Nov. 30, 2022

Healing from Childhood Abuse: An Inspiring Journey with Anthony Trucks

Today, we sit down with Anthony Trucks, a former NFL player and motivational speaker who shares his personal journey of healing from childhood abuse. This show is a must-listen for anyone who has experienced child abuse and is looking for...
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Today, we sit down with Anthony Trucks, a former NFL player and motivational speaker who shares his personal journey of healing from childhood abuse. This show is a must-listen for anyone who has experienced child abuse and is looking for a supportive and uplifting space to begin their healing journey. The show also a great resource for friends, family and professionals who want to support victims and survivors of abuse. Tune in every week to learn valuable strategies and tools for reclaiming your identity and finding hope and healing. Optimize your journey of healing and subscribe now on your favorite podcast platform!

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Michael: Yo! what's up unbroken nation. Hope you're doing well Wherever you are in the world today. I'm here with my great friend, Anthony Trucks. Anthony, what is up brother? How are you?

Anthony Trucks: Nothing much my man. I am golden. I am enjoying my day before my birthday when I get older. And I already knew that. Cause my niece told me.

Michael: Happy almost birthday, man. Well, I appreciate you taking a little bit of that time and spending with me and the unbroken nation a day. You and I have known each other a little bit over a year now connecting almost a year and a half really. If you think about it. We connected on social media while ago, meet at The Influencer Conference. For those who don't know Anthony Trucks, what's the high level. What are you doing right now? Where are you at in the world? What's happening in your life?

Anthony Trucks: I am enjoying the beauty of the life that I’ve worked incredibly hard to earn, which and the beauty by that. I mean, I get to have a marriage that is solid man, my wife and I get along real well. My kids have a solid present parents in between my wife and I, and we got good relationship with the kids. Business is good, so I'm not stressing off of making a whole bunch of money to keep my, you know, above water. I did all the things that people tell you to do, but most people don't do. And so that's kind of where I'm at. However, all that stuff, it allows me to say I had this joy and the real benefit I get to actually find ways to give it back to people who need it.  I teach all the time, get a borrowed joy when you don't have it, but you've got to get it from people who have it.

So, for me, man, I'm a well, I just keep pouring it out as best I can and the coaching I do and the speaking I do in the world I get to live in. So, I mean, that's kind of the high level. I'm a former NFL athlete, American Ninja warrior, and NBC. I have been wearing a shirt today. I didn't do it on purpose, but I'm rocking the shirt. First former NFL that hit a buzzer on the show. I'm a speaker, I'm a coach. I got a book coming out next year, man, I just, I show up the way that I believe I was putting this planet to show up and I do it day in, day out with joy.

Michael: It's powerful testimony, man. You know, I think I, and we're going to tap into this, and I know a little bit more about your story than probably most of this audience listening. Wasn't always this way Anthony. And I constantly think about my journey to, you know, looking at where I am as a coach and speaker and author doing the things that we kind of parlay on and looking at the trajectory of my life, going back to running the streets, breaking into houses, being, you know, around the foster care system and being in these really awful situations and scenarios. And then recognizing at one point like life is so much about what we make it. People would say, statistically, people like you and I were built to fail. There is 0% chance that we should be successful. And yet here we are, and people often will go, Oh, well, that's an anomaly. You guys are just, you know, the 1% of the people who've managed to figure it out. I don't know shit about shit, Anthony. I figured this out from really, really incredible, difficult, hard work, putting myself in uncomfortable situations and understanding that life isn't always fair. All of that said, take me back. Your story is just really incredible. Like I look at you and I go, Anthony Trucks, this dude's like a fucking walking movie, but like, realistically I resonate because so much of it is about the effort that we put in and at the baseline, it took a lot for you to get here.

Anthony Trucks: Yeah. I mean, beyond the baseline right in the actual game itself damn it. It was a, it's been a long journey. And I think the thing is I love this statement. I'll preface it with this. Is that a smooth sea makes not a skilled sailor? There is an aspect of the world we live in and there's always storms the world right now is in a big storm of crazy, right? It's just how the world works. But a lot of people haven't been enough storms to figure out how to navigate it. So, it is capsizing. And so, it's not to me to say like, Hey, look at me, I'm telling you right now. I hate a lot of the stuff that happened as a kid. I didn't enjoy any of it, but I appreciate it now.  There's appreciation, appreciation and enjoyment. It's just like, Hey, I get it. So, for me, it started when I was three years old, I was put into foster care by my mom, me and my three siblings. And when to a system, it's a paycheck system. So essentially as long as you don't die, they can do whatever they want, and they get paid for it. So, we had people that would beat us, starve is, torture us, put me in, I got put inside chicken coops as like a five-year-old and chased chickens to earn meals. And if I didn't catch it, I didn't eat that night. I'd be hoarding food that would get up in the middle of the night, climb on the counter, open the pantry, find whatever I could eat. And I had whatever I couldn't finish, I would tuck behind the bed and then like pull the bed back and see this trash. They beat me. Well, yeah, because you didn't feed me. I'm stealing food. I'm a little kid, you know, and I don't know these people, but I'm in their home. It's just a really weird dynamic. And I'd be putting shopping carts and pushed downhills towards moving traffic. I was forced to lick the bottom of kids' shoes till my tongue bled like really heinous torture stuff. This is all before six years old. So developmental years of what I'm developing, like care, compassion, trust. I'm getting none of that. I'm getting the complete opposite. So, it's why a lot of kids that are growing up in foster care situations, it's 75% of the inmates in American prisons are former foster kids. It's not an accident.

Learning to heal from Trauma after being a Foster Child

Michael: No, it's a terrifying statistic. And so, I was never in foster care, but I was in foster care homes all the time. And in some of the violence, not only I experienced, but I saw other children experienced it is profound. So, let me ask you this. But I think this is really interesting. Where are you cognizant that something was wrong? 

Anthony Trucks: I mean, my first memories was this, like, so you don't really know any things off, you know what I mean? It's kind of a weird thing. It's what you normalize to. It sucks. It really, really sucks, but you get normalized at a crazy, and that becomes reality. Now you do have the normalization of, you don't like it. It's not like, Oh, this is cool. I'm getting beaten. No big deal. But it's like, it sucks. And it's almost like it kills your soul. Cause there's no, there's no relief. There's not like a bunch of good days. And all of a sudden you go into Disneyland and hang out, like, no, it's every, this is your life, you know, and people get normalize to it. So that was my world. So, for a lot of reasons, I was a really shutdown, bad acting out in trouble in school little kid for a lot of years, man, I wasn't even, I wasn't allowed to go to kindergarten for more than 30 minutes at a time. [05:55 inaudible]. 

Michael: I totally resonate with that. I was constantly the kid in trouble picking fights, being suspended. In elementary school I broke my hand on another kid's face. And like, you know, that's kind of the reality of what it was, but something special happened for you.

Anthony Trucks: I got a little bit of a different, I get dropped into a different dynamic. At six years old, I get put into a family, which is a unique, a unique difference to me. So, I become the only black kid in an all-white family. Very poor. So, we had a weird dynamic, cause like I didn't really fit in and I was in a non-diverse area at the time. But at the same time being poor man, it didn't make it any easier. You know, like I'm just a little poor little black kid run around, get in trouble with like weird stuff in my hair. Not taking showers. I was a stinky kid in class for a lot of years until like seventh grade bro, I was the stinky kid in class. 

Michael: I was a Bedwetter, I get it. 

Anthony Trucks: I do the same thing. I was wetting the bed when I was 14 before I got adopted. [06:52 inaudible]. It's almost like a psychologic, [06:53 inaudible] the whole time from 6 to 14 is a more conscious times of my life. She would have visitation rights, but never show up to visitations. So, what happens? I had three siblings. They have the same dad, same mom. I just had the same mom, different dad. And so, we'd go to visitations. He'd always be there. They're playing with their dad and hanging out. I'm sitting here crying myself, [07:16 inaudible] curb right there. Cause my mom's not there. My dad's not there. I'm just hanging out. And I remember every night she'd call me and make up the craziest of excuses. Like, I'm not even kidding. She would tell me that she couldn't make it because she was working with NASA. She was a Mensa member that she started apple, had a hair salon she's like, I'm talking off the wall. Like [07:32 inaudible] no lie, amazing things. And believe them to a T dude. And then she'd always end like this. Never failed. She'd say, hey we got the phone tonight, pack a bag, be at the window at eight o'clock I'm going to drive, I am going to pick you up. And we're going to get out of here. Now as a kid, it's torture bro. Cause as a kid, all you want to do is go home. So, she was attaching herself to me on purpose. And every night I'd sit there and watch the cars go by. I'd cry myself to sleep, wake up to a wet bed, not from tears and I couldn't stop it, man could not stop it. And it happened for so many years at 14, I was done with it. I'm like, I'm done with this man. I can't do this. And I remember went to a court out here in Martinez and sort of in front of a judge. I remember going into the judge’s chambers, [08:19 inaudible] to take place. I'm a little 14-year-old kid, you know. And he tells me what's going to go down. And I said, okay. And so, he walks me out and I stand in the little, you know, the jurors box or the jury box, whatever that one is, what they do the, 

Michael: The witness box. 

Anthony Trucks: Witness box. There you go. And he asked you know, do you want to be, you know, this woman's son and he says, Jeanette, make the statement. I look her in her eyes, and I say, I no longer want you to be my mom anymore. And it severed parental rights. And for the first time I could be adopted in this family that had been to the whole time. And granted, we weren't great. I'm talking dysfunction like crazy. I say poor bro. I'm not talking about like, we didn't have much. I'm talking about like poor, like rats in the pantry, cockroaches in the garage. We got shirts. We were the people, you donate to Goodwill, we’re the ones that Goodwill donated to, you know what I mean? 

We had theses bags of clothes that had nasty shirts that weren't washed. That's what I would throw on for school. So that was my world, dude. But I was adopted, I finally had a home, you know, like that was the beginning. And so that was the start of a better life. Not straight uphill climb, but like it was a catalyst to better. 

Michael: Yeah. And you know what, and sometimes someone's worse is our better. And I resonate with that and you know, I have this, it's so amazing how much stuff we have in common. I had this moment when I was 16, when I put a restraining order on my mother. I saw what the future looked like. I saw, okay. If I do not remove this person and now, I have the words, personal boundaries. Then I was just like, I need to create some sort of safety in my life. Everything was different. But there was, if anything though, that's when the uphill battle climb be like really began. Cause like being biracial, being raised by a racist white grandmother and an all-black neighborhood really kind of screws you up. I like you, like I latched on to sports. I wrestled, I played football. I was just seeking something. What was that like for you? Cause I'm really curious. And the impact that it has now had on your adult life, what was it like for you to sit there and make that testimony at 14 years old and do something so incredibly difficult and uncomfortable that I would say, and I don't want to put words in your mouth, but probably changed the trajectory of your entire life?

Anthony Trucks: Yeah. I mean, it didn't just change it because of the ability to have some strength to do it. I mean, you've got to realize at the time of 14 and I just, I just don't want to deal with her crazy anymore. It wasn't like I was making a stand for a better life. And it showed because now what I got to do for the first time that most people don't think is amazing and special, I got to play football. So, when that happened, it was now I get to move on and I get to go do this thing that I love doing out at recess, out at practice. And it was going to be amazing fun thing. And I got out there to do it and I sucked, man. I was horrible. You know, like I wasn't, I was not good at, by any stretch of the means. And I was met with the fact that like, I couldn't figure out this thing that was supposed to be great. It wasn't, I got let down again and I shut down. To be totally honest, Like I shut down and it was like my freshman year, after two years of being pretty horrible at the sport that things turned around and here's the crazy thing, like sports I needed. I needed to have that because on one end, I'm the black who's never been around black kids in high school now that, I mean, I talk like this, which isn't like most of the guys and girls talk when I was, you know, 15 years old in high school and in the San Francisco Bay area, you know, how are you doing, what do you mean, how are you doing? What you mean, how are you doing cuz? Well, I won't talk like that, you know, Oreo. They called Oreo every day. And then [11:45 inaudible] the rest of the people. Is it just wasn't, I didn't look like them. So, I was like, man, sports is where it's got to be, but I was horrible. And I made this choice to check out, dude. I was like, I'm checked out. Quite literally, like I was done with football. I wasn't doing school anymore. And in my family, my mom never graduated from high school. I think my dad did, but he was 12 years older than me. I was adopted. So, she was super young. And on top of that, like my siblings, we didn’t, no one took care of our school. No one was checking our grades. Nobody cared. My mom didn't care. I'm the only one of all my six siblings in that foster family to have graduated from the actual high school, not continuation or GED.

Let alone go to college like I did. So, like I'm not supposed to do well. And I was checking out and this girl says some statement that was really unique gift that I wish people could all get. And I got this gift. And what she said was to somebody else, not even talking to me, she goes, well, the reason I'm so bad because I'm in foster care. It was a really weird statement because what it meant was, she was making this pretty much a statement that was in a locker in a place and say, this is who I am because of this thing that she had no control over. And I was like, I don't want that to be me, man. Like I don't. And I remember 15 years old, dude, it's settled into my soul. And I remember that whole day was a weird, like, and I went home. I remember at one point I was at home and I was like, I'm done. Is it going to be me. And I stood up in front of a mirror in my bedroom and I used to brush my hair. I used to have waves back then. I stood in front of the mirror and I said, you're going to be great. And it wasn't this like, Hey, you are going to be great. But like, it was dead in my pupils, like six inches from my face. You're going to be great. And it was this different kind of connection that I like. You get that nod of your head to yourself. Like I'm crazy right now. I'm hella crazy, but it's going to happen. And so, it switched dude. And next thing I know, man, I did everything a great football player does. Even though I got made fun of because I sucked. Trucks, man, why are you catching the football? You're weak, bro. Why you have to lift the weights, you are weak, bro. Like [13:39 inaudible] all that all day long. I kept working and Hey man, what you, [13:42 inaudible] you aren’t got to be nothing. You aren’t get no spot next year. I kept working. Dude the next year I showed up, I was catching 500 footballs a day [13:50 inaudible] football. I was out there lifting every weight that I could to be stronger. I would run routes. I would be out of the parks by myself, by myself with a family that doesn't look like they're not athletes. They're heavyset. I'm the only athlete in the family. There's no one driving me, but me. And here's the unique thing that's great about that. I believe that what you do in the dark allows you to shine the light. And so, I came back the next year, like bro, I was an animal bro. I was, it was a different kind of drive. It was like when the balls in the air, that is my football, you don't have the right to take it from me. When you're running at me, you are mine. You're going to the ground. You don't get the opportunity. You don't have the right to run past me. Like it was a different sense. Like you don't get to tackle me. I'm putting your face into the ground. How dare you? Do you know what I did the last year? The way that I showed up, wasn't just a skillful athlete. I was, I was deeply determined to make sure I stayed in line with who I had created myself to be. 

Michael: I love that, man. I think that's so powerful. I similarly had a moment later into my twenties where I had what I called the mirror moment, where I looked in the mirror and I said, from this moment, everything changes. And that was a measure of against where my life was. There was so much chaos that was happening around me and recognizing like I was not showing up. I was leveraging the trauma, the abuse, all of the bad I'd been through being called Oreo, wetting the bed. You know, all of those things that I was saying, I guess this is who I am using it as an excuse. To adapt that kind of mindset, whether you're 25 or 15 or 75, like there is, there is something about that moment in which you come to terms with your future in which you are actually making a choice and a decision that requires so much, not only vulnerability, but inner strength that it can forever change you. I constantly push my clients into this place of, are you going to do what it takes to show up for yourself? What are you willing to do to have the life that you want to have? And in that moment, you recognize that the potential for everything that happened lied with you, right? And I think about this. I live my life by one simple phrase, no excuses, just results. And it just drives me forward, forward, forward. But at 15 years old, man, that's such a tremendous attitude to have about life in general. And looking at this circumstance of what you come from, talk to me about how does that continue to propel you? Because I think it's really easy to get motivated for one day, one week, one month. Hit the track, you’re going, you're catching balls. And then ball 9 million, 400,000 comes, how do you keep going? Like how do you stay the course?

Anthony Trucks: So, you are, it's got to be, it quite literally has to be a sense of it's who you are. And if you don't do this thing, you feel out of alignment, you feel gross. Like if you think about, I’ll give you a synopsis of what the transition over the last, let's say 20 years, it's crazy, 20 years has turned into, but here's how it boils down. If you think about a woman named, I don't know, Carrie, Carrie is a woman who doesn't work out and she kind of just, you know, she wants to be in shape. Never does. When she posts on social media, it's about her, of her trip and a picture of the mountains and the ocean never on herself, it's a, you know, a picture of her kids and there's food she's eating, that's all she posts. It's very sparing. But then after a while, all of a sudden you start seeing Carrie post pictures of like a salad. And then you see Carrie post pictures of like a workout video she's doing. And then she posts her coach. That's, you know, she's got coaching or thinking to coach. And then that fateful day comes, and she posts a video of herself, progress picture before a little bit after. And then next thing you see her in yoga pants, in her workouts. And then she's not motivating people. And she's got people that are getting in better shape and she's shown her videos of her slushies and her smoothies and drinks and all this stuff. And now she's got clients, right? What nobody noticed along that journey, it wasn't just a journey of her to the point where like she's posting things in the back end that would have scared the crap out of her when she was posting of just her kids. But now she posts these things, because it's who she is and it's easy and it's fun. And it's joyous. The transition took place over time. But for a lot of us, we don't realize that we're all Carrie. We all have something that we want to do, but we're not in that space. It's not who we are. We haven't leaned in. We do the bare minimum. That thing we should be doing, it's scary and hard to us. But what Carrie did is she went in and spent the time, over time building this person by actions in the dark that when it came to the light on social, she's posting it now, it's not just a thing where she gets up and she's like, Oh, I got to work out five days a week. Oh, I got eat salads. Oh, I got to coach my clients. It lights her ass up. Like she loves it. It's a joy to it all. That's how it goes for the next 9 years, 20 years, 9,000 pictures. Because you're not just doing it because you're trying to be that person. When you are that person, it's your new normal, when it's your new normal it's effortless. And when you can get to the level of an effortless effort towards the thing that moves the needle for you, bro, your future is written in beauty. But it's a matter of getting to that point.

Michael: I constantly think about this idea of creating myself. I leveraged that. In the very same way, you went to that mirror and you said, I'm creating this Ant. This is the person that I'm going to be. And you leveraged that idea and stepped into it. Where was fear? What kind of role did fear play in your life? Because look, I get it like nicknames, the kids picking on you. They're being bullied. Even when you're in there trying the fucking hardest. There's always somebody to shit on you. How do you combat the fear of the person that you were, and not only then, but even now, how do you combat the fear of this shadow self always wanting to be like Anthony you are not good enough? And channeling that into like, I'm going to do this anyway. What does that like for you?

Anthony Trucks: The conversation doesn't [19:31 inaudible]. Before it's a natural one. And I believe that as you get higher on the totem pole, there's always got to be a [19:37 inaudible] falling off. It's just a natural part of it. The way that I look at is this, there's this cool TV show I used to watch a years ago called American gladiator. Remember that show at all? 

Loved that show. And one of the guys on there, Dan Nitro. I know Nitro is good dude, man, I meet him chat every once in a while. Nitro, Dan nitro, whatever, he was Nitro anyways. So, there's a cool part of the very end when they have to raise up that whole mountain to get to the top, hit the buzzer. And this is where I look at fear. Usually, a fear of something chasing us. It's a fear of a failure chasing us. It's a fear of somebody outing us for something we did in the past, right? It's the fear of failing. And what happens is, think of it this way. When you're the guy in front, boom, buzzer goes off, you take off, you're spreading up that mountain you're climbing. And then second buzzer goes off. Boom Nitro is chasing you. What happens is you're climbing that mountain and you can have a good tick. But here's what takes place for a lot of people. If you watch them, genuinely watch the show. Here's what takes place. They're climbing. And as they're climbing, they do this thing where they stop and look down. And here's, what's crazy. The gladiator, the fear, they're looking up at you and climbing, no stopping, no hiccup, there's movement, right? When you take a second to look down at it, you stop your pace. You give it an opportunity to catch up to you and they would get that ankle, yank them off. The ones who won. They almost never looked down almost ever. I watched a couple of times when I was still, I want to go back and look at some things like, did it happen? They are climbing and they just kept going. They could hear. And they just kept going. I'm talking to the gladiator, just almost gets the angle and taps it. Just keep going, boom, hit the buzzer. And it wasn't anything more than they just didn't stop and look. If any of them would have stopped for a second and look, they're pulled off. So, when you asked, like how do I navigate the fear of realize? It's always there. I can sense it. I feel it at my heels, but I don't ever take moments to stop and look down, because it grabs me. So, if people are living, like how do I live my life in a progressive state, man, stop looking back at it. If it gets you, it got you. Cool. Go do it again. But don't give it the opportunity by slowing down and looking at it.

Michael: Yeah. It's powerful. It's powerful. It's so true. It's so true because we get to choose how we live our life. And if you're constantly seeking fear, I look at it as looking for an excuse. There's always a reason for you not to be successful, but I want to keep tapping into your story because I think we're getting to this place that's really, really important. So, you're moving forward, next year high school football crushing it. [21:59 inaudible]. What's next? What's going on?

Anthony Trucks: Well, now I'm trying to figure out how to become like the guy that I got moved from, you know, sophomore year. So, freshman year I suck, sophomore year was supposed to suck too, but sophomore year I'm balling. So, I get moved to varsity and I'm not very good at Varsity. They put me at cornerback and I'm slow. Like I'm not a quarterback, bro. Like at that age I was slow. And so, I'm trying to figure out this whole world of, you know, sports. But at the same time, I got a mom who was getting more sick. I got a brother who was off at the military, so it's kind of like just me at the house. Like I was close to him and the rest of the siblings I kind of was, but just, you know, it's the older brother, man. He was like my dude. At the same time, trying to navigate the whole girl situation. There's girls that like you now. And you're, you know, it's a tornado. I don't know who I am. In fact, at that age, if you go to Erikson, psychosocial, you know, structures, it breaks down to where at that moment I'm having what's called role versus identity confuse or identity versus role confusion. So, identity is like, usually enter into life with having who you are anchored. And then you have a role confusion. Who am I in the real world? In my career, in my, you know, education, who am I in my job right now? Most people have a good sense of who they are. Their mom and dad raised them. They got a base of confidence and stability and honor and integrity to know who they are. Well, most people have that. I didn't, I didn't know who the hell I was like, I'm trying to figure out this world. My mom is sick and my dad's taking care of her. I got nobody really watching what I'm doing, bro. I can come in and go whenever I wanted, I didn't really [23:22 inaudible] the most I had was a job as a janitor. I had to keep me structured. I could run around with whatever girls I wanted. I had a job that gave me enough money to get a little car. I'm driving a car around. I could have gotten so much trouble. In fact, I did. At 17 years old, I got arrested for breaking into cars and doing some dumb stuff with some kids I didn't belong out doing right. So, it ended up being was a situation where man, I had like navigate this, this new weird world. Find out who the hell I was because the world was coming at me fast.

And in football, the greatest part was when I got better, when you get better at something that you sucked at, it's like this thing of when you first try something, it's a 10 of pain. You don't want to try it again. Cause you don't want to be exposed to the pain of it. So, you don't do it. You walk away, you make an excuse, you try something else. The next thing is a 10 of a pain too, shiny object syndrome happens. Here's what you should do. What I did, everybody should do. And that anybody has been successful has done, they try it again. They learn something the first time they apply it again, doesn't mean it's going to be a zero. It's going to be a nine, nine still hurts, man. Like nine is very uncomfortable. So, I try it again. It's an eight, then a seven, then a six.  And eventually if you stay long enough, you keep getting back up. It goes to zero, but it's not zero. It's joy. This thing you hated doing, you love. You can't wait to do more of it. And so, what happens is for me, when I got that journey of ten, nine, eight, I had joy out there balling. I anchored myself to something that gave me more than anything else and other things could give me. So, when I'm trying to find out who am I, as I enter this whole new world of a role confusion, I'm the football player. I had that one thing that honestly saved me because had I entered that next level of life without being the football player. I literally had nothing else. And that's how you see people end up as statistics. So, football saved me, dude, just out of sheer aspect of being present in that thing and giving me a sense of self.

Michael: Yeah. And like, sometimes you get lucky with that, right? And there's resiliency aspects at play in the role and probably having a coach who at least, or at least one other person in your life who was spurring you on and challenging you and saying, Anthony, you can do this. You know, here's one of the things I think is really interesting. We don't do this on our own. And I think about that. Who was playing the role of resilient leader and coach in your life at that time, when you're for lack of a better term lost? 

Anthony Trucks: I had some football coaches, my mom and dad, man, they meant well, but they weren't like driving me to be that. In fact, when I was looking at colleges now, granted, when I started getting scholarship offers, I'm getting looked at by the entire PAC 10 at the time, you know everything from USC to Michigan to Nebraska, you know, all these, not obviously PAC 10, but different schools also outside of PAC 10. Utah's, Hawaii, all these different schools. I'm like, hey mom, dad, what, what should I do? Whatever, pick one, wait, what do you know what this, you know, what's going on right now? I'm one of like a few percent of human beings that are getting an opportunity to play for free at the college and get a free education for playing a game. You want to help out. No, we trust you, [26:21 inaudible]. That's what it was, dude. And I'm like, nobody cared, no one was paying attention. I was just out there rocking and rolling figuring my whole life out. And sure enough, man, I had some coaches in high school that were really good about seeing who I was as a human and help them guide me. So, it was coach George who was one of my good coaches back in the day. Who was, he was good at understanding like what I needed to do to base perform in high school level? Great heart, great guy. I don't think he understood the football game at the college level because it's just, it's intricate man. It is far more intricate than it should be. And just in kindsight, but I say should be, I'm dead wrong. Like it's crazy. Just when you go to that level from high school to college and you didn't play at a big school, like in high school, bro, it's a leap of mentality. Like what in the world am I learning right now? Then you get in, you can't get rid of it. And I understand systems. And then I had a guy man, one of the good guys, Chris Matthews, he was like a receiver coach. He only coached me my freshmen and sophomore year. But like, he's like the consummate coach for me. He's like, when I think of high school, he was my coach and I got, Coach Anthony was a good guy, but [27:22 inaudible] position coach. But coach Matthews, man. He was a dude that just loved on you. Like he yelled at you and you get your stuff done, but he loved on you, man. He was there. He support you; he want to see you do well. And those guys, they were really good at kind of keeping me kind of dialed in. Like I wasn't a trouble kid. Like I wasn't out there causing problems, if anything, I had a weird ego. Cause when you get good at something and you're like the guy on campus, you get a little chip, I had a little chip. I wasn't ever mean though. I was never mean to people, but I knew, I knew I was good, you know? And I had that kind of air to me. But I mean, I got voted homecoming King and I always did things to be nice to kids. I befriend a lot of cats that were like nerds. I got messages, like three years ago I got a message. I didn't even know. I can't recall this, but some girls like, Hey, you're not going to remember this, but whenever you were a senior in high school, I was a freshman, and some sophomore boys were picking on me and like they were being really rude and nasty, and you stopped it and you made them walk away and you made me feel safe. And I want to say, thank you. I don't, I don't remember any of it, I literally can't recall a single second of it or where it took place or what, but like I was still a good guy. And then like may remember, like I was a good dude. But I still had an air to myself. But those guys, they kept me doing what I needed to do. They kept me getting the grades done. Because I was a good athlete, but I had bad grades. Like it was one year where if I was like straight S dudes. And if I didn't figure out the grades, I wasn't going to college, I only got, I mean, I only had like a, regular like a 2.5 out of high school, 2.5, 2.6.

Michael: I graduated with a 1.6. So, I am right there with you and not on time either. So, let's be clear. I was asking you a lot about this as baseline, right? Because I think it's really important. We often come from these places when we survived intense traumas. I mean, Anthony, my friend, you've been through some shit. I've been through some shit, people listening to this. They've had a real hard life. But there's something about these moments in which we make choices and decisions that forever change the trajectory of what's going to happen. You find yourself in this really powerful place of not only playing college football, but then leading into other things. And really stepping into life on your terms as an adult. And because I want to be conscious of time, I could go way deeper with you. But I think this is really important. In this place you are now looking at life and being in the position that you are in now as who I would consider a leader, this person who is stepping up and showing that like me, just because you come from this place does not mean that that is the life that you have to have. How does that impact you for who you are now and more so what led you down this path? Because it's really easy to take the fame and success that you've had to leverage that, go build a house on some Island somewhere disappear forever. But you've decided to step into doing something powerful and that's helping people.

Anthony Trucks: Yeah. I mean, I think there's this part of it is, let's not miss out on the fact that I have a selfishness to me even to this day that I like the thank you. And it's the one thing that I let be part of my past that I think serves the world. So, when I grew up and I was, you know, [30:28 inaudible], I didn't matter to anybody, not even my own mom, not the people that didn't take care of me. And then obviously along the blow lines, people have obviously come to care for me. But I think it's because of the way I show up for them. But what I’ve realized in my life is I love thank-you's man. I selfishly enjoy the aspect of having someone say, thank you. You helped me a lot. It matters to me. I'm not going to lie. I'm not going to sit here and be like, I do it because I just, I care, I like, it doesn't matter. No, I love the thank you’s, but here's the truth. The only way I get the thank you's that matter to me is by serving somebody at such a high-level pass where it is logical to them. It's like, I want people to go back and be like, Holy crap. Why would this person do that for me? I don't even, right, thank you man. And so, if I'm going to get the thing I want, it only happens because I’ve given the thing you need. And that's how I live this life. And what I realized is all the things that have happened in my life. I had a lot of reasons to be a very angry human. I mean the time. No one, if I became a criminal right now, [31:24 inaudible] right now. If I became a criminal and I was doing crazy, I was out there going crazy, just being a mean dude, who's going to argue with me when I tell them my story. I mean, no one, they're going to be like, it makes sense. They'll probably tell you, like, you don't have to be this. You could be something more, be like F you, you don't know me. They don't. I mean, that could easily be the statement. And I chose not to because I realized that I will have to in all of us, whatever you put into the world, you have to experience the emotion of it as well. You do bad things. If you're doing it to somebody else, you're in that emotional realm, it may not have happened to you, but there's this darkness that comes with that world. And I don't like that, man. I don't like the negativity. I don't like the feeling of that. And I want my thank you. So, I realized I got to take all this stuff that happened and make something happen amazing from it. It's kind of like a, you know, the old, the back of the Apple that had like a, it's a pin cushion. Well, I think it was an Apple or something like whatever it was, you know, you can take needles and poke the needles into it, and it holds the needles. And I realized that for me, life is like a bunch of little needles poked into it, dude. Like everything from mom gave me away. And then, you know, the different things in the foster homes. And then my wife at one point having an affair and then you know, stuff with my real dad and like, you know, sports and injuries and, all this craziest that happens. It's all these weird needles that just pain, right. And I can easily take a needle out and poke your eyeball with it. Cause you know, I want to, revenge be that dude. But at one point I made a conscious choice and said, you know what? With this very same needle, I can thread it and weave an amazing tapestry. And if I do that, again, I get to experience all the feeling of what's going out. So, if I'm giving good, I get that good thank you. So, when I started looking at my life, like I had a lot of reasons to be a mean dude and angry, but at this point in my life, the reason I go and help people is because man, I'm making a great, amazing blanket to warm the world the best I can. I'm getting the feeling of appreciation to what I give to the world. And as much as I love the aspect of, you know, I do it just for everybody else. Like I don't. And I do at the exact same time. I know what I'm doing, I'm conscious of it. And so, I pour out, we're talking today. I've been ripping since 6.30 in the morning and I'm going to be not done till like 6.30 at night and I'm full. And none of it, none of it just, you know, none of its business stuff, it's all talking to people. It's coaching clients that are like having some problems going on that aren't even paying for the time. Podcasts to serve people, talking to at-risk youth, helping people to organizations that have nothing to do with my business; nothing. It's a full day, 12 hours of serving people and not so I can go publicly and say, I'm serving people, but it's just to do it. And that fills me back up, man. Like I don't get dead tired. Like I love it. And it's a thing for me where the reality is not everybody is blessed with the problems I got. It is experience.

Michael: It's so true. I so often go and acknowledge the trauma that I had. I'm going to acknowledge the fact that I went through hell and back. And I look at my life now. And I think about this in a really, really impactful way, pretty constantly. And it's at that, my life is amazing, man. Like Anthony, I love my life. And in a way that most people could probably never understand though. I hope that they can because I’ve been from the bottom. I've been where I slept on a concrete floor and had rats bite in the night. Cause we didn't have beds and I’ve been homeless, and I’ve been living in cars and I’ve done all those things. But yet here's the thing, Anthony, I didn't want to let any of that define my life. And there's somebody listening right now, Anthony, who like us has come from this background and the fear is keeping them stuck. It is keeping them trapped. There is something inside of them that is leveraging and holding onto this idea that my life should be this way because of what happened to me. And they cannot let it go. How do you do that? Like Anthony, how do I let go of all of that shit to live a life on my terms? 

Anthony Trucks: You don't let it go, man. You get strong enough to carry it along with the rest. I don't know if you let it go. I don't. I mean, I have a forgiveness and I have a lightness to me, but I don't think the lightness comes because all of a sudden, it's gone. It doesn't disappear. I don't think. If you think about if I have a 50-pound bag, right? Two ways to make this bag, you know, feel light. One, I just get rid of the bag, which good luck with that. This stuff is part of your life. Or you get strong enough until 50 pounds feels like five. And now you can carry it a little bit differently. Now it's a benefit because I can take this thing as far as I need to and it's not going to weigh me down. I think it’s part of it is to understand that it doesn't 100% disappear. But at the same time, you get to choose what the outcome of this stuff is. Man, if you've got this weight and it's driving you insane, it's going crazy. Like it doesn't mean you have to go give it back to the world, man. You can let it go and move on and build something, vastly bigger and better than what you have. I think there's just this perspective that people have in life of like, because this happened to me, this has to be the outcome. This has to be this thing. And what they are unfortunately doing is they are stating with their words, a story that they then have to make right. So, the problem with that is when I say. Well, I'm bad because I was in foster care. Cool. What do you have to do to make that story right? You've got to be bad now. It's a problem. Or, you know, I'm broke because this took place or you know, all men suck because this guy cheated on me and you know, whatever. Cool. All right. So, we're speaking that out loud or I'm unlovable because you know, this happened to me. Great. So, if you speak it out loud, you don't want to lie to yourself. We don't, we don't like lying to ourselves. We stay in alignment. We will live our lives in a way to make that statement right. It shows up and it is going to be a weird example. But it'll make sense. When people say, man, all white cops are bad. Well then what happens is that guy [36:53 inaudible] white cop. What does he do, he eggs him on, so that he can be right and say, see, look, white cop he's bad? I'm right. And then all of a sudden, these things spin off and it becomes this weird trajectory for the entire world. And it's like, dude, all we're doing is saying, because this took place, this is who I am. And we're living in a way to make it right. If you don't want that, change the story, like genuinely tell yourself something different and live in a way to make that right. Is it easy? Hell no, it's not easy, but it's the way you got to do it.

Michael: Yeah. It's so incredibly difficult, Anthony and I'm sure. And I'm so curious, you must have struggled with self-love and identity issues, right? I mean, I know I certainly did. And learning to cultivate vulnerability with myself enough to be like, I'm okay with loving myself is probably one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. And like you, I would seek, how do I get this acknowledgement from my mother, from my stepfather, from my family, from strangers on the street, someone, anyone please know that I'm alive and recognizing like you actually have to fill that cup for yourself first. And if other people want to love you, fuck, that's an amazing bonus. But it has to start with you. And there are people listening right now who even through all the episodes and all the content, everything that exists in the world and this idea of self-love is probably the hardest battle that they face. What was your journey in like stepping into self-love? 

Learning Self-Love after foster care and child abuse

Anthony Trucks: Man, my journey for self-love was a Long one. Because you have no reason to believe you should be loved when no one's give you a reason to believe you should be loved as a concept of like, I should, I should have love. But man, my journey was hard, I had to earn it. That's really what I think the thing with that is you have to get to the point where you believe you deserve it, and you don't believe you deserve to have nothing to show up for it. You have no point. So, there's a statement. I can't remember who told this, but they said you have to teach other people how to love you by how you love you. That was a very pointed statement that I heard. I can't remember who said it, but I loved it. Cause it was this thing of like, yeah, if you don't treat yourself, right, no one's going to treat you right. So, you know, then you'll think that you're unlovable. So, you start with you, man. You love you by getting healthy. So, you love the skin you're in. You love you by how you talk to yourself. You love you by how you go for that job and get that raise and make that money and have that car, that house, you love you, man. Then people hold you at a certain level and they'll give you love. It may not be all the love you want. It may be a different kind of love. Like the only love you because you're famous, right? That's possible. But at the same capacity, if I have a relationship I want to get into. If I love me the way that I love me, by how I talk to myself, I hold myself. Well, what I will accept, you won't let somebody love you any less, especially if they're an intimate partner, right? There's other ways and so myself love came from giving it to myself. But you give it to yourself by working past the points when you don't want to work. It happens in the weight room. It happens in a job. It happens in the reading of the book. It happens in all these areas. It happens when the moment hits that you're like, I can't go anymore. I don't want to. And then you do, and then you [39:46 inaudible], Holy crap. Oh, you're dope. I love you. Oh, that's cool. And these a little more, a little more. I mean, it's, even if it's like, Hey, I'm just not going to eat sugar today. You get to the day you don't eat sugar. Hey, great job. I need you to not eat sugar today. Second night, Oh, great job. After a good week. You're like, hell yeah. I like this guy. He's able to fight to this day and he's doing good. And then if you like something, you respect it. You respect it. You can love it. And that's the role. I think self-love for me, it's actions. I love the statement of action ends suffering. If you're suffering and have a lack of love, only an action is going to put that back in.

Michael: Yeah. A hundred percent and pushing yourself into places that you didn't know that you could go. Because let me tell you this. And I'm sure you resonate. There is that moment of victory when you look back down the mountain and you go Laser, you didn't get me bro, I did it, right? And you recognize how important it was to push yourself through something so incredibly difficult that you're willing to say, I'm going to die to make this thing happen. I'm willing to die to love myself. My final question for you here, Anthony, before we wrap up is where can everybody finds you?

Anthony Trucks: I am in the ethers of the world. I am all around you.  I'm just kidding. The best place to find me has been on Instagram at Anthony Trucks. Or if anybody wants to text me, just go to and then you can literally pull up the chat of a text message on your phone. Like your I message and send me a message.

Michael: Brilliant. Yeah. You know, I could literally sit here and talk with you all day. We're only at the surface level of how deep this really goes. But I think that your journey is incredible. And it's such a Testament to this idea that if you make a decision and you put in the hard work, you can have the life that you want to have, but you have to ask yourself, what are you willing to do? And Anthony, you're willing to step in and show up. And that's powerful. And I see you for that my friend. My final question for you is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?

Anthony Trucks: Unbroken. I think that when I hear that I'm thinking like to not be able to be broken is one thing, but unbroken would mean that I got broken and I got put back together. It's the antithesis or something like that. Anthesis. I don't know the word.

Michael: Antithesis 

Anthony Trucks: Antithesis. There you go. I knew that the word existed in a way that I was supposed to use it, but it's the opposite of that is where I see it. So how I hear that is, it's not that you weren't broken. Cause we all have errors. We break, man. It's happens. Nobody is stretch Armstrong in here, but we can get stretched to the point of even stretch arms I could break man, but you stretch, and you break. But the thing is to say, I'm not going to stay broken. I think it's going the opposite, “un” is the opposition of broken. So, for me it means man letting things break and put them back together, what are those Japanese pots that they, some Japanese pot that if you break it, you put it back together. And the seams are the cracks with gold, and it makes this beautiful you know, thing, that's like I would put it on my mantel piece. It's beautiful, it's broken, but it's lined with gold. And I think there's that, that perspective for me of like the most beautiful things that are ones that have been broken and put it back together and the people that I know, the businesses that I’ve been part of, even that pot man, there's a beauty to the brokenness of humanity because I think it gives that individual a different kind of common strength and a different kind of connection because they get the people trying to help. So, I think at the end of the day, people that are broken, you know, they break people. Those that are healed, heal people and the healing essentially in my mind is unbroken.

Michael: Man. Powerful. I love that Anthony. So, spot on, I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you so much for being here with me, Unbroken nation. Thank you so much for listening.

Please check out Anthony on social and text Anthony.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

I'll see you. 

Anthony TrucksProfile Photo

Anthony Trucks

NFL Player, Actor, Coach

Anthony Trucks is a serial entrepreneur with one serious super power. The power to use his identity as a tool to execute so consistency becomes easy. Something he teaches people which allows them to start attaining their most ambitious desires as quickly as this month. He uses the power of identity to achieve their dreams. Which is why he created The Shift Method. A process and a company focused on helping people close their “Identity Gaps” that are responsible for the shortfalls in their potential and lack of success. He then helps them upgrade how they execute so that the hard things become easy, which means more success in all areas of their life. It’s time to Make Shift Happen.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.