The Morning Call (Sunday)

Tony Gonzalez works out with the kids.

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TONY GONZALEZ N.F.L. Hall of Famer

SLEEP KING I usually wake up around 7:30 a.m. without an alarm clock. I wake up naturally because I’m huge on sleep. I believe it’s the No. 1 thing you can do if you’re trying to create a better life.

This goes way back to when I was playing. I was religious about sleep then. Three days before the game, I got eight to 10 hours per night. And then the night before a game, I made sure I was getting 10 hours. I learned this young. When I came into the league trying to party and having too much of a good time, I found out the hard way how it affected my performanc­e.

Now I wear the Oura ring, and it tracks my sleep. It tells me how much REM, how much deep sleep, how much restless and all this other stuff about my sleep.

MORNING MEDITATION The first thing I do after I wake up is a morning meditation. It’s just as I awake and before I open my eyes. It’s where I’m feeding my gratitude and the love in my heart and opening my heart. A good morning meditation is key. It lasts about 10 to 15 minutes. Then I get out of bed.

I’ve actually been meditating for several years. When I played, it had to do with visualizat­ion of the game. Now I do it for my emotional state. I’ve used apps and guided meditation­s, but when I started, it wasn’t trendy and it wasn’t easy to find all this material that’s so accessible now.

A guy on YouTube called Vishen Lakhiani does guided meditation­s. Headspace or

Calm apps are good, too.

BREAKFAST BREW After my meditation, I go downstairs. The kids are usually up before us. I make the kids breakfast. I enjoy cooking. I make them whatever they want: pancakes, French toast, eggs, omelets.

Then I have my morning cup of brew. It’s not coffee; it’s a mix of a bunch of stuff. It has Medterra CBD oil, maca powder, cocoa powder, monkfruit (which is like a little sweetener with zero calories), a mix of six mushrooms that includes reishi and lion’s mane, Ceylon cinnamon, and a prebiotic blend. And also cacao butter I get from Bulletproo­f.

Otherwise, I don’t eat in the morning. I guess I kind of fast intermitte­ntly. I’ve done 24hour fasts before, too. There’s a great app called Zero for anyone interested in fasting.

I also try to not eat as much meat. I use alternativ­e meat sources really for the planet’s sake. I’m actually an investor in Beyond Meat. If it tastes just as good as meat to me and it’s one less animal, why not?

TENNIS AND SAUNA I have this two-minute stretch routine I do pretty much every day. As far as working out, though, I work out with my kids. I’ll go out in the afternoon and I’ll go play football or basketball with them. My daughter plays tennis. It’s real exercise. I sweat.

We do have a gym at home and I’ll do kettlebell­s. I also have a cold plunge. I do that once a week. Otherwise, I regularly take cold showers. I start out warm and then always hit it cold for a good minute.

— Bee Shapiro

 ?? MICHELLE GROSKOPF FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES ??
MICHELLE GROSKOPF FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

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