Sun, 12 December 2021
In this episode of Six Weeks to Fitness, I’m joined by former professional football player, Joe Barksdale. During his career, Joe played for the St. Louis Rams, Los Angeles Chargers and Arizona Cardinals. He is also an accomplished musician, mental health advocate and comedian. During the interview, Joe will discuss his childhood, growing up in Detroit, Michigan, and the many challenges he faced as a child. Joe didn’t grow up playing sports, and it wasn’t until high school, that he decided to try out for the football team.
Joe Barksdale’s NFL career lasted about 8 years and when I asked him why he left the NFL, his response was “I got tired of losing.” Joe speaks freely about his NFL career, but it’s a career that he would like to put behind him. He is most happy about his career as a performance artist and a stand-up comedian. It was hard not to laugh at Joe’s many anecdotes during the interview. He is a natural-born comedian always laughing and joking during the interview while making his point.
Mental health is a major topic of which Joe speaks very candidly about, having dealt with depression and sexual abuse as a child. The COVID-19 pandemic also impacted Joe’s post-NFL plans. He left the NFL to pursue his aspirations as a performance artist, but when the country shut down and went into quarantine mode, those plans were thwarted, and he found himself mentally and emotionally depressed with nowhere to go and questions on how he will feed his family.
Weight gain was also a byproduct of the quarantine. Barksdale’s playing weight while in the NFL was 325 pounds on his 6’ 5” frame, but during the quarantine, his weight increased, which added to his depression. At least in the NFL, he was able to work out, exercise and travel on a regular basis, during the quarantine, all that has changed.
Fortunately, he came across the Centr App, a 10-week exercise and nutrition program created by Chris Hemsworth, the Australian actor, who played in the movie series “Thor.” With the help of this exercise program and the nutritious meal plans it provides, Joe is feeling much better physically and mentally. He has lost weight and his body is much leaner than it has been in years. Joe will tell you that he is a work in progress and that he is taking it one day at a time.