We’re going to take a wild guess here, but we assume that most people reading this probably have had real lows in their lives. Moments so dark and difficult that there seemed to be no way out.
These are moments that can define or destroy us. But they are also, therefore, moments where, as they say, the only way to go is up. And that is a good thing.
Rodney Wallace has had those moments. Even with his stellar career as a professional soccer player, the injuries sustained during this practice led him to develop a dependency on painkillers.
Rodney Wallace – Courtesy Photo
At the height of his career, his mental and physical health deteriorated… but he found a way out.
Today he has reconnected with himself and the people he loves, as well as with his mission in life: “being able to help the world”. And his way of doing so is through his new CBD brand, Rewind.
During a long and very pleasant conversation with Wallace, he told us all about his relationship with cannabis, the dark times he went through, and the good times he’s going through right now.
How did Rodney he get to the good place he is in now?
How does a professional soccer player from Costa Rica become a successful CBD entrepreneur in New York City?
Well, it turns out that cannabis has long been a big part of his life, in some way or another.
Rodney’s relationship with cannabis started when he was fairly young. His parents moved from Costa Rica to the U.S. when he was eight.
The culture was vastly different but the change was positive, he mentioned. “I’m grateful for my parents taking the risk to come to the United States to better our lives,” he said on the subject. “So shout out to them.”
When he got to the States, he already knew that cannabis existed… and that it was bad. “Marijuana is seen as a ‘bad drug’. In several South and Central American countries weed is perceived negatively,” he said.
Rodney Wallace – Courtesy Photo
By the time he was twelve he already knew that people around him smoked cannabis. So he tried it.
“It was maybe the summer of going into eighth grade. I remember the feeling of being high, but I was like, wow, people make such a big fuss about this. And it’s not. I’m actually having a great time.”
At that time he was already excelling at soccer and very focused on playing, apart from getting good grades. So he didn’t see the damage in loosening up a little, once in a while, even while being conscious that his friends and him probably shouldn’t have been smoking at such a young age: “I felt like okay, you know what, why not? I wasn’t doing it in an irresponsible way. We didn’t see it as a negative (thing).”
As for consuming responsibly, Wallace left it very clear that he was in no way dependent on cannabis: “I was able to flip the switch. So whenever I had to go and do something that I needed to focus on, for example, whenever I need to go to soccer practice, I thought, ‘You know what, I can’t do this because I don’t want it to affect my game. I don’t want this to be something that is going to change my performance’… But when it was time for me to switch off and relax and have a good time with the rest of my peers… That to me was not a problem. It was good. It was fun. At the end of the day, I can’t regret it. I’m glad that I went through all of these experiences as a young child.”
And then there was college. With a dream come true and a scholarship to play in the University of Maryland, he couldn’t possibly risk the chance of gettin a bad result in drug test; so he just got smarter.
Rodney says he never failed a drug test, in spite of actively consuming cannabis. Granted, this is not something he could tell many people at the time (or at the present, for that matter); but he decided to share anyways.
He did point out that he wasn’t doing any other kind of “heavier drugs,” even with other people swearing by them. “Some people would say that it actually enhanced them, but for me, I couldn’t. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take that risk.”
So we asked the obvious question: did he stop consuming cannabis when he started playing professionally, or at any time during the course of his career?
Shockingly, the answer was negative.
Rodney knew precisely when to smoke and when to quit… even with the persistent feeling that he shouldn’t need to hide it. “How can this be? How can we get in trouble for doing this?” he would often find himself wondering. “For me it just seems so… so natural,” he said.
Rodney Wallace – Elizabeth Shrier
But still, the need for calculating his cannabis intake grew even more, as did his knowledge of its different strains, methods of delivery and medicinal properties.
With a better income came better strain quality, and with the high physical requirements of the professional soccer world came a need for taking care of his lungs.
He now knew that it wasn’t necessary to smoke cannabis in order to enjoy it. Some people’s conditions prevent them from being able to inhale, so many other intake methods have been developed for them. Wallace was amazed by this, and he expressed his fascination with the creativity surrounding cannabis and its health benefits: “It saves lives. So people and companies and factories are getting so creative on how to deliver that for patients. It’s incredible.”
But all this research led him to, as he put it, “medicating himself.”
As we know, the line between medical use and recreational use is blurry at best: apart from official medical users who treat very serious ailments, there’s a lot of people seen as ‘recreational users’ that are actually treating conditions like anxiety, insomnia or pain. So he started medicating himself, because the stigma surrounding cannabis and his status as a soccer player didn’t exactly leave him …