I recently had the pleasure to attend the Kroger’s Wellness Your Way Festival (WYWF). I had the opportunity of interviewing, Cobi Jones an American former professional soccer player and analyst for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Spectrum SportsNet. He can also be seen on Fox Sports, BeIN Sports, the Pac-12 Network and as the co-host of FuboTV’s Player’s Lounge. A three-time US Men’s World Cup Player, Cobi is also a member of the 1992 US Olympic Soccer Team.
Thank you so much for joining us Cobi. This festival is about “Wellness Your Way”. What does the term “Wellness Your Way” mean to you?
Everybody has their own way of feeling better. “Wellness Your Way” is the steps one needs to take to make themselves feel better. What makes me feel good about myself and makes me feel healthier mentally, and physically, isn’t going to work for you. So you have to find your way. What I love about this festival, is it’s one stop shop. It’s like a grocery store. You can come in here, find what you like and leave with it. There’s something for everyone.
Was there a story that inspired you to get involved with WYWF?
There’s a saying about athletes, an athlete dies twice because you have the end of your career where everything you’ve worked for is done and you don’t know what to do with yourself. You’ve got to totally reinvent yourself and become someone new. I think this applies to a lot of people because many of us have worked for things that haven’t gone our way or have come to an end. So you’ve got to find your way, you’ve got to figure out what’s going to work for you now. WYWF is empowering people to define wellness for themselves and that’s something I’m excited about at this point in my life as I’m still redefining myself.
Can you tell me about a wellness challenge you’ve had and overcome?
When my soccer career ended it was challenging mentally and emotionally. I was a well-known player and soccer was my entire life. From my college career on everything was pretty much taken care of for me through my team. Everything. When I retired at 37, it all stopped abruptly.
If I was injured or sick and needed to see the doctor, I talked to my trainer, he’d call up the doctor, and I’d have my appointment at 2:00 p.m. after practice. After I retired I had to figure out how to get health insurance. Now when I call the doctor they’re like “we can fit you in in a few weeks”. It was very challenging to realize that now I’ve got to take care of all of this myself without any transition. When your career as a professional athlete is over it’s literally, “Sayonara, Goodbye.” I think the industry is realizing that this isn’t healthy and are starting to take care of players as they transition out of professionally playing.
At the time I was on my own though, no more locker room, no more friends that I’d be playing with day in and day out for the season. I was at home trying to figure it all out. There was a short period when I was going out too much to try and distract myself but then I got into broadcasting. I definitely threw myself into work a little bit too much. Thankfully my relationships helped and supported me through this time. My wife and family came together to take my mind off of what I had lost through this process I realized how much I had. My family is everything.
What’s your current wellness mantra or life quote?
The quote I live by is “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” You’ve got to start. That’s it. Just start. If it goes sideways at some point it doesn’t matter. Just start the next day. That’s it. Continue along that path. Nothing’s gonna change unless you begin.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working with a group of awesome people to create a wellness aggregator; a one stop shop where people can go and get anything that they need in the wellness space, from a hike to a yoga class to whatever. Because one of the things I’ve noticed about the health and wellness space is it’s everywhere but but there’s no one place to access it all, to introduce people to all the options available. So if we can get the right funding for this project that’s the path we’re going down.
Thank you for joining us!
Follow Cobi on IG @cobijones13