NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez talks with The New York Times about his daily routine, which includes sportscasting, podcasting, being active and Medterra CBD in his daily coffee.Tony Gonzalez, 43, may be retired from football, but he is busier than ever. Although he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and four children, he flies to New York every week during the football season to be an analyst on Fox Sports. He also has a new podcast, “Wide Open,” on how successful people tackle obstacles.
Here’s how he stays fit, and well rested, wherever he goes.
Sleep KingI usually wake up around 7:30 a.m. without an alarm clock. I wake up naturally because I’m huge on sleep. I believe it’s the No. 1 thing you can do if you’re trying to create a better life.
This goes way back to when I was playing. I was religious about sleep then. Three days before the game, I got eight to 10 hours per night. And then the night before a game, I made sure I was getting 10 hours. I learned this young. When I came into the league trying to party and having too much of a good time, I found out the hard way how it affected my performance.
Now I wear the Oura ring, and it tracks my sleep. It tells me how much REM, how much deep sleep, how much restless and all this other stuff about my sleep.
Morning MeditationThe first thing I do after I wake up is a morning meditation. It’s just as I awake and before I open my eyes. It’s where I’m feeding my gratitude and the love in my heart and opening my heart. A good morning meditation is key. It lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. Then I get out of bed.
I’ve actually been meditating for almost 15 years. When I played, it had to do with visualization of the game. Now I do it for my emotional state. I’ve used apps and guided meditations, but when I started, it wasn’t trendy and it wasn’t easy to find all this material that’s so accessible now.
There’s a guy on YouTube that does guided meditations called Vishan Lakhiani. Headspace or Calm apps are good, too.
Breakfast BrewAfter my meditation, I go downstairs. The kids are usually up before us. I make the kids breakfast. I enjoy cooking. I make them whatever they want: pancakes, French toast, eggs, omelets.
Then I have my morning cup of brew. It’s not coffee; it’s a mix of a bunch of stuff. It has Medterra CBD oil, maca powder, cocoa powder, monkfruit — which is like a little sweetener with zero calories — a mix of six mushrooms that includes reishi and lion’s mane, Ceylon cinnamon, and a prebiotic blend. And also cacao butter I get from Bulletproof.
Otherwise, I don’t eat in the morning. I guess I kind of fast intermittently. I’ve done 24-hour fasts before, too. There’s a great app called Zero for anyone interested in fasting.
I also try to not eat as much meat. I use alternative meat sources really for the planet’s sake. I’m actually an investor in Beyond Meat. If it tastes just as good as meat to me and it’s one less animal, why not?
Tennis and SaunaI’m in the middle of the football season right now so I don’t have a lot of time. I have this two-minute stretch routine I do pretty much every day. As far as working out, though, I work out with my kids. I’ll go out in the afternoon and I’ll go play football or basketball with them. My daughter plays tennis. I’m O.K. at it, but not as good as her. It’s real exercise. I sweat.
We do have a gym at home and I’ll do kettlebells. I also have a cold plunge. I do that once a week. Otherwise, I regularly take cold showers. I start out warm and then always hit it cold for a good minute.
I also have an infrared sauna. It’s so good for you. I do the sauna two to three times a week. I can get in there and it quiets my mind. I can read in there.
Book DietI’m currently reading “Range” by David Epstein. It’s a phenomenal book. I love his books. I’m going to get him on the podcast soon. I love philosophy and spirituality and leveling-up books and science books.
I really like Richard Rohr’s “The Universal Christ.” I don’t read sports books. That’s actually what “Range” is all about: You should really cast a big net when it comes to life and learning. In the end you’re so much better for it.
What He WearsUsually I’m wearing John Varvatos jeans and T-shirts. That line is my favorite. I keep it simple with face stuff. I use this line called Caldera Lab for cleansing. I use Alitura for moisturizing. Then I get a TV haircut every Saturday morning, when I’m on air all the time.
Learning to FailWhile I was playing, I started a company that didn’t work out. I got a taste of the business world and realized I’m not going to be a 9-to-5 guy in the office after football is over. When the opportunity came for television. I thought, “Let’s go for it,” even though it was nerve-racking. I enjoyed it.
You’ve got to realize you’re going to be bad for a little while. I don’t care who you are. Especially as a football player. I wasn’t All-Pro from day one. I went out there and got beat up. I went through mini depressions where I thought I would quit.
Starting something new is terrifying. It’s hard. That’s the way it should be. No human being is immune.
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