DJ Lalama, Football

Interview conducted by Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood

What are a few accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?

  • 2016 President Award Winner (USports Football)
    • Was drafted the same year to Edmonton in the CFL draft and they tried to have me change position. I stuck to my guns, asked for my release, went back to school and then won player of the year.
  • 2019 CFL Season
    • I had a blood clot in my right lung in 2018 which almost took my life. Being able to play football again meant the world.
  • 2019 CFL Player of the Week
    • After asking for a release form the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, I went to Montreal. I was eventually awarded player of the week in the CFL for the last week of the season.
  • 2020 DJ47
    • Starting my own business after 9 years in the strength and conditioning industry

What is the book or books that you have given most as a gift and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

  • Bible
  • Conscious Coaching
  • Mind Gym

How has a failure or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a favourite failure of yours?
Failing to be more impactful with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. As a hometown kid you relish the opportunity to contribute and have an impactful role with the team. I wasn’t able to afford myself a real opportunity to do more than contribute on special teams and I thought I had a higher ceiling. I asked for my release and bet on myself. I signed with Montreal later that night and by then end of the year we had beat the Bombers, I had started the last 4 games on defence, and was named player of the week.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?

  • “Bet on Yourself”
  • “What do you want your legacy to be?”
  • “Relentless”

In the last five years, what new belief or behaviour or habit has most improved your life?
Control what you can control.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

  • “Waiting for an opportunity” – no, go out and create your own
  • “There is a lot of competition out there” – no, the only competition you have is with yourself

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

  • Church (life)
  • Do a 10-minute belly breathing meditation segment (stress)
  • Workout (unfocused or angry)

COVID19 has changed us and our world. What have you learned about yourself during this “Great Pause”?

  • Not to take the little things for granted
  • Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation – stay positive and be personable
  • External motivation is harder to come by now, so intrinsic motivation has taken a more prevalent role
  • Passion to help the next generation – DJ47

What advice would you give to your younger self?

  • Do worry about what others may think of you
  • Prove yourself right, instead of proving others wrong
  • Be undeniably you
  • Don’t conform to the norm
  • Bet on yourself
  • It’s okay to seek help from experts, don’t think you know it all

DJ’S CHAT WITH THE TERRIFIC TUESDAYS COMMUNITY – June 2, 2020