After one of the most intense comeback wins Seattle Seahawks ball fans have ever witnessed, the 2015 NFC Championship win over Green Bay, there was a moment memorable for its playfulness: 6-foot 4-inch defensive end Michael Bennett hopped on a police bike that was a size too small and rode around CenturyLink Field.
The bike was auctioned off for $10,000, with half going to Seattle Police Department's efforts against child abuse and exploitation. The other beneficiary, Bennett's OCEAN Foundation aims to fight Obesity through Community, Education, Activity and Nutrition. Currently, the program is held in three Hawaii locations with plans for expansion in Washington state.
Bennett lives in Kirkland with his wife, Pele and three daughters, ages 8, 4 and 1. In the spirit of Father's Day, Bennett talked with ParentMap's Hilary Benson about how a Superbowl-ring wearing dad can maintain work-life balance.
You have the kind of job that requires extraordinary focus, so how do you maintain that separation between the demands of work and the needs on the homefront?
Actually, I think of it as one and the same. My family is what keeps me going, if I didn't have my family I wouldn't be where I am, it's the most important thing to me. The thing that's different isn't so much the time issue, but it's that I have to be so aggressive at work, then come home and try to be calm, you know what I mean?
Talk to me about that. How do you shift gears mentally?
That's one of the hardest things to do because you're so built up with so much testosterone. For me, I come home and I've got three daughters and they're all jumping on me, they want to play games, stuff like that and it's different. So you have to just switch over and calm down and not bring your work home. I think that ride home is very important when you've had a long day at work.
So that point is an important one I'd like to follow-up: Sports psychologists speak to the challenge for high-level athletes of setting aside the violent tendencies needed to succeed on a pro football field. How do you do it?
You just have to have the will to not let football control everything you do. A lot of times guys let it control who they are and it consumes them. You have to figure out what's your zen. Is it reading? Is it riding a bike? You have to figure out how to have a peaceful moment at the end of the day.