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If you like Herschel Walker's story, you might also like:
Hank Aaron,
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Roger Bannister,
Julius Erving,
James Earl Jones,
Peyton Manning,
Willie Mays,
Pete Rozelle
and Bill Russell

Herschel Walker also appears in the videos:
What is a Hero?
Sports, Entertainment & Heroes

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Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker
Profile of Herschel Walker Biography of Herschel Walker Interview with Herschel Walker Herschel Walker Photo Gallery

Herschel Walker Interview (page: 7 / 8)

All-American Football Player

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  Herschel Walker

Clearly, sports, football, is not the only thing you're interested in.

Herschel Walker: No. I'd love to be in the FBI. The FBI has always been a dream. Even though I don't think I'll get a chance to do it. I've spent two weeks in Quantico, Virginia at the FBI training center, and while I'm in Dallas, Texas now, I may go out with the FBI there and do a few things. I really enjoy that. You know, that's a lot of fun, and I love that. I'm on the U.S. Bobsledding team, I'm very big on martial arts. I say I want to get into a movie with Chuck Norris, and do martial arts movies. And I've danced with the ballet. So I do a lot of things, because I think that's what you've got to do.

Life is almost like a tree for a 15 year-old. Where he don't know where he's going to branch off to, but if you try to stay at this one thing, you know, he's never going to blossom. And the reason why is because you don't know your talents. I never thought I was going to be a football player, but now I'm a football player. Being a football player I was able to go into the business world and do well. I was able to do this, I was able to do that. But I think if I had said, "Okay Herschel, you're a basketball player. Stay with basketball," I never would have done anything. Because I'm not. I can play, but I'm not a professional basketball player. So I think when you're young, sometimes you've got to have an open mind to take on other challenges. You may get into it, and you may like it a little bit more than you think.

[ Key to Success ] Preparation

Did you have any heroes?

Herschel Walker Interview Photo
Herschel Walker: God and my parents. I didn't watch sports, so I didn't know anything about sports heroes.

Have you learned anything as an athlete that helps you in the non-athletic world? Were there lessons there for you?

Herschel Walker: I learned to be patient. In business, when you're trying to get a loan, or if you are trying to get something to work out, you'd better be patient. Or have an open mind. In football and, I think, in business, you'd better have an open mind. I learned to really have a strong back bone. Sometimes things are not going to work out, you've got to keep at it. I think there is a big crossover there.

What do you say to a 15 or 16 year-old who comes to you seeking advice?

What I would say to them is believe in yourself. Strive to be the very best you can be. Run the race against yourself and not the guy in the other lane. The reason I say that is, as long as you give it 110 percent, you are going to succeed. But as long as you're trying to beat the guy over there, you are worried about him, you're not worrying about how you've got to perform. Believe in yourself, because I think that's the very big key, and to work hard. To dream, it takes work. To have a nightmare takes nothing. I think if you are going to dream, you've got to be willing to work, because then it can be possible. If you are going to have a nightmare, you don't have to do anything but just hide in the closet. And I say dreams are possible through a lot of hard work. People pray sometimes, and yet they're going to sit there with their hands out hoping God is going to drop money in their hands. It doesn't work like that. If you're going to pray, you've got to get out and do something, you can't just sit in the bed. That's what is so strange. If you're going to pray, you got to make an effort. That's the way it is. If you're going to dream, you've got to make an effort to get out and do something.

[ Key to Success ] Vision

What did it mean to you, at that moment, when you found out that you had been awarded the Heisman trophy as the best college football player in America?

I never knew what the Heisman trophy was. I was one of the first freshman ever to be nominated for the Heisman. My sophomore year they said I should have won, and in my junior year I ended up winning. I never knew what the Heisman trophy was. I knew it meant something big, but I never really knew. And when I won it, it meant that I was the best college athlete. But I was ashamed because there are so many good athletes out there and, for me to be singled out, I was sort of ashamed. But yet, after I won the award, I said now this is going to be an inspiration for me, to stand out, for all the guys that didn't get a chance to win it. Continue to go out there and work hard so they can say, you know, that's the guy that won it.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

He took it from me, and he deserved it. I don't want them saying okay, he won it, but I should have got it, because look what I'm doing now. I think it's an inspiration for me.

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This page last revised on Sep 28, 2010 21:18 EST
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