So many athletes on a professional level miss important times in their children’s lives because of the long seasons and constant travel. They relinquish those birthdays, holidays, school plays and softball games because of their profession -- to provide for them, their families.
Shawn Michaels is enjoying the best of both worlds. Showcasing a legendary pro career on a worldwide stage, he retired from the fame and fortune to spend time with his children who are still young enough where he can be there for them during their growing up stage.
How did your walk with The Lord start?
“All of it was done away [from WWE]. If anything, I think having those four years off,” Michaels said, “and what started it off was getting married and having a child. Just waking up one day and realizing that, ‘Hey, this little guy is not going to know how to be a person, other than seeing it from you, and if you want him turning out like you, that isn’t going to be good.’ So that means there needs to be change.
“It’s been mocked, and there’s nothing I can do about that, but that’s why the hunting was so important to me because a lot of those thoughts came into my mind when I was sitting there very quietly, before the sun came up, sitting there, just thinking about life; looking at the stars and wondering, ‘Holy cow, what’s the meaning of all this?’ [He snickered]. When you’re by yourself early in the morning, you can get pretty deep, and that’s what I did. Through that was the decision: ‘You know what? There needs to be change, plain and simple.’ You can’t talk about it. It just needs to happen.”
Any advice you would give others in your profession or any profession?
“I don’t know. I can’t honestly say I’m some big advice giver,” Michael said. “I’ve shared my faith. I’ve had a lot of people ask me stuff.
“There are still a ton of detractors. There’s still a bunch of people who think I’m full of BS. That can slow people down.
“If I were to give any advice, one of the things -- I got it very early -- is do absolutely everything you can to not view anything in your life externally, as in what’s going on around you, what people are saying, because all that’ll do is drag you down. There’s always going to be someone saying you’re not doing good enough.
“I get people today saying like, ‘He’s no Christian. He’s working it.’ Well, I don’t even know if you can work that. Can you?
“I mean you can not be good at it. I would understand if somebody said, ‘He’s a Christian, but he’s not a very good one.’ [He chuckled]. That would be OK, but the whole point of being one is recognizing that you’re not the end all, be all, and that’s really its foundation, recognizing your faults.
“Be true to yourself. Look internally. Look at yourself in the mirror. Learning to say you’re sorry. Learning to say it was me. Learning to say it was my fault.
“This world right now everything is everybody else’s fault. I just found it better to take personal responsibility and hold myself accountable and go from there and not really give a -- pardon my language -- rat’s #** what everybody else thought. When I stand on my day of judgment, the Lord ain’t gonna ask Jim how Shawn was. He’s gonna ask me. That’s something between me and Him, not me and a bunch of people I shared a locker room with. He’s not concerned with what they think of me. He’s concerned about what He thinks of me. So that’s what I focus on.”
What are your thoughts on injuries and concussions? Have you had concussions?
“I’ve had a fair amount of them,” Michaels said. “This is one of the 101 things that makes me probably not popular with everybody and their agenda. I’m 100 percent behind finding out the cause with technology and doing everything we can to minimize those things and take care of the athletes.
“I’m not down with that’s the excuse why everybody does what that they do. I’ve had my bell rung a bunch, and I still have no desire to hurt anybody.
“I’m down with finding out everything we can, doing everything we can to protect athletes. I think it does need to at least be understood that they’re still finding out.
“It’s like the energy thing. I’m an all the above kind of guy -- wind and solar and all that sounds awesome to me -- but until you can get a 747 off the ground with your wind, I’m still going to drive my big ole diesel truck, but I’m down with it, and I’m good with it.
“I just think you got to let it play out. I feel like I’m the only guy in America who’s still shocked and amazed at 9-11. Now everybody sees it through 20-20, and we should have done this, and we should have done that, and we should have been ready, and that’s how I think where the concussions are. We should have done this, but it’s also ongoing.
“Any guy who’s a real athlete always tells you he can go. I like the fact now they’re making guys stay out, but take it easy on the sports, too. Yes, they’re businesses. Do they exploit the athletes? Yes, but we want to be exploited. It’s a give-n-take.
“With the media, I get it. You guys feel you’re the watchdogs, which is great. By all means, do it, but, at the same time, try to get off your self righteous high horse, also. If you’re going to stand in the stands and throw a flag after the play, surely as an athlete it doesn’t do me any good, but I’m definitely in favor of everything doing to study it, and all the things they’re trying to put into place. It’s like the guy who makes an accusation. Let’s let justice play out. Let’s not convict him on TV. Let’s not convict him in the newspaper.
“Let the scientists, let all these guys get in there; they’ll find out. Let’s see what we can do to help athletes. Let’s see what we can do to protect them and enforce it.
“That’s why it’s called technology because we’re always behind the learning curve.”
• The second season of Shawn Michaels’ “MacMillian River Adventures” begins 11:30 p.m. June 26 on the Outdoor Channel. Visit http://www.mrahunting.com/
• Shawn Michaels is an EyeBlack ambassador. EyeBlack is available at an increasing number of retailers and at www.EyeBlack.com
. Follow EyeBlack’s latest news at Twitter.com/eyeblack_com and www.facebook.com/EyeBlackRevolution
• There will be a DX reunion with Shawn Michaels and Triple H for the historic 1,000th RAW episode on Monday, July 23 from St. Louis on the USA Network. That will be the night Raw starts its three-hour format.
• Follow Shawn Michaels’ latest news on @ShawnMichaels www.Twitter.com/ShawnMichaels