iON Featured Athlete: NFL Player, Joe Jones Jr, Appreciation of the Gift
This is the second post in my little mini-series I casually call "On Gifts". Appreciation is the theme here...In this one, I had a great chance to get a few words from the son of one of my earliest mentors, role-models, teammates and friends Joseph Jones Sr.. Joe Jones Sr. was a legend in the mid-west track community in the 90's, and when he became my teammate at Purdue, it was awesome indeed. Not only was he a great friend and athlete, but also an example of illustrating Poise and Purpose. Not surprisingly, this passed down to his son, Joe Jr as well. Now a Professional Football Player with the Denver Bronco's, Joe Jr is a living example of believing in, cultivating, appreciating and sharing the fruits...of one's Gifts....~ a.d.
Joe Jones Jr, Special Teams #43 of the Denver Broncos
Did you always believe your gifts would lead you to where you are now?
No, not always. I didn’t start playing football until my mom signed me up in 8th grade, and at that time, I didn’t really know much about college ball or the NFL. I didn’t even watch the Super Bowl when we would get together as a family to watch it. Even in college, I didn’t really think I was headed for the NFL, based on the fact that I didn’t start as a LB until my fifth year. I didn’t always know that special teams was such an important role in the NFL.
"Growth both spiritually and personally happen when you are going through something. The hard times make the good times that much better!" ~ Joe Jones Jr.
Joe Jones steps up on special teams with blocked punt vs. Baltimore
How did you gain strength to overcome the challenges that came along the way?
I have two great sources of strength. My main source is God. My faith is my foundation! It is what I lean on when times are hard, and I know God is the reason when things are going well. All glory belongs to Him. My second source is my family. I have been married to my wife Amber for about three and a half years. I also have two precious daughters. The first is Scarlette Elise (2 years old) and the second is Aurora Elizabeth (4 months old). My parents have also had a huge role in getting me to where I am now. With all of them as a support system, there is no reason for me to ever be down for long.
Joseph Jones Jr.
What word can you give to encourage someone who may be in a tough period now and finds it hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel?
Look back on all the times that you’ve gone through a hard time. Remember the feeling that you had then, and then look at where you are now. You made it through then, you can make it through now. Growth both spiritually and personally happen when you are going through something. The hard times make the good times that much better!
The Legendary Joe Jones...a standout hurdler at Purdue University, Man of Faith and Personal Trainer as Founder of Blan3yfit Fitness...still Joe Jr's Biggest Fan! (and looks like he could stay go sub-13 himself!) ~ad
So...I have to also shout out Joe Jr's Mom, my long-time friend, Shawn-Daria Leslie Dowd...she is awesome as well...fello Purdue Engineering Grad, NSBE family, Power Mom and one of the smartest people I've ever met...and as Joe Jr says, responsible for his NFL career! ~ ad
Can you share one person to whom you are thankful for encouraging you along the way?
There are two people that I have to give the most credit for helping me get to where I am today. The first is my mother; she has supported me from day one. She has pushed me to chase my dreams time and time again. I literally would never have stepped out on a football field if it wasn’t for her.
BTW I asked Joe's Mom, Shawn, what was that special something that she saw in Joe as a youngster that showed his ability to reach his potential.
"Joseph seemed to be born very spiritual, smart, strong and athletic and it was noticeable at an extremely young age. I felt my job was to encourage and ensure (and he would say “push”) him to become anything he could dream up. His work ethic was relentless towards anything he was passionate about, so it was natural for him to excel." - Shawn-Daria Leslie Dowd
And then, of course, there is my wife. A woman who chooses to stick by me through all of the chaos that the NFL brings; who has chosen to love me despite how crazy I can drive her. She stays at home and takes care of our kids so that I can go to work everyday and do what I do best, and play the game that I love!
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