who is a senior on the team. I think those two people really inspired me to step up and not just be at Vanderbilt but thrive at Vanderbilt and want to make a difference.

 

So ultimately I walked away to the two-time captain as you said. I set the tie the record for the most game started. Of any player and I got an undergraduate degree and a masters degree from Vanderbilt all under the scholarship and I like to look back on that I’m like wow what Incredibly just a wild experience you know.

 

Laura

Yeah. Sounds like it started off as an immense amount of pressure turned into with the help of a coach and a good teammate turned into something absolutely amazing. That’s yeah. That’s crazy.

 

Andrew

I’m fortunate that much.

 

Laura

So what happened after you graduated? You said you got your masters. So then what?

 

Andrew

I graduate with my MBA and in 2015 I got picked up as an undrafted free agent to the Kansas City Chiefs and I never could ever dream of me going to the NFL because again I was not highly recruited high school and I was like a decent player at Vanderbilt but I was more I think kind of like the locker room guy that people enjoyed having around. So when I started here from NFL teams and all these agents were contacting me it was out of this world. I was like wow. I literally didn’t even dream about this but it’s happening to me. And so I spent three months with the chiefs and ended up getting released and that’s been the whole entire journey in and of itself.

 

Laura

Well, I know you’ve expressed how the initial pressure of professional sports may because you didn’t expect it led to struggles with anxiety. Can you tell us about that a little bit?

 

Andrew

Yeah. So in college, I had never struggled with the psychological side of the sport. I think it is because I had amazing teammates around me amazing coaches and I think almost like the distraction of having school to worry about. There’s just so many different things that take up your mind space in college but in professional football I showed up in Kansas City and it was football all the time like I would wake up go to a facility we do practice and I go back and I’d stretch and visualize and do all these drills on my own and it got to a point where I was having these anxiety attacks because I didn’t think of anything else but football. And so I was just kind of overthinking the tiniest things which put me in a really really negative headspace. And ultimately I would like to walk in and I wouldn’t be able to make eye contact with any of the players or the coaches because constantly I had this fear like a shadow follow me around that you know Hey today’s the day I’m going to get cut because I didn’t do X Y or Z correctly and is crazy because the chiefs pick me up and they’re like hey you’re our guy like you we want you to be our guy for the next 10 years. And I was like sweet. Like what an awesome. Well, what an awesome position but they brought in competition just because from my position that’s what’s normal and but they’re like this is just kind of a formality. You’re our guy. And so I started overthinking the little things and then had these just demons kind of haunting me constantly. Like I really lost myself in overthinking that tiny details. Yeah, that’s ultimately ended up getting me cut just because I could not handle the pressure of always being football.

 

Laura

I mean, how do you move past that? Look I know you’ve had this happen several times I think you said seven times that you’ve gotten on a team and then they’ve had to let you go. Like how is it always kind of feel like the same thing or has every situation been different like how do you deal with that? You just seem to handle it so incredibly well.

 

Andrew

Well, let me say the first time I got cut from the Chiefs I was just in tears. And so my wife Shawn and I were together at the time and it was three days off just like kind of mourning. But simultaneously this relief because I all the sudden what was dominating my world and my thoughts football was kind of gone and not by my choice. So it was like this weird. I’m glad that’s over. But wow. Like what do we do now? And so I was like sitting on the couch for three months and kind of depressed and didn’t really know what I was going to do professionally and I felt worthless and a lot of ways but. Fortunately, I had an awesome fiance at the time Shawn and I had gotten engaged that summer and I have an amazing family. And so my brothers were there to support me and like really kind of speak life back into me. So I think those are the biggest things that help me get back on my feet.

 

Laura

Yeah. So important to surround yourself with just good people that can lift you up when you need it right?

 

Andrew

Yeah absolutely.

 

Laura

Now you mentioned your now wife Shawn Johnson East and she’s an Olympic gold medalist in gymnastics. So I got to ask are you guys competitive at all?

 

Andrew

Oh my God! It’s non-stop Laura non-stop in the smallest things like cooking or darts or like pranks playing.

 

Laura

You guys play pranks on each other all the time.

 

Andrew

You know I feel like she plays where breaks on me that I do on her. Yeah, we have fun.

 

Laura

Okay, so you have to spill it like what is the most embarrassing prank or the best way that she’s gotten you?

 

Andrew

I love to dance to Laura. I love to dance. I dance gladly in front of my wife. But she’ll always kind of sneak some video and blasted out to the Internet. And so I like to laugh at it but in the back of my mind, I’m like, you know what? That’s actually extremely very embarrassing.

 

Laura

It’s nice. Well, I know you posted today that you were a little disappointed because she didn’t know that chick fil a had waffle fries. So I’m going to have to say you need to change that because Chick fil A is very very important.

 

Andrew

So do you believe that? I mean this is an opportunity for growth in a marriage. You know if I’ve ever seen.

 

Laura

Definitely.

 

It’s like you don’t even know her. So ok you guys have like a massive Instagram and YouTube following you have over 300,000 followers on Instagram. She has a million and a half. You guys have kind of become this whole brand just in your marriage. What drew. Right?

 

I mean how has this changed your relationship or how people see you or even how you see yourself?

 

Andrew

I’ll point to my wife. My wife Shawn is just an absolute rock star and she has been dealing with this I guess celebrity in one form or another ever since she was like 12. And so she has such a level head about the whole thing that it has helped me immensely. Because I mean I come from a super solid family and I would never like think that having Instagram followers are like you know people taking pictures with you. I find no purpose in that still but it is so easy to get seduced by that and like tempted into like oh like what I have to do to get more followers. And I don’t think I’ve ever admitted that. But like I think just being honest about this is actually something that we need to be conscious of and we honestly don’t do it for the followers. But I think it’s cool that we have built the following because Shawn has been vulnerable to the world and she’s kind of help to show me how to do that. I didn’t have any social media before I met Shawn.

 

I actually created a Twitter account so that I could talk to Shawn because we were hooked up through guy my oldest brother. They met at the 2012 Olympics and his kind of put me in touch but our first contact was

 

through Twitter and I actually created all my social media accounts because of various social media. It kind of makes me sick to think about but like I was super anti-social media and as years have gone byIt’s like there are so many things good too it was bad too. And so we just had to have conversations about it and we try to surround ourselves with friends who are level-headed about the whole thing as well and don’t care about social media. But honestly, it’s like it’s not a huge deal for us and that’s when we talk about a lot. But it’s fun. I’ll take that much.

 

Laura

Well, that’s good. That’s good.

 

I mean all these all this social media just this branding of you guys it just seems to have led to entrepreneurship and now your own podcast and it was it’s just kind of a natural progression for you.

 

Andrew

No, not at all.

 

I would say natural progression. So I guess… I was… I studied engineering at Vanderbilt and my intention was to build wells in a third world country and my kind of wanted to follow my brother’s steps. Obviously, you know that’s the hope sports podcast my brother builds houses for impoverished families like all around the world. And so I was really again I was inspired with him and his love for football and I was inspired with him and his servant’s heart. And so that’s why I did civil engineering and even went to business school so I would like to figure out how to set up the whole organization around that. But then with the whole football thing happening we got cut short and getting engaged.

 

People like when Shawn and I got engaged. I did it in a super public manner. I didn’t plan it at all but we did it at Wrigley Field. And I just got the ring the day before and I thought I was going to hang onto it for a couple months but I didn’t. And so Shawn was thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley and so I proposed at Wrigley and it made like national news. You know people anybody who had that ESPN or Yahoo Sports app I got a push notification like hey Shawn Johnson was just engaged it made really feel like it was a bid

 

Laura

That was not planned?

 

 

Andrew

I didn’t plan it at all. It just gives you a hard time.

 

It’s like wow that’s really not romantic. They didn’t put any thought to what I like on the drive up to Chicago from Indianapolis or where I was coming from I like I called USA Gymnastics issues up there during the first pitch out for and then they put me in touch with the Cubs. Like this is two hours before the whole thing happened and they’re like hey you know we’ll make a jersey with her new last name on it and like that was as much planning as one that’s still pretty good.

 

That’s it. The Cubs fans like it but I didn’t think we’d be doing a stadium proposal or any of that.

 

That brought a lot of attention to us. Like as far as I said a couple and then I guess there’s like four weeks after that I got cut and as I said I’m just laying around on the couch just felt worthless. And so I had to just take the smallest step of progression and I had a friend who had started a YouTube channel and so I was like you know what maybe it is fun to document our wedding planning process together and then kind of put. I was really excited to start a YouTube channel. I think my wife is the coolest person out there and I think that you know the more people get to see over the better. And so we started this youtube channel and it’s grown to this like social media. You know this is we’re not doing consulting in it’s turned into something crazy. And again I was anti-social media like less than five years ago and now I really love it and I don’t think there’s any better way to connect people to educate people than social media. So it was not natural but it’s been phenomenal.

 

Laura

That’s great.

 

Andrew

Yeah, I know.

 

Laura

What your podcast about?

 

Andrew

Called redirected and it’s about people who have experienced career redirections who have started out life on one trajectory and have been redirected into another trajectory and that’s been my experience with you know going from engineering to football and football now and to social media and so I’ve sat down with UFC fighters who start off as like air conditioner installers. One guy. Yeah. Todd was you know Series 6 and Series 7 financial advisor and dropped all that just to fitness to do like you know personal fitness training. And so it’s really cool. I love having a reason to reach out to somebody that I probably otherwise wouldn’t. And then subsequently have a really quality conversation about you know this redirection often occur in times of you know it’s difficult these changes and so that to be able to kind of discuss those difficulties leads to like some really cool conversation. So I’ve loved there were six or seven episodes and it’s been awesome so far.

 

Laura

That’s great!That’s got to be very powerful for you to just have been obviously in the same shoes. I’m sure.

 

Andrew

Absolutely sure.

 

Laura

Now you and Shawn last year shared pretty openly about losing a child to miscarriage. How how did that heartbreak affect your marriage?

 

Andrew

Again Shawn is an absolute rock star and like she just… it was way harder I think on her. As is often the case in miscarriages you know the female has so much going on just like there’s the connection to the baby that the male just like doesn’t quite have and then the hormonal side of it as well. She was an absolute light through the entire situation and we decided… she really decided to share it. We had documented it all just because we thought this is going to be our first kid and we want kind of like this home video footage and then it ended up being you know this sad story of a miscarriage. But we felt she says that she wanted to share it because she really didn’t know how to cope with it herself. And so she was kind of begging for people to drop wisdom on her and help her through it. And so the response from that whole video was absolutely astounding like that. The number of people that reached out and said hey you know I’ve never told anybody this but I went through the same thing and it’s something that I’ve struggled with constantly. Like you know we lost our childlike 10 weeks along the pregnancy and so many people have you know have these crazy stories of losing twins seven months along. And again just having shared that story has led to so many awesome relationships and awesome conversations and I feel like it’s really helped people feel comfortable and really want to seek out consolation for like that’s the whole reason we did it in the first place. So Shawn was just an absolute stud to the whole thing and she should never cease to impress me.

 

Laura

Well, I think it’s really cool that you guys were just so open to being vulnerable and sharing such a difficult experience because it’s something that people don’t talk about and so that had such purpose in it even though it was so heartbreaking for you guys to walk through that is just so purpose driven. Like just speaking into other people’s lives where we’re like you said Shawn didn’t know how to deal with it. Nobody told her what to do. So when people see that like they understand what somebody else is going through and there’s that connection and they don’t feel so isolated and alone going through that. I think that’s just huge. So I really really appreciate you guys near vulnerability and your honesty. I think that’s amazing.

 

Andrew

Yeah well, I’d say it was from a marriage perspective it did take us probably two months to recover just because there are so many conversations that follow up on that like well why did we have a miscarriage. I guess it’s something wrong with that like just kind of its really tough conversation to have. And so it took us two months to recover from that and be able to be comfortable fully again with each other which is crazy. I mean again there’s only 10 weeks along and I had only known about the news that she was pregnant for like twelve hours like legitimately. She told me we were both away and she was doing press for her new TV show venture capitalists and she was in New York for The Today Show and I had gone from a trial with the Lions directly to a trial with the Giants. And so she was like Hey I need to see you. I have something to tell you. And so it was her time and she was pregnant she was you know that’s in and of itself is a super emotional thing because the first time it’s the first time she’s pregnant so she didn’t really know how to deal with all thing. So we got back together in Los Angeles like eleven thirty at night. She told me she’s pregnant and I didn’t get a week of sleep that night. I was like wow this is crazy. So when you wake up and you kind of like start thinking about Okay well what are we gonna name them and you know you kind of have this picture in your mind of what is going to look like and you kind of start designing his room and picking out his clothes like even from the very get-go. You just kind of get pumped about that dream. Yeah. I mean there is an initial like terror that I experience wow you get it like it is actually. But then like you get super excited about it. So she yeah like that. That is, it’s just such a roller coaster and so it took us about two months to recover and we actually end up taking a kind of a little getaway to Europe together as a kind of a way to kind of bond back together after that. And that was an amazing trip and that’s you know I think it just spending quality time together really helped us get back on our feet and yeah.

 

Laura

That’s good. Now kind of switching beer gears back into football like now that you’ve been through so much you’ve kind of got this entrepreneurial thing going too but yet you’re still training you’re still trying out for teams like where are you with that like what are your dreams and goals and expectations now with football?

 

Andrew

It’s so tricky Laura. It’s tough. This is something that we are going through right now. I just was with the JAG wires and was released like less than three weeks ago. And I spent you know like four or five weeks with the team and was the Raiders before that. Earlier this year. So I’ve now signed seven contracts in four years and with five different teams which is not what I thought my NFL career would look like. But then I take a step back and it’s like well I think about the whole thing. I’m like well I never even thought that I would have an NFL career. You know it was my childhood dream to play Division 1 football and I accomplished that dream in a fuller capacity than I ever could have imagined. And NFL football was never something that I really even thought was a true possibility. So I step back and I look at what my goals truly were and I think I’ve accomplished most of that. Most of those goals that I’ve set out to accomplish and so at the end of the day you know if I don’t get picked up by another team I think I’ll be all right with that. And I can walk away from football in peace. Now there’s still as I would love to have a 15-year career if that’s how it pans out. But I’ve been trying not to get caught up in this treadmill of goals and ambition. You know like talking to my friends who have played in the league for years. It’s interesting because they’re like yeah you are. I never thought I would play NFL football. And so you know it’s cool that I’m here and then you play. Your goal is to just play one game and then fell and then you do that and then the next thing is well now you want to play one season and then it’s well now you want to be in the Pro Bowl and now you want to like it. It’s kind of it’s never-ending. I view it like a treadmill. I think it’s great to continue to reassess and set the bar even higher but it’s a fine line. I don’t. I’m still working through it. Honestly Laura I know it’s difficult so I think if I walked away right now that I would be totally fine and I’ve made somebody really like awesome relationships with the players and the coaches and have the experience you know living in four different cities of all the NFL so it’s been a really cool experience.

 

Laura

But you’re not quite ready to walk away and you kind of that tear, right? You like that. Yeah I mean I don’t think you’re alone in that I think a lot of us go through that whether it’s in sports or in your career beyond. I mean there’s always that pull you know, do I keep going? Am I ready to hang it up? Like what’s the right time? Sometimes it’s not an easy cut and dry thing. I remember being jealous. I knew a lot of swimmers like in college and growing up like they would finish their collegiate career and they were done and they were so happy to hang it up and just be done. I’m like how do you know? Like I’ve never really felt. Like how do you just know? I wish I just do.

 

Andrew

Yeah I know I know.

 

Laura

You’re not alone. I totally understand you.

 

Andrew

I actually had a friend call me and talked him in and he was like hey man like you know I don’t know if you should be doing this anymore. It’s like well thank you but I keep getting calls from teams and so clear like they kind of like still want me to do it. And so that’s what I like. It’s not a black or white situation. It’s like well it’s a little more nuanced. And at this point I kind of view it as interesting content and interesting experiences for us to share. Like me getting cut. I shared me getting cut from the Jaguars and the response from that was like really cool to hear how other people had dealt with like career changes and gone through that with your spouse. So that’s kind of how you and the whole situation. But we’ll see what happens here.

 

Laura

Something that you’ve been through so much I mean you’ve got this awesome celebrity life you’re an entrepreneur you’re still training for the NFL but you’ve experienced all these ups and downs. How does your identity not get lost in the shuffle like in all the chaos? How do you still find your purpose? Where do you find that?

 

Andrew

Gosh, it is tough. As I said there are so many things around each of us whether you’re you know in the spotlight like you doing the social media thing like we are or your brother works in finance and there are so many things around us that are like there to tempt us and kind of pull you away from your roots. And I do think it’s important to change and you know I think I’ve changed dramatically over the past 10 years. I think that’s good. And I think at the end of the day though my core identity has remained intact and I was fortunate enough to be raised in an awesome Christian household and have brothers that they love me and support me in that. And as I said Guy’s obviously doing amazing things with his organization. And so we met my wife and I try to have daily monthly and yearly disciplines that we do that we can always point back to keep us on track and so on and on a daily basis. We always do quick evaluations and it’s almost like a prayer session of like a year or like today here’s where our goals are like here’s our kind of vision of what this is going to look like and then monthly we have conversations as husband-wife of what we call monthly checkups of. It’s just like this open and raw conversation of you know what here’s something that you can work on too on this for this next month and here’s something I thought you did really well this past month and I think kind of always keeping each other in check like that. And so it’s not just like you’re you’re going through the daily motions and you kind of get lost in the chaos that’s been really really helpful for us. And then yearly we do things, like make it down to two you want to build a house with my brother’s organization, hope sports and that’s that is just such a perspective changer for us. But yeah it’s just. We spent so much time in Los Angeles where you see you know Ferraris and Lamborghinis rolling around the streets and kind of like become numb to that. And it’s like this cultural I guess blindness that you have. But then you’ve got to go down to a place like you want to where people live in under tarps and gosh it’s just like wild poverty and you have this weekend where you can share this amazing experience of building a house for this family in need and doing it with people who are similar to you has just proved absolutely invaluable for us. And so those we kind of yeah we have those daily monthly and yearly disciplines that we try to maintain that helps us keep our core identity.

 

Laura

I love that you guys do that on a daily monthly yearly. I love that you do it together. And I guess this is I think just for accountability and just for having somebody else speaking into your life for the positive and the negative like maybe what needs to be worked on or what needs to be changed. But also to build you up and what you’re doing right. I think it is a great idea to kind of get outside of where you are to get a different perspective a perspective change because that can sometimes you know to catapult you in a completely new direction and change your perspective and maybe what you’re doing. I think that’s awesome really really great. Tips and tricks and tools and appreciate you sharing that help.

 

Andrew

Yes, I know.

 

Laura

Now how can we find you follow you online? Give us all your social media your YouTube channel. Let us know how to consistently be inspired by you and we just love how you share your vulnerability. You’re honest and transparent. We just really appreciate it. So how can we follow you?

 

Andrew

Well, I don’t know how much inspiration you’ll find. Hopefully a few laughs and maybe some smiles along the way. But my Instagram Twitter and Facebook are all Andrew D East. My wife and I have a YouTube channel it’s called Shawn Johnson official. We do that and then I’m actually starting my own channel Andrew D East this is how you can search for it. I have the podcast which I really enjoy doing. That’s called the redirected and you can find that on the iTunes Store or Stitcher or wherever you find your podcast. And I think those are part of the main outlets. Yeah.

 

Laura

Well, Andrew, you’ve been great. Really appreciate you taking time to share your story with us and show us how you found purpose in your life. We appreciate that.

 

Andrew

Thanks for having me on.

 

Laura

No problem.

 

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