Former national football player Herschel Walker spoke Tuesday about mental illness in athletics. Walker was brought to WSU as the convocations speaker.

Laughter rang from the Shepherd Union Building’s Ballroom B at Weber State University on Tuesday as former national football player and businessman Herschel Walker spoke.

WSU Convocations brought Walker to speak on overcoming life’s challenges. Amongst his own personal struggles was overcoming dissociative identity disorder during the high point of his career.

“We chose Herschel Walker because he really embodied what we’re going for in mainly overcoming any obstacle that you can overcome throughout all the challenges in your life,” said Thomas Judd, a WSU sophomore and arts and lectures chair for WSU Student Association.

During his lecture, Walker talked about his early childhood and moments he experienced when peers and students would tell him he wasn’t good enough. Walker said this pushed him to prove to his naysayers that he was good enough and caused him to excel in both academics and sports.

Eventually, he said his can-do attitude led him to play on multiple teams in the NFL, in particular the Dallas Cowboys. He also became a successful businessman in the chicken industry and even earned the fury of PETA.

At the highlight of his career, concerns from his wife caused him to seek help from a doctor, who informed him that he was suffering from dissociative identity disorder, otherwise known as multiple personality disorder. After looking back through journals he wrote during his childhood, Walker said he realized his naysayers had actually caused him to have a split personality.

“All my life, I was told I wasn’t good enough,” Walker said. “So I made somebody who was good enough.”

Students said they liked how Walker retained a positive attitude and humorous banter even during the more somber parts of his lecture.

“I was surprised at how Southern and how funny he was,” Judd said. “He just brought a lot of that Southern humor to it, and it was a great time.”

Walker also spoke about how the teachings of  Jesus Christ inspired and influenced him throughout his life. After his lecture, students and fans lined up to ask Walker questions. One of the questioners was WSU sophomore and communications major Teale Murdock, who talked about what she hoped students would take away from the event. She said she liked Walker’s discussion about his religious beliefs.

“I think knowing that there is always a plan for you in life,” Murdock said, as to what she thought was the most inspiring theme Walker discussed. “Whether you have a religious belief or not, your life does have a path to it. So he talked a lot about Christ shaping his way through life, and that meant a lot to me.”

Walker said faith helped him turn things in his life around whenever they got bad. Throughout his childhood and adult life, he said he never gave up because he had faith.

“Things ain’t gonna work unless you have faith,” Walker said. “You can’t overcome unless you have faith.”

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