March 17, 2021

The lessons our players have learned from the pandemic

What a year it’s been. At this time last year, we were entering our first lockdown, not knowing what was lying ahead. Over the past 12 months, we’ve had to change our habits, reset our priorities, and find ways to stay connected with our loved ones.

We’ve all faced our load of obstacles and challenges, but no rainbow comes without rain, and this pandemic has taught us that from immense stressors to the status quo, we can emerge with stronger skills for coping with change and resiliency.

We asked our players to weigh in on this and to reflect on the lessons they learned from the pandemic. Some have realized the importance of slowing down and spending time with their families. Some explored different career paths. Somes went through life-changing milestones.

Here’s what they had to say:

Eugene Lewis

I think the most positive thing the pandemic did was that it gave people an opportunity to sit down focus on themselves and figure out what they want to accomplish in life. And it allowed people to spend more time with their kids.”

Mario Alford

During the pandemic, it was stressful not knowing my next move, but the positive thing is that I got to spend more time with my family.”

Jean-Samuel Blanc

“I became a “house-husband”. My wife works a lot, so I have to take care of the house. I make sure that everything is clean and tidy, that the laundry is done. I’ve learned to appreciate household chores; I used to hate doing that before. Now, I look differently at the aspects of life that we tend to neglect or that we dislike. I’ll always find a way to appreciate the little things that bother us in life. Just like in football, the small details are important.”

Will Stanback

The one positive thing that came out of this pandemic for me is the blessing of my baby girl that will be here in about two weeks.”

Jake Wieneke

I got to enjoy time with my son who was born in May. I learned the importance of being present right where God has me at the moment, because like with this pandemic, there are just some things that we have no control over.”

Christophe Normand

« From a professional standpoint, the pandemic forced me to find work in different industries. I got to live two great experiences from which I learned a lot! I did some renovation work and even started building a house. I also had a super enriching experience teaching social studies special education groups in a high school.

From a personal point of view, I learned to be resilient. I stayed physically ready as if we had a football season in 2020. All tthat, while working full-time!”

DJ Lalama

“On a personal note, 2020 was a huge year, even in the midst of the pandemic. My fiancé Carley and I were able to purchase our first home together and followed that up a few months later by getting engaged. So, things have been moving fast and we are in the process now of planning our wedding for spring of 2022. We are crossing our fingers that all is back to normal by then. 

COVID has presented numerous challenges to us all, and I feel like the biggest takeaway I have from the last 12 months is just how important it is to be able to adapt, evolve and diversify to overcome any adversity put in your way. I have been able to look at life outside of football, and how I can support my family. I have been able to start two businesses centered around athlete development to try and give back to the next generation, all while staying close to sports and football, the game we all miss so much. Definitely looking forward to getting on the field again soon!

Spencer Moore

Over the course of the pandemic I really learned to not take even the smallest things for granted. Whether that be putting on the pads for a cold-weather practice in October when everyone is sore and tired, or sharing a meal with loved ones in person, it’s so important to really live and enjoy the moment you’re in. Life is so fleeting and I think the pandemic really showed people how important it is to value everyday interactions with friends, family, or strangers even. 

I think a positive thing that came out of this for me personally is that it showed my resilience. It was a difficult year for so many people and I’m impressed with how many of us have found ways to grow or build ourselves. I started a business and am having some success off the field. That being said, I miss football and can’t wait to be back on the field soon!”

Marc-Antoine Dequoy

“This last year allowed me to understand the importance of supporting local businesses. The small businesses suffered so much during this pandemic. Now, when I have the choice, I buy product from here, from Quebec.”

Almondo Sewell

You have to go hard and believe in yourself. Most importantly you have to keep your circle tight. You have to keep a sense of humor when things get tough and put the weight of it on your shoulders and work through it. I’ll never take football for granted as long as I’m playing.”