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julian love athlete's own

Athlete's Own is a series that gives Seahawks a voice and platform to show fans who they are beyond the field. Hear from players, in their own words, about their life experiences.

Dear Noah,

It will be some time before you can read this and maybe even longer for some of these things to really resonate with you. Still, I wanted to write this letter now because of how much you have brought into my life in such a short amount of time.

Even though I will spend the rest of my life trying my best to teach you, I want you to know that you've already taught me some things. Things like maximizing time, being present and not stressing and learning that nothing is ever that serious.

julian love and family

1. Maximizing time. I try to maximize my time even more now than I did before, both on and off the field. I try to be the best teammate I can be for the guys in my locker room during work hours, but since you were born, I find myself racing home when that final whistle sounds off at the end of the day. To adapt I just have to make sure that I'm getting to work an hour or so early to take care of my football studies. Being an NFL player comes with having a long and crazy schedule at times and the longer days can be tough when I'm not with you, so it makes me appreciate each moment that I have with you so much more.

2. Being present and not stressing. You pushed me to be better before you even made your appearance into this world. It felt like everything was perfectly aligned. It was getting into the late part of the season and I was playing my best ball. Your birth was right around the corner. During this time I was having so much fun on the field. I wasn't stressing, and I think it was because I was leaving football to be just that, football. At home I wanted to be as present with your mom as I could be, because as much as this was all an experience for me, it was an even bigger experience for her. So I owed it to her to be there and be locked in. Doing this freed me up from overthinking football which was a blessing in disguise.

3. Nothing is ever that serious. When I was a bit younger, football was the end all be all. My whole mood was dictated by my performance in practice and games or my status as a football player. But now, what defines me is who I am to my family. And that's one of the coolest parts of fatherhood so far – the ability to separate myself from what I do vs who I am. Now, it is important you know that I don't take anything in my profession lightly. I still care about my job and think it's the most prestigious thing I could be doing, outside of family. I try to dominate and strive to be the best player on the field each day. That's something I am constantly working towards, because I believe that if you pursue anything in life that you care about, why not try to be the best at it?

When I was a kid and asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said NFL Player. Strangely enough, I also thought that I just always wanted to have a family of my own. Meeting your mom was the first stage of making that a reality. I somehow was fortunate enough to meet her in high school and over the years it's been really cool to grow together. She is the best. Your mom is funny, thoughtful, tough and so incredibly smart. You and I are so lucky she's in our lives and I'm forever grateful that you've given your mom and I the experience of having a family. It's been about six months since you were born and I'm celebrating my first Father's Day thanks to you. And in huge part thanks to your mom.

A little while after you were born, I was voted to my first Pro Bowl. I think throughout any athlete's career, they're chasing some kind of recognition, and going into last season, making the Pro Bowl was one of my goals. Me and your mom used to joke all the time that I was a permanent underdog. No matter how well I played or what I did, I was never held up to that high of a regard. People respect my game and the way I play it, but I was never seen in that top status. So going into the season, my mindset was simple. I wanted to win games, be productive and prove folks wrong. Then in December, as the pregnancy and season got further along all of the "proving folks wrong" went out the window. All my mental capacity went to you, your mom and then football.

A full circle moment I remember having was after the MNF Eagles game. I played well, and after the game I had to talk with the media. As I am at the podium, the entire time I'm just thinking 'I have to get home. Noah can be here any minute!'

Thankfully, you didn't get here that night, and we didn't have to wait long because you were set to arrive that Wednesday. Because of all the excitement and nervousness of your arrival I didn't really take in all the recognition that I got from the Monday Night game. I was NFC Defensive Player of the Week, but because of the circumstances I was isolated away from it all.

I truly believe that it had to have been for a reason. Every mentor I've had in football has told me not to read into the things people write about me. Because once you love hearing the good stuff, you'll soon start to believe the bad. That time was a really cool example of being locked in, not worrying about the extra stuff and when you are only focused on where your feet are, good things happen. I saw it to the fullest at that moment.

When I think back to that game. I think about you and how I just want you to be able to be yourself and be comfortable running your own race. As I've grown up and tried to figure out who I was as a person, especially with football being at the forefront of what I was doing, I feel like I've had challenges of trying to adapt or conform to whoever was around me. At a certain point, I realized I just have to be myself. If people like it, they like it. And if they don't, then they don't. So, I hope you, Noah, take hold of that and are the truest form of yourself at times when it seems like that might not be the cool thing to do. The second thing I want you to take away from that is that wins and losses are really just wins and lessons. You'll have to learn and adapt and grow from everything that challenges you. Everything that you think is a low, just realize that there's another side of it. You'll gain hindsight, closure and you'll build off it. I know it's tough for young people to learn that, but I hope you read this and can learn a bit from it.

Being a father has been the best experience of my life and your mom and I couldn't have asked for a better son. I strive every day to make you both proud of me and I won't let a moment pass without telling you how proud I am of you. I hope you grow up and never lose your youthful spirit. You're bound to do amazing things and I am so excited to be there to support you every step of the way.

Love you kid,


Julian Love signature

Take a look at photos of safety Julian Love from his first four seasons in the NFL, as well as his time in college at Notre Dame. Love signed with the Seahawks as a free agent on March 17, 2023. Read more.

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