Transitions are never easy, even the most positive of changes can take a toll on a person both physically and mentally. Whether it’s starting a new business, having to move your company or ending one career to embark on another. There is always excitement entwined with fear at every major crossroad in life.
For me, the vast majority of my life revolved around football. Time was gauged in seasons. Success was gauged by a scoreboard. The grind of training, conditioning and practice dictated every aspect of my life. After a sudden and unexpected shoulder injury ended my NFL career, a major transition was staring me right in the face. It was kind of like lining up against Vince Wilfork my rookie year with the Patriots. Well maybe not that intimidating!
In the controlled chaos of moving, marriage, soul-searching and being fortunate enough to join the T3 Advisors team, it was easy to lose touch with my first true love, football. That was until a few weeks ago when I was invited to join the New England Patriots Alumni Club (NEPAC). After being drafted by the Patriots in 2006 out of Notre Dame, I always felt a deep connection to the franchise. For me, it was more than just a childhood dream and much more than just a job. It was something that the words on this page can’t begin to describe.
When the Alumni Association first reached out to me, I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt. Was I ready to fully embrace my status as a RETIRED player? At 28 years old I certainly envisioned my football career being in a different place and certainly not yet at the status of “alumni.” All of my apprehension quickly dissipated as I walked into the meeting at Gillette Stadium. I was surrounded by my peers, all of which I shared a very unique and highly coveted experience with. NEPAC quickly reaffirmed a valuable lesson, having the right people in your corner is essential when overcoming transitions and facing changes.
Football is back in my life, it snuck back in without me even noticing except hopefully now I won’t be spending Mondays in an ice bath. NEPAC is a remarkable organization with a truly philanthropic mission to help enrich the greater Boston area. I’ve already signed on to assist with several local youth football programs, speak at a variety of school events, mentor young athletes and be an Alumni Ambassador during Patriots home games. NEPAC has turned out to be just what I needed as I transition into the next phase of my life.
Dan Stevenson now puts on his uniform every day at T3 Advisors as a real estate consultant and broker for hot young startup companies. In a previous life he was captain of the Notre Dame Football team and played in the NFL for the New England Patriots and Houston Texans.