Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is no stranger to making bold moves. Before becoming a star NFL player, he turned down his chance at an MLB career -- despite calling baseball his "No. 1 passion." He then took another daring step in 2014, when he and his growing family shifted their lives from Denver to the Big Apple after Decker was signed by the New York Jets.
"I think the boldest move career-wise was probably going from Denver to New York," the father of two told AOL Lifestyle at Listerine's Unlock Your Bold event in New York City on Tuesday. "I mean, I grew up in Minnesota [and] Denver is kind of a smaller city, slower pace."
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The hustle and bustle of New York City arguably made the calming techniques Decker has adopted throughout his career that much more necessary. Speaking on the Listerine event panel, which took place at meditation center Inscape in NYC, the athlete told the crowd that before he hits the field, he sits alone in the dark with a towel over his face and just envisions the upcoming game. This practice helps him ward off "the anxiety and the excitement that rushes into [his] body" as the game draws near.
One pre-game routine his teammates don't quite understand, though? Mouthwashing. But the wide receiver insists the ritual revives and refreshes him. And while Decker had to sit on the sidelines in 2016 and early 2017 after suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in the fall, he says he's ready to get back onto the field.
See photos of Decker at the Listerine event:
"It's good," he assured us of his recovery process. "I'm kind of past the rehab stage now, and I'm full go with the workouts and practice. I feel good. I'm excited, because being away from it, I think I really got to see how much I loved it. It's just changed my life. It's given me the opportunities [to get to] where I'm at now. [Being away has] made me hungrier and have more passion for it."
When the 30 year old wasn't busy rehabbing, he had an entirely different job to do. He and his wife, country singer Jessie James Decker (who the Jets player called "powerful" and "impactful on young women"), have two children under 5 years old together: Vivianne, 3, and Eric II, 1.
"My love for them is different. My daughter, I just want to protect her, I just want to care for her. My son, I want to wrestle with him, toughen him up," he said with a chuckle. "As they develop and get a little older, you start developing that relationship, and it's unique between both of them. How you talk to them, the things you do, it's really cool."
Fans (who Decker jokingly insists are mostly female, aside from men with football team loyalties) got a peek into Eric and Jessie's married life during the two seasons of their E! reality show, "Eric and Jessie: Game On" -- but the last viewers saw was Vivianne's birth in 2014. So naturally, we had to ask if a third season was on the horizon.
"I don't know! It's not out of the question. We didn't want to throw the kids into everything we [were] doing. When [the kids] are maybe ready, maybe we'll be ready."
We're ready, but who's asking?