Marshawn Lynch was recently on Running Wild with Bear Grylls, and if you haven’t seen the episode, that sentence probably makes you wonder what kind of shenanigans happened between Beast Mode and Grylls. Unsurprisingly, seeing Marshawn out of his element — traversing through the Corsican Mountains in France — is a big highlight. Have you ever seen Marshawn holding a machete?
Or Marshawn getting on a helicopter from a roof?
Because those are certainly things he’s never experienced until this episode. The premise of Marshawn’s adventure was that he and Grylls had two days to get from one point in the mountains to the other. Along the way, they had to hunt down a wild hog for dinner, hence the machete and a makeshift spear Grylls made. Fortunately for them, the hog fell off a cliff; unfortunately for Marshawn, he had to climb down to get it. They were successful, and it gave us a funny talking head from him:
Eventually, they had to cook the hog, and to do that they needed fire. Grylls cut off a piece of Marshawn’s dreads, which worked ... to Lynch’s dismay:
And when it came time to make shelter, Marshawn was not feeling Grylls’ plans:
But the most surprising thing about the episode was the fact that Grylls had some profound, heart-to-heart talks with Marshawn, getting to know what motivates him daily, why he retired in the first place and what he’s going to do from now on.
Marshawn on his social welfare work:
Grylls: "So, if you had to say to, like, a young guy in Oakland who really wants to make it, who wants to be the new Beast, and he's got the talent, what would you say to him?"
Marshawn: "I'd ask him what his grades look like."
G: "Why's that?"
M: "Because the reality is 1 percent actually make it to the NFL, so if there's something that's going to happen, that's going to be your backup plan."
G: "Have a backup plan, is what you're saying."
M: "Exactly. I done played with guys who, on the first day in the NFL, have a career-ending injury. So, I mean, ain't none of it promised. But I tell you, I had a backup plan, until that dream became a reality."
G: "What was the backup plan?"
M: "My degree. Social welfare -- basically what I'm doing right now with my foundation."
G: "What does that do?"
M: "We're about empowering underprivileged youth in the inner city. Our biggest thing is we got babies killing babies from where I'm from right now. We get through to that one kid, who knows where he end up? We do a lot for them -- financial, literacy -- we give scholarships."
G: "Well, they must -- they will all so feel very proud when they see you go through some of the battles you went through today, you know? They will, because it's the same lessons, isn't it, you know? Keep going when it hurts. Just keep going. Dig deep."
Marshawn on why he left football:
G: "What do you find the hardest, the legs?"
M: "The mental."
G: "Was that your experience as well with football, is that the mental side's always tougher?"
M: "Uh, yeah. I mean, yeah, when it get down to that fourth quarter stretch, it get real. Especially, you know, I been doing this since I was, what, 12, 13 years old? It starts to add up. Wear and tear."
G: "Where was the wear and tear?"
M: "Full body. And mentally. Having to wake yourself up to go and put in all the work that it's going to take. You know, the physical, the mental. The media start to wear -- all of it. It just all come together."
G: "Yeah, the media is always, you know, hounding you and wanting interviews."
G: "How did you deal with that? 'Cause you always used to said, 'Nuh-uh.'"
M: "I feel I handled it the proper way. Proper way for me."
G: "So, if you had it your way, you wouldn't do any."
M: "Nah, I wouldn't. I would just play ball. If I had it my way. But, hey."
G: "So, if you look back on all of your career, what, for you, was like the highlight?"
M: "Being able to retire. And then being able to do this with you after retiring."
M: "Yeah, man. Most people don't get to walk out or get to go out the way that I did, so I mean, you know, that's ... that's probably the biggest highlight."
G: "And you retired right at your peak?"
M: "Yeah, some would say."
G: "What motivated that?"
M: "What motivated it?"
M: "When it's time, it's time."
G: "Well, you knew?"
M: "You know it."
G: "And do you think there's any part of the game that a little part of you will miss?"
M: "Yeah, I'm sure I'm gonna miss it, but to the point where I'mma go back? Nah. I'mma be alright."
Eventually, Marshawn and Grylls made it through their trip, with some help from the French Foreign Legion, and Marshawn got to ride in the back of their vehicle.
But like the cliché always goes, it was about the journey and not the destination, and Marshawn gave us plenty to think about with his episode. You can watch the full episode on NBC’s website right now.