Why Michael Strahan is the Luckiest Man in the World
Super Bowl champion Michael Strahan shares the life lessons that have led him to success again and again.
At 41, Strahan isn’t what you would consider old. Sure, maybe for pro football. But in his new world where appearances are more important than numbers, he’s right in the middle of his prime. Still, that hasn’t offset the shift in priorities that naturally comes with age, experience, and, of course, fatherhood. He finds he’s more ready to speak out. In June 2011, he filmed a commercial supporting legalizing same-sex marriage in New York, and he previously helped PETA produce a public service announcement in favor of animal rights. “I don’t want to feel like I’m part of the reason why people aren’t happy,” Strahan tells me. Ultimately, he’s setting an example for his children, trying to give them the same inspirational father figure that he had growing up. “My kids are great because [they] are truly their own people,” he says. “My daughter’s into fashion. My son, he’s into science. And then my twins are 8, and they’re into everything.” It’s important for Strahan that his kids find their own path. His job is to make sure they never doubt themselves—something he was taught years ago by his father.
“My dad was somebody who never doubted me,” Strahan says. “He said you’re going to get a scholarship—I did that. Then, when I was in college he said ‘when’ you’re in the pros—yeah, that happened. And so on. ‘When’ you’re an All Pro, ‘when’ you make the Pro Bowl, ‘when’ you do this, ‘when’ you do that...and now the show, Live! It was ‘when’ you get the show. I have to make sure I do the same with my kids.
Ultimately, the most important lesson that Strahan wants to pass on to his children is that while hard work will bring you success, it’s never an excuse for complacency, and sometimes moving on to something else is the best way to truly experience life. “My last memories of playing are of how great I felt [at the Super Bowl]—how great it felt running out of that tunnel, how we weren’t supposed to win—that was the most fun I’ve ever had as a player,” he says. “It was the crowning moment of anything I’ve ever done in terms of the biggest payoff. Every sacrifice, every surgery, every time I was out there shivering in Green Bay in -23° weather—it made it all worth it.” It all paid off.
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