For football fans, it’s nearly impossible not to know Herschel Walker’s name. But it wasn’t always that way.
The Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer joined NESN.com’s Michaela Vernava to chat about what drove him to success during his football career and what still drives him as an athlete into his 50s today.
Bullied as a child, Walker set out to determine all of his doubters — and there were plenty — wrong.
“I grew up a fat kid, overweight, where a lot of kids in my school at the time wouldn?t give me the time of day. They wouldn?t even play with me. For four years I never went out for recess,” Walker recalled. “And I used to have a speech impediment where the teachers used to put me down. They didn?t think that I could ever learn. So at one point in my life, enough was enough. I started training, I started doing these things to feel good about myself and I think that?s when it took off.
“Today, I don?t ever want to go back to that place. That?s the reason I speak out against bullying. That?s the reason I speak out against a lot of things that (are) unjust. But, you know, everyone has feelings. At that time I was very hurt by those. And I know now that if you continue to work — and I tell kids this all the time — you?ve got to love yourself first. And you?ve got to be willing to work. Things are not going to always go your way but that?s okay. Continue to get up when you get knocked down. That?s what you?ve got to do in life. And that?s what I?ve been doing, and I keep doing it.”
Check out the rest of Walker’s interview with NESN in the video above.
Thumbnail photo via Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY Sports Images