By Beth Myncin
His hair is insured for a million dollars. During the regular season you can find him flying around the field with no regard for personal safety. He is a future Hall of Famer and one of the best safeties to ever touch the field. I could go on and on about him but the thing is, there are not enough words to describe Troy Polamalu. He is the epitome of a Pittsburgh Steeler. Troy is the kind of guy you want your child to look up to, hardworking and full of class.
There were a lot of questions regarding the future of Polamalu at one point. He seemed prone to injuries, consistently dealing with a nagging calf injury that made fans wonder if he was done. Polamalu had previously admitted that it was not just during the 2012 season that sidelined him for 9 games, but rather it was an issue for three or four years, continuing to play while never fully healed.
At some point last year enough was enough and Troy made the training changes needed. He admitted to now having a therapist knead the clumps of hardened tissue in hopes that his calves would not tighten up again. Apparently whatever he did worked because he was present for every single game last season, a trend that fans hope will continue this season.
Troy is clearly impressed with the progress he has made and in an effort to “pass it down” has taken Shamarko Thomas under his wing. This of course speaks volumes of Troy’s impression of the young player, given the fact that this is the first person to have worked out with Troy.
Thomas said of the experience: “It’s an amazing experience just to learn from that type of guy, not just working out, but his mentality, the way he goes about his days, how he takes care of his family and how he puts God first in his life.”
It’s an exciting experience for the guy widely considered the eventual replacement for Troy whenever that may be. And it is nice to see Troy investing so much time and effort into that guy, preparing him for what will come next.
Polamalu summed up his training stating: “To me training is not only a football discipline,” Polamalu said. “It’s a very spiritual exercise for me. It’s about pushing your boundaries not only as a football player but a person. My goal in training and learning to train, it’s not necessarily to maximize yourself as an athlete only, but as a human being, spiritually, physically, emotionally.”
Polamalu’s future is unknown. Reasonably, no one knows when Polamalu will decide to walk away, leaving an everlasting legacy behind him. Troy is just one of those “people” that you can’t help but love. He is kind, caring, and puts family above all else. He is in prime health and looks once again to be ready to tear up the NFL, irritating quarterbacks and forcing defensive coordinators to scratch their heads.
Whatever he chooses, whether it is to play for three more years or three more months, he should know that Steeler Nation has his back. Always and forever.