Hey, where'd you go?

Kris Doura’s Second Chance at Life

October 05, 2021 Collin Kushner / Kris Doura Season 1 Episode 15
Hey, where'd you go?
Kris Doura’s Second Chance at Life
Show Notes Transcript

What would you do if you had a second chance at life? In this episode of the 'Hey, where'd you go?' podcast, the former NFL, CFL offensive lineman talks about his Haitian roots, not playing football until high school, the importance of athletes getting an education, how his life changed forever after a near-death experience, and so much more. Today, Kris is a financial planner at NPC Financial in Miami, Florida. 

Kris Doura:

My heart style and I die , and it's still a tingle in my spot to have to relive that testimony, to know that I got a second chance at life.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible]

Collin Kushner:

Welcome everybody to another edition of the Hayward to go podcast. I'm your host, Colin Cushner. And we have another amazing guest. We have former NFL and CFL offensive lineman . And Chris Dora, and guess what he's doing now, he's a financial planner in the Miami area. Chris, how are you? My friend,

Kris Doura:

Colin . I really appreciate you inviting me on to the , uh , the podcast. Um, you know, I think it's just a great way to just share a little bit of who I am with the world. Uh , but you know, I feel wonderful. I'm blessed. I wake up every morning and I'm inspired. So, you know, I'm always looking forward to , uh , you know, really, you know , staying competitive in any, any industry or any competitive sport that I still participate in .

Collin Kushner:

I want to start from your childhood years. Um, your parents are from Haiti. Uh, how would they describe their childhood in Haiti? And what do they do for work?

Kris Doura:

Parents are a hundred percent Haitian. Um, you know, they literally, you know, they're our entire family , our heritage is Haitian. Um, my parents, they , uh , my father, he owns a business. Um, he owns actually a mortuary , uh , in his province. And then my mother is in management and , uh , you know, together, you know, they have become very successful, but they always realize that what was more important was the kids and the education side of, you know, making sure that we were going to have a future. Um, we weren't born in Haiti. Uh, we were actually born in Queens, flushing, New York , uh, my , myself and my other siblings. And I'll tell you what, you know, at a young age , uh, I realized that every state and every place is different, everything has its own gems and , and obviously, you know, being from a different culture in the way I was raised, it didn't really show me how to really appreciate everywhere because everything hasn't jammed and everything has its ups and ups and flows, but, you know, really, you know , from Haiti, it's a third world country. And, and obviously when you think about what you see in the third world country, it's not the same as the United States, but you learn to appreciate stuff. You learn that, you know, some countries don't have, you know, a running water, some countries are not, you know , fully , uh, powered up with electricity and you have to create those things. Um, so, you know, seeing that type of lifestyle really made me appreciate what I had in the United States and really, you know, take life , you know, more delegated and appreciate what I have today.

Collin Kushner:

Did you learn anything about football down in Haiti or was that something when you came back to the United States then enter in this chapter of football? Because I want people to know Chris you're , you're six, seven, a lot taller than me, dude .

Kris Doura:

Well, you know, in Haiti it's a different culture. Um, they don't play American football there it's really, you know, the global sports soccer, you know, they kick the ball, they run around , um, and that's really what you play. But, you know, as a kid, you know, I was chubby and fat. So I was always playing the goalie when I played. And, you know, it was a good experience because it kept me competitive, but you know, really , uh, basketball is really also global sport and, and soccer is kind of what that country follows. They , they follow a paleo , you know, Brazil, it's been unfreeze overall , um, you know, team for many, many moons. They actually do have an Asian , a national team and they compete really well too. But, you know, really growing up that was kind of the sport that you watch and you follow it.

Collin Kushner:

And from Haiti, you moved back to Miami and you told me during our pre-call that you didn't really get your start into football until your junior year of high school.

Kris Doura:

Yeah. You know , uh, that was kind of another story in itself when I realized , you know, I started developing, I started, you know, really taking on weight training seriously, I'll say , well , you know, in, in my freshman year, I, I did play basketball and it was great, but it just wasn't something that I was super coordinated that , and , and I'm honest to say that, like, it was my height, you know, that really kind of opened those doors for me. And, you know, when you think about where I was going, it wasn't something that I grew up with. So when I realized that, you know, there are so many more options out there, I decided to take a break and, you know, really focused on my academics and, you know, get really in the weight room. I noticed that you, you started getting noticed by, by the girls, you know, your shoulders started broadening up. And that was kind of what was important was people started actually noticing you. And when I realized that , uh, weight training, I just started developing my body in a different way. That's when , uh, I got noticed by , uh, you know , Miami, south Ridge head football coach, Stu Rogers . And , um, he came up to me during a lunch hour and said, Hey , Hey son , um , you looked kind of stout there, your shoulders look a little broad. Have you ever considered coming out? I really felt connected. I felt like it was inspirational to have a head coach, you know , come up to me and ask me to join their team. And that's really what inspired me. And I said, you know what , for what it was, you know, I have nothing to lose outside of, you know , you know, learn about this and develop some great friendships and join something else organized. And plus, you know, all the hot girls were after the football player. So I was like, we know I gotta be able to be in that crowd.

Collin Kushner:

Thank you for admitting that Chris, because I feel like during these conversations, it's the one thing that's that that's on every athlete's mind . And it's also on my mind too, as the host, but, but no one says it and I get it. It makes sense. If I were in the same position, I would feel the same way.

Kris Doura:

Well, you know, you start building, you know , um , a sense of a following because like now you're getting noticed you have a Jersey that you wear every, every Friday for the big game and, you know, teachers, you know, people are starting to really recognize you. So you just get that, I guess you would say that the semi celebrity status, and then when you start performing, I mean, it's just through the roof, you know, you just have people that want to be in your fan club. And that was a good feeling to have in high school. You know, when you did your work, you performed well on and off the field, but then you got that recognition and then those opportunities to go to college.

Collin Kushner:

Well, did you think though, when your coach Stu Rogers came and chatted with you, did you think that was going to turn into anything? Or was it kind of one of those situations where you're thinking, okay, this sounds like it could be cool. I'll have some new friends. And of course all the girls will be after me as well.

Kris Doura:

I had no idea that football was going to be a stepping stone to my future. And, you know, really playing that game on junior year, I came out and I did spring football and believe it or not, I played deepens, you know, being a guy that no written play , organized sport. I went out and I just did my best, but I realized that I wasn't, as wide as the defensive lineman , I was more active, taller, and I had a wingspan for days. So they actually said, you know what, Chris, I think your natural position now try out a lineman. And I said, okay, great, no problem, whatever you need me to do. I'll, I'll, I'll add value to that part and believe it or not, I actually had a really good kick slide. And I had one of the strongest punches on the team. And I realized that, wow, this is actually a natural fit for me. So that's when I decided, you know, defensive line kind of had my interests and helped me start for my natural position was really an offensive line .

Collin Kushner:

The thing I love about this story in particular is that it almost came out of nowhere. Sometimes you have the classic, my dad played football and he put a football in my hands. And I knew from the age of two that I wanted to be the starting quarterback and play football for you though. I love the Hey Chris. Like your shoulders are broad. You're a big dude. Do you like want to play for my team? I love the , the, the , the casualness behind the pitch.

Kris Doura:

What I've heard from my head coach was that there was opportunities in , in the bids and meaning college opportunities. My parents, you know, really , uh, embedded those values , um, in me from an early start and said, you know, at the end of the day, you can always a sport and it gets taken away from you, but nobody can ever take what's up here, your mind. And that's really what I saw in regards to the value of why I decided to actually go into sport, because I knew that they said we didn't, you know , uh, you know, prepare for a medical school or we didn't, you know , think about becoming , uh , lawyers and engineers. And we didn't go that route. You know, my parents, you know , did a great job of what they offered us as their kids. But, you know, when you think about college university, it became very expensive. So using my height , using my talent, you know, I had great feet work and I learned to develop that over time. And honestly, when you think about the football route, it really exposed me to opportunity. And that's really when I said, you know, if there is anything out of the deal, if I do join football, I can build a bond. I could , you know, have an organization that helps support, you know, what I like to do. And I can be around a group of guys and just be myself and having that humbleness and being able to be around people that were like me, listen , we're all gladiators at the end of the day. But you know, if we're able to, you know, play the sport in a, in an arena and have some fun smash Mount style, you know, going after each other and not, you know , getting in trouble, it's actually, you know, permitted, why not? So that was the, that was kind of what led me to, to, you know , continue playing the game. But I knew that if I give it my all at a hundred percent, maybe I can get an opportunity to go to college. And that's exactly what happened.

Collin Kushner:

And that's the thing I love Chris, is you essentially leveraged football , something that you really didn't know what was going to come from it, but you leveraged it in so many ways that are applicable later on in life friendships, the , the art of working hard, you know, having that be a part of your core value and of course taking advantage of the educational side of things as well, because no one can take away the knowledge and that you gain and that you have in your mind. And that's exactly what you did. I'm curious though, about the recruiting process , uh , what was that experience like for you?

Kris Doura:

Well, you know, what, it was definitely brand new. Um, you know, when you're getting ready to go into college, it's the, you know , student athlete first. And I think obviously because I was such a late bloomer , um, you know, I didn't have the ability to, you know, have my test scores on time for a signing day. And I have , you know, great offers, you know, Wisconsin Arburn , uh, Nebraska UNM . Um, I had some, some really great universities who wanted to offer me at Fort ride , but because of, you know, not knowing and not being prepared, you know, I, I miss my shot at D one offer. And I think if I would've went that route, it would have been really hectic because I would have had too many people around me, too many beautiful women, and I've been party central all day. So I think it was a blessing in disguise that God wanted me to go to another university that was a little more calmer and really allowed me to, you know , really step into , uh, my, I guess, uncomfort zone. But at the same time, you know, put me in a situation that was totally different from the tropical weather. And that's when university of Charleston, West Virginia, they decided to offer me a scholarship. And I was amazed tell you the truth, you know, being a late bloomer playing, you know , literally a half of a season in high school and just, you know, now getting noticed, and then a university decided they want to offer me a hall , a full ride to go play. I mean, it was, it was literally God's call for me to pursue that, that a university. And I, and I felt that it was a good connection on my visit. And when I did take a visit, I mean, we're talking negative 28 degrees, total presence .

Collin Kushner:

This kind of goes back Chris, to , to the moving around, growing up, being born in New York, then moving to Miami, then going to Haiti, it's complete culture shock going to go into Charleston.

Kris Doura:

Well, you know what it was, I mean, they're 20 years behind stuff. I feel like they still were mullets were crying say , but you know, you think about it. You're able to kind of really evolve and realize that every place is special in its own way. And if you can pick up something about any place where you go, the culture, the people you learn a lot about yourself. And, you know, I was super focused. You know, when I went to Charleston, it was totally a culture shock from what I'm used to, but being that I did travel, I had been exposed to different places in my world. It was kind of relaxing to know that I was in a place that was different, but at the same time, I was a lot more focus at , at kind of what was going on around me and my surroundings. It really made me develop my senses , um, and really take care of myself in a way that I had to learn how to develop into mature. And obviously when you go through a different phase in your life, when you're 18 years old, you're on your own and you're facing adversity. You have so much stuff that you can actually, you know, learn about within yourself. It makes you stronger as a man .

Collin Kushner:

I think the ability to adapt to those different circumstances and instead of hitting the panic button, because I think it's human nature, you go somewhere different. And here's a perfect example, Chris, I went from Los Angeles to Lafayette, Louisiana, where I was a sports anchor reporter for two years. I was so scared and it was so different. I didn't know what to do. It's like my whole world was turned upside down, but I realized this is a phenomenal opportunity to really learn and to grow as a person. And once you start taking advantage of where you are and being in the moment with those people and the culture and the surroundings, it's a beautiful thing. And you really learn a lot about yourself and others. And that's why I love how you approached , uh , going to go into the university of Charleston.

Kris Doura:

Yeah. You see it's wonderful university. It was different. You know, we had, you know , 1200 students, high school had 4,000 kids that might be Southard . So you can really imagine it was super culture shock for me. But in, in, in what I was able to obtain in regards to my education, what I was able to, you know, make new connections, you know, I had lunch with the governor Joe mansion , you know, and it was amazing to be able to, you know , really, you know , uh, get the experience and be able to sit down with these leaders politically. But at the same time, you know, get a bachelor's of science degree in business and then pursue a master's . And, you know, really when I spent my time in the master's program, it was a different experience because we were the first class , um, at the university in the masters program. And it was such a great way to know that there was so much more in education for me ahead. That that was the reason why I decided to push myself. And I go back to my parents. You know, my parents always said, you know what, if you get an education, you never know where you can go in life. And being that my parents were business people, I felt that it was, you know, something that I wanted to pursue myself and learn about business. And that was a really intrigued me. And, you know, growing up in Florida, having the experience in Haiti and then getting an opportunity to go play sports. But then at the end of the day, I knew the fallback plan was I love finance and I , and I wanted to learn how to run a company and be my own C O . So I said, well, the best route for me is to study business. And that was the reason where I decided to pursue a business administration, to learn how to run a company and to learn those skills that I was able to apply after sport. I always had a fallback plan. I knew exactly, you know, what? I wanted to add a life. And I made that decision early. I never shifted gears. I knew to stay in my lane, but to continue progressing. And that's really what led me to become the professional I am today.

Collin Kushner:

How does it work though? CRISPR , somebody who's in a similar situation, but maybe their parents didn't stress the academic side or never stressed the importance of having a plan outside of their particular sport. How does that work? Because for you, it makes sense you have that hammered into your head, but for somebody on the opposite side of that, it seems a little more difficult to navigate those waters.

Kris Doura:

Yeah. It's a shortfall. I think, you know, really , uh, mentorship and leadership starts in your home and it starts with your parents , uh, wanting better for you as a child. And I think obviously we think about, you know, what we were offered in the cars we had on the table, you know, education was key. And my mother and father knew that, you know, the only way out in this world to become successful is through what you knew up here. And that was the reason where , you know , I took that and ran with it. You know, I do think today , um, we , parents should get more involved with their, with their children and not just, you know, on the athletic side, but more involved in the classroom. Cause obviously when you think about, you know, when you sit at the, at the dinner table, what are we talking about? Not the Kardashians or not some, you know, reality TV show, you know, you want to talk about budgets. You want to talk about finances. You want to talk about the elephant on the table that people are in fear to talk about. And when you think about it, not everybody has the same parental unit where that's the key thing that you want to discuss, or you want to hammer that, you know, you got to go to school. Education is key. That's the only thing that no one can take away from you is your knowledge. Well, not everybody talks about that. And you know, to be Frank, I think it's really important today with what we're going through with no Corona virus and, you know , kind of, you know, being able to keep up with times, things are evolving millennials today are so on their phones that they're not spending enough time, you know, doing their own due diligence to figure out well, what do they really want?

Collin Kushner:

It makes it difficult because when it comes to, let's just say recruiting, for instance, it's all about Twitter and Instagram. And how do I announce that I'm going to play at this power five program and having a highly produced video and look at these jerseys. And that's all great. But at the end of the day, if you don't have that solid foundation, and again, it comes to parents or maybe a guardian or maybe good family friend saying you need, it's not just about that. Then you don't know. And you're kind of left out in the open thinking, okay, now what,

Kris Doura:

Yeah. I mean, you made a great point calling and I think obviously , uh , in today's generation, what's really , uh , imperative is that, you know, you don't only have to rely on your parents. You know, you have mentors. If you are in sports atmosphere, you can talk to your coaches, talk to the older players because there are steps in the process. People don't just automatically wake up and say, I'm going to the league or, you know , wake up and know exactly that I want to be, you know , uh , a professional in academia in some capacity or become entrepreneur. They don't know that, you know, until they realize that, you know, something woke me up, either a life experience or, you know, you realize that, you know, you start , uh, getting cold and, and law of attraction who you hang around, determines your future, show me your friends. And I'll tell you your future. And that's a real, real quote where you think about what the people you surround yourself with. Are they talking about winning concepts, winning strategy? It doesn't always have to be a monetary concept. Are you giving back philanthropically? Are you involved in your community? Are you able to say, well, what did I do for someone else? And I think that's where you find the joy in life to really determine, well, how do you want to

Collin Kushner:

Approach it? I think there's a happy medium, especially because we were all 16, 17, 18 at one point, and I'd be lying to you if I told you that I was thinking so far ahead about the future and what do I do if this doesn't work out there . But with that being said there, it has to be maybe 50%. I want to go to this school. They have sweet jerseys and the crowd's going to be crazy and the cheerleaders are going to be after me. That's great. But I also think on the flip side, there needs to also be conversations about what are you going to study at the university of Oregon? What do you want to do with that degree in case football doesn't work out?

Kris Doura:

Yeah, that's, that's totally , um, a way to encourage, you know, our, our young leaders to think about those things. And you know, that that also is a emphasis in high school where counselors and, you know, more of the people that you look up to for help, you know, should start having those conversations, not just your senior year. I think, you know, our system, you know, could be strengthened even at the earlier stages where even preschool and grade school, and then, you know, getting into junior high, these are things that are important to be talked about at those levels, because it helps prepare you to start thinking about, you know, how do I adjust and start thinking about, well, yeah, you know, education is important, but I still want to be, you know, a kid, I still want to be a teen . I still want to go to that party. I still want to be able to drive around, you know, when I turned 16, when I get my permit and I want to go to prom, but at the same time, you know, for us to really build leaders and to change this world, it starts when you're very young. And that's really where there could be a lot more of assistance and, you know, more exposure to really, you know, setting up kids for success, but through a platform, through a leadership platform and a mentorship platform to really say, well, these are the things that kids should be exposed to healthy choice of food. Um, what kind of options do you start considering as you continue maturing to go to the next grade? And it doesn't have to only be, well , once I get to high school, should I start thinking about, you know, classes that I want to pick in the leg, it should be at the earlier stage is where it's going to help prepare you for, for the , what is

Collin Kushner:

I'm laughing in my head right now, because growing up, my parents were all about eating healthy and organic foods and having juices in the morning, like fresh pressed it . And Chris, this is before any of this, you know , has become so mainstream. This is when people still thought it was weird. And I always thought to myself, man, I just want to go over to , to my buddy Dean's place and get the junk food. Right. And get the fruit roll-ups and the cookies, which was the truth. And as I got older, I slowly started realizing I like eating healthy. I like the way I feel. I like the it's a great way to live. And those little like seeds that my parents planted at a young age started to develop. And now as an almost 30 year old, I totally get it. So you're right. It can't just be something that happens when you get to high school. It's little things that go along the way. But again, you're relying on the fact that you have parents or good people around you to help set that foundation for you. You spent five years of Charleston. Again, you walked away bachelor's of science. You walked away with your master's degree, you're all ready to go to the private sector. Then the NFL came calling. You had an opportunity to try out for the Miami dolphins. They were coached by Tony Sparano at the time when that opportunity came around, what was the emotion when , when you got that opportunity, knowing full well, you're ready for the suit and tie life.

Kris Doura:

I didn't have an agent. I didn't have ESPN highlights. And, you know, I didn't have a huge entourage that they get on the D one level. And when my head coach relayed information to me that the NFL was interested, that was another blessing in disguise. And I knew that I had the master's degree and I had a fallback plan, but you only get one shot at going pro and for whatever it was worth, I said, I had to find out I had to open that door and learn about, you know, really what's on the other side. When I left Charleston in 2008, I , uh, I came back to Florida and I trained for many months and I got myself prepared and I got myself prepared for about a good year. And that's why I decided to , uh, uh , you know, walk on the Miami dolphins and, you know, Tony Sparano Chad , and he was a quarterback. We had great cast , the big toner , you know, in the locker room. It was amazing. And the emotions of , of me just considering myself to be in that position. I mean, breathtaking. I mean, it's literally, when you go on your first date with a girl, you just are so nervous. You don't know what to expect, but at the same time, it's like, you want to make sure that you do your best. You want to make sure that you are on point. And, you know, that experience like when I was with the dolphins was phenomenal because I got to really see how an organization has ran a very high level , uh , you know, being in the locker room, going to meetings, waking up, eating the right way and just receiving all that information and competing. Um, you know, we had, you know , a cow , Missy , um, you know , Jared Audrick , you know, those guys came out that year , uh , when I walked on and it was just an amazing experience to be in the same atmosphere, those guys who played older lives and then have the, you know, the, the, the first round, you know, opportunity where they were able to get drafted. And when you're on that level, competing with those guys, you feel amazing because you realize that, you know what, the only difference is, well, maybe those guys just went to a bigger school, would have a lot more exposure, but there's nothing that I was not able to bring to the table. And I was a disruptor . And, you know, from what I did , um, as an athlete, I was a late bloomer, but I had hustle. I had grit, you know, I was the guy who was the first guy , uh , uh, in the meeting room, the last guy out. And I was making sure that I finished every rep. If I had at least hustle, that's really how I was able to, you know, really show my account . Now, again, you know, the experience that you get at that pro level, it really teaches you so much , much, much more about yourself. And you learn about the indifferences, you learn about what, you know, what you don't know. And that experience for me, really helped me to grow and, you know, really become a true professional in, in sports. And I really took it serious. It was something that, you know , I love , I, I became more passionate as the years went by, and I feel that, you know, that's the game of life for me personally, not every sport teaches you so much about life when you can apply those similar traits and that discipline in what you do every day . I still wake up in the morning and I'm still waking up at 5:00 AM and I'm ready to work out and I'm ready to study. And then I'm like, I'm getting ready for work. So it's like the discipline that I learned in sports. I still take that with me for the rest of my life. And from there,

Collin Kushner:

Chris, you went up to Canada, you were with the mantra , alleyway wets in the CFL. And then you came back down to the states. You went to training camp with the Pittsburgh Steelers and your entire life and perspective would be forever changed.

Kris Doura:

It was, it was definitely a journey, you know, being a late bloomer and getting all those opportunities. I guess I was good somewhere. And , uh, you know, I just kept on pushing myself. I would never stop and I'm not a quitter. And I think I learned that, you know , at an early age that it doesn't matter what you pursue in life. You just gotta keep pushing yourself. You know, don't ever listen to that person that doubted you don't ever take for granted an opportunity. And those were the principles that were instilled in me at an early age. Yeah. I had an opportunity to play under mark tress and actually one of my favorite coaches in all the pro football. It was amazing opportunity to go to Canada and , and really see how Canada's system works. I'll tell you what I definitely like the American system. But when you think about, you know, the exposure, the game time, and really competing at that level, they've got a wider field and a longer field and an extra player on the field. So you think about it, it's a lot more different rules, but, you know, in that itself, you know, taught me a lot. And, you know, being able to compete on that level was definitely , uh, another opportunity. But when I came back to the states and with the , with the Pittsburgh, I felt that , uh , that was the turning point for me, where , um, things that she got , uh , really, really , uh, I'd say it's emotional, you know, and that's really where my life changed with football. You know, I got hurt pretty bad. And , um, it was definitely something that made me realize that when you go those different situations and you face an injury, there's no turning back and getting hurt and playing her is one thing. But when you get injured, that's a whole different thing and I'd be hydrating pretty severely in Pittsburgh. And when I realized that I had no idea what was going on and in the midst of practice, you know, I collapsed because of dehydration that really put me out. And all I can remember is being picked up off the field, placed into an ambulance and rushed over to the UPFC hospital. And when I got there, the doctors diagnosed me and said, it doesn't look good. And obviously, when you think about what they told me, it was, it was pretty detrimental to where if I didn't make a decision because of me hydrating. So severely, it caused me to have to go into surgery and going into surgery, really put me in a position to where my heart style and I die . And it's still a tingle in my spot to have to relive that testimony, to know that I got a second chance at life. And when I was revived and I opened up my eyes the next morning, the doctor said, Chris, you , you , you are, God send , chop your blessing. And it wasn't your time. Yet my heart stopped literally flatline . They had to revive me with the two square pegs and shock me bang . And thankfully I was in shape to absorb that electricity, because that was really what revived me back because it wasn't my time yet . And God said there was another, you know, destiny ahead . The next morning when I woke up. And the first thing that I did was I opened my eyes and I saw my family and seeing my family made me realize that life is precious. And it wasn't about football at that moment. And I can care less about the game at that point. I was just so happy to see them that I realized that my true values is family. And that's really what meant more to me than anything. Listen, I got no regrets. One year in high school, I went to a division two school, five years, and I got a master's degree, but then I made it bro . And I can say, I put at the highest level, but when that tragedy happened to me and I was able to revive get revived and see what's most important to me that truly made me realize that I had to hang up the cleats. I spent three months in that hospital. I went at 350 pounds and after three months of acne, I got rolled out in wheelchair 280 pounds. I lost a lot of masks . I went in at football player, mammoth, and I got rolled out like basketball player, but I couldn't quit calling . And then I share my story today that I'll never quit because I have been through life after and being able to now be able to do what I do now and know that I got a second chance at life, made me even more humble. And I think every morning, my blessing,

Collin Kushner:

It's nearly impossible to not wake up and think about anything, but your family, especially when something like that happens in Chris , I don't, I don't know if this is something you could even answer, but that moment, some people who have had similar instances where they've flat lined and they've been pronounced dead, have been able to speak back to that moment. Maybe it was an out of body experience or something like that. Was there any sort of experience that you can recall from that moment?

Kris Doura:

It felt like a trance. And what remember was being on that hospital bed and the many physicians that surrounded me, so you're going to be okay. But before we went in and I was put under, they say, you're a fighter. And from what I do remember was it just felt like a dark trans of blur. And I blacked out. And when I still continue to think about that moment, you just lose it all and you'll know what's going to happen, or you're even going to have an opportunity to share a story, but it's definitely a tunnel. And it definitely was an experience in itself. And I'm so thankful that it wasn't my time yet. And that's all I really remember about that situation. And I just feel as if by me going through that phase really has allowed me to understand how important the good people around you all are to keep you going, because those are dark times. Those are times that are not as colorful, and it's not as exciting to be able to kind of relive. And it's the goosebumps you get when you're kind of reliving that moment, the tingle in your spine, when you're, when you're, when you're really 12 years ahead. Now thinking about that, your heart stop and you were dead . And every day I wake up every morning and I'm so to say that my heart's pumping again, there's plenty of blood flow going through my body and I feel amazing, but I did get that life after feeling to know that I did go over to the other side and I guess God had a bigger plan. He had another plan.

Collin Kushner:

That's the thing that I love. Chris has . How, at one point before it's, you're working your butt off to get your opportunity in the NFL. We're thinking about, you know, where am I going to go get dinner tonight? Where am I going to take this girl out on a date? And don't get me wrong. These are all important parts of life. Then you literally are pronounced dead. You get revived. And then you wake up and it just becomes this singular notion of family.

Kris Doura:

Family to me is so important. I don't know what I would do without my family. They're my backbone. And that's my driver. That's why I wake up still disciplined, consistent to know that if it wasn't for my family, there'll be no point. And I realized how important these people are and the roles that they play in my life without my family, you know, things probably would have been worse. But when I think about the support system, I think about what they have given up for me, it just fuels my energy to know that there are other people who do love you and do care for you. And when you have these types of people in your world and become your best friends, they become your support system. They become, you know, mentees and mentors. And really when you think about surrounding yourself with good people, you know who you have. And then the day you come in alone, you're you're going alone. But while you're here in the interim, you have the support system of family. And those small conversations could grow into large conversations and be the best memories that you could ever have. And I value my family so much is the reason why I pushed myself to give back to my family, give back to society and just be philanthropic because certain people touch your soul and touch your lives in ways that is unimaginable. And when you have these types of people who support you love, you don't matter what they can love me on my worst day. They could love me on my best day, but they'll never stop loving me. And that's what gives me strength. So my values are around and focus on the people who have always been there for me, no matter what and how I pay it forward is I make sure that I continue to stay disciplined. And I continue to do the thing in the community as a professional. And I, and I live my life with integrity and make sure that those are the steps in leadership that I want to give back. And who knows one day I'll find the right woman and I'll get married and have a great family and be able to pay for. But for today, my immediate family who has provided me with that platform, I have so much gratitude and I'm grateful.

Collin Kushner:

And you're definitely giving back now, obviously to your family. And of course, as a financial planner, and you're , you're huge with philanthropy as well. Chris, after that experience, that forever changed you. How did you decide on becoming a financial planner?

Kris Doura:

When I looked at finance, I knew it was going to be something to keep my mind intrigued and, you know , playing left tackle blind side and having a real powerful punch you're living on an island and you're on the edge, every play. So we think about the transition from that position. I got to know the field, I got to protect my quarterback. Cause if I don't the game's on. So that's the same emphasis that I put in my profession, but the way I applied to that is by giving my best game. And the only way I can give them my best game is to continue exercising my brain. And I felt that the best career path for me, that matched not only my energy, but match the way that I wanted to give back in this world was to get into finance. So when I realized the sophistication in financial plan and what it takes to have that type of discipline, it was no different than football. The only difference is I worked three piece suit and I don't have any shoulder pads and a helmet on, I got a bang , every other play.

Collin Kushner:

You could be the first financial planner, Chris, to actually where all of us football gear with the Jersey and the helmet during meetings, you could be that guy, although that would be kind of difficult. It would get kinda get a little sweaty. If you wore the helmet to

Kris Doura:

Call it, I want to be able to walk through the doorway, but I really love this career path because I do feel that it definitely , uh, it's, it's exciting enough to give you the , the right type of challenge. And really when you grow up in the culture and you see the type of things that I've seen, it's always been a challenge from day one and having adversity. When you go through different phases of your life from, you know, grade school to junior high, to high school, to college now, as a professional, I've always had, you know, a harder pathway. And I felt that because I have been able to, I was not going to stop life after the game and, you know, decide to do something that was easy. I owed it to myself to stay competitive and the best way I knew how was to become a businessman. And, you know, my inspiration is to run my own company one day, maybe start a hedge fund, who knows. But today I do feel that finance is my calling. And I do feel that, you know, what I have put in, in regards to study , um, execution delivery and just sharing my expertise with clients has really allowed me to give back financially, but also teach. I believe that you do things that you love and it's not work. And with finance and being able to help people get themselves organized, where there that's helping them on their personal affairs, whether it's helping business owners with succession planning, to know how they're going to exit and sell their company and retire, or whether it's helping a charity, you know, grow a legacy and attract new donors. That is a level of sophistication that I've taken on with such a high call that alone . And it's a passion for me to be able to give back in this capacity, but do it strategically and utilize, you know, financial instruments and, you know, apply financial concepts that help people really make a difference. So, you know, finance is , uh , I enjoy and something that I I'm going to continue doing, you know, for very, very long time.

Collin Kushner:

The thing that I love what you said, Chris, and it's the most minute detail you said, this is what I'm doing today. And I bring that up because it goes back to that mentality of, I'm not thinking about the future. I'm not thinking about the past. I'm thinking about what am I doing today? Which to me is that's practicing the art of mindfulness. And I think that's a beautiful thing because we're always thinking ahead, or we're always thinking behind. We're never thinking in the present moment.

Kris Doura:

Yeah. It's definitely something where I value being , um, able to live for today. You know, getting a second chance at life, realize you realize that you want to take one day at a time because nothing's promised tomorrow. And I feel if I can get my best me version of myself while I'm in the moment we all got the same 24 hours at the end of the day, how are you applying your energy, your time and your focus and it people and the world can focus on what's in front of them. There'll be a lot more progress. And I do feel that having that mentality really produces growth by being present. You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. Can't change what happened already in the past, but you can make a difference in that . And I do feel that by you living in the moment, it really helps not only yourself, but it helps people around and it helps people really get more grounded and really understand that they're more valuable in today's time, then not knowing what's going to happen tomorrow. Nothing's promised

Collin Kushner:

The crazy thing about life is we go through life and we have these moments in time. Some of them bigger than others, that forever change you. People always ask me, was there ever a point in time where your life completely changed from one minute at five o'clock or one person at 5 0 2 after getting some news? You're another person I said, yes, the moment when I was 18 and my dad told me he had Lou Gehrig's disease. I kid you not Chris. Before that moment in time, that five minute conversation, I was this 18 year old at Arizona state having a lot of fun. And I was only focused on where am I going out tonight? Am I going to meet a beautiful woman tonight? And it was pretty simple after that moment, my whole life changed forever. I was, I would never be able to look at a picture of myself before that time, the same

Kris Doura:

True values you realize, you know, really what's important when you face something that you can control. And you know, when you think about somebody, you really love your parents or siblings, you know, people who have touched your life, your whole life, but then you realize, well, there isn't shortfall along the journey and something that's not controlled , but it really wakes you up to really understand that when you have these types of adversities and challenges, how do you respond? You make more time to spend with that person. Do you, you made sure that you're involved in that person's life and , and really in the day, what's really the impact that you're leaving. Did you make the memory to really share a good moment? Did you have a laugh? Did you share a meal? Were you able to really talk about a topic? And I do believe that that's really what I'm able to say. What changed from being Batman, Chris Dora, you know,

Collin Kushner:

I liked that. No, and that's, that's the thing, right? It, everything, everything changes. But on the flip side of that, some people don't change. I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that, that go through certain situations and they don't change and they continue living their lives as they were prior to whatever the incident was. And I think that's sad at a very narrow way of thinking.

Kris Doura:

Well, people at times choose not to change. And at times I do believe that some people like to still continue to being in situations where they can get, get more of the attention if they're going through a situation and they choose not to change. And they like the predicament they're in it's by choice. And I do feel that everybody has the chores to the side . They want to change for themselves. Nobody can change you . You can only change yourself. And by you wanting to change you, you know, I do feel that people are more encouraged to get help. Now , mental health is a huge part of what's now being exposed. Mental health has been around since we, since earth has started. So when they go about, well, how do people really seek, help seek guidance? You know , find somebody to talk to you. Don't always have to pay for a therapist. You can have a coffee date with a best friend and just, you know , share your feelings. And I think that's really, you know , what's important is that people, when they're able to connect and find that connection, that is healing in itself. So it allows you to change. It produces good thought process. It really motivates you to want to do better. And I think it's self-reflection and looking at the mirror every morning and blaming others is not change . It's not empathy

Collin Kushner:

For you, Chris. Was it ever, was there ever a doubt in your mind that was there ever a moment where you're like, I don't want to change or was it as soon as you woke up shot about your family and you never thought about anything else, because like you said, we, us as human beings, we do have the choice.

Kris Doura:

I had no choice. I had no choice, but to keep my head on a swivel and to be prepared to change because I didn't grow up filthy rich, nor that I grow up, you know, with a silver spoon in my mouth, or the options were presented, you know, on a plat , I had to adjust and adapt. And if you're not growing, you're dying. And that's really where, because of my personal upbringing and story and my experiences, I learned that I had to become a chameleon in whatever situation I was in. And I had to make decisions for myself because when you are on your own in college and you become a , an adult in the real world, things get real. So at the end of the day, it's like, well, how do you really allow yourself to adapt and change to the circumstances around you? You don't become a product of your own environment. You become a product when your belief system is . And by having the ability to be able to want better for yourself, that's what empowers you to want to change and do better. And those were the things that I've always had to deal with. You know, growing up that if I don't go out there and change myself first, how can I change the world? So by me getting an education and by me focusing on a sport, that was my out. That was my opportunity. It's not for everybody. People have other ways of using education, relationship to community, church, spirituality, whatever it is that really helps you become your better self. I encourage what we think about. Everybody has a different story that they write . Nobody's the same in this globe. There's 7 billion people in this goal. There's not one person that's alive . Even if you are a twin,

Collin Kushner:

If you had to go back in time and chat with a younger version of yourself, what would you do ?

Kris Doura:

Tell him? I would say to my younger self, to surround myself with the right mentor and be able to be able to adapt to circumstances, but by having the right support system around, because I do feel if I was able to talk to myself at a younger stage in my life, I don't know what or where or how things would be today, but knowing what I know now and the experiences that I have experience, and if I have the ability to go back into time, I would say to mentally prepare for the unknown. And the only way to do that is by surrounding yourself with people who can provide you with information and guidance and love at the end of the day. I think that that's really, what's, what's, what's more powerful than, than anything is love and allowing humanity to be able to share that kind of love, whether it's somebody that you respect, that you look up to and love can be demonstrated in so many different ways through, you know, hanging out through, you know, grabbing a meal, you know , buying somebody a gift, or simply just having a conversation and give me your time. That's low . And I think that we are able to produce more love in the humanity that we live in the world is going to change for the better. Do you

Collin Kushner:

Miss football at all? Chris?

Kris Doura:

You know , you know, it was a great time in my life and if I didn't get hurt, if I didn't go through that situation, I still would have been active because I love it. It's competitive. It's just, it keeps you on your toes and we're not watching today as a spectator. It brings back memories, but because of my accomplishments and what I do for the community and philanthropy today, I love that football was a part of my journey, but it's not the end game of my journey. So football has provided me a great platform and opened a lot of great doors for me. But if I had to choose to go back and probably go back to that moment where my heart and stuff, and that's the only thing I probably wouldn't change.

Collin Kushner:

You gave me chills when you went in depth about that moment at Steelers training camp , um, when you passed out from dehydration and shoot, I felt like it almost felt like I was in that moment with you.

Kris Doura:

It was , it was a time. It was a time that was, I can't change. I can't change that moment. What I am great . I'm very grateful to be able to share that part of my life and that journey, because I do want the you to know to be inspired and to always know that never be satisfied with that one answer. Never allow somebody to belittle you in any way, never give up on your dreams because you just never know when opportunity knocks, you got to be ready and going through that situation in my life really has made me evolve in different way, but it has made me become more humble as made me produce more love. It's made me, it has allowed me to really appreciate the people who enter my life. And without me going through that life or death situation, I don't know if I would have been the same type of person and in a way I'm grateful because I have experienced something that not many people can talk about. And that does put me in a position to where you become a lot more grateful for the people who do enter your life. And you become more appreciative by the acts of kindness and humility that you can really share with , with a kid, you know, with an adult, with a senior . And I think, you know, you really understand that living in the moment is so much more important than trying to figure out what's ahead.

Collin Kushner:

You know, it's, it's weird. It's these little things in life that we tend to overlook on a daily basis. I'm guilty of it overlooking that are so vital and important that are in some ways more important than that big dinner that you can't wait to get to, but isn't is 10 hours later on in the day. It's the little minute details of your life. And your day in passing, obviously pre COVID times for me, at least to trader Joe's. I always liked making small talk with the cashier, smiling, because you never know how that can impact someone's day. It's those little details. Chris,

Kris Doura:

Those are the most important things really that you can offer somebody as a smile and, you know , you just being able to, you know, say, hello, good morning, good afternoon. Thank you. You're welcome. Those things mean so much. That's human capital. And when you have human capital, the world opens up for you. It doesn't matter where you're from, what you've been through and how you approach, you know , the next thing today is what counts. And by having human capital, it's by having that gratitude to know, well, how did I impact that person? It doesn't matter what level you are, what tax bracket, you know, you have to report at the end of the day, you know, we're all people. And I think the only thing that really separates us is human capital. Thank you, please. I appreciate it. Those are the choice of words when people use those words, they could just be so wonderful just to hear those types of words from people that you would never expect and how that can really impact somebody's lifestyle by just cracking a smile and just being grateful for, you know , that human connection.

Collin Kushner:

Again, we tend to think extravagantly, okay, how do I make, how do I make this person happy? I'm going to go buy them something extravagant where like, that's great. And if you could do it, no problem. But sometimes it's just as simple as planning. A nice, a nice walk outside, maybe going and grabbing a little, a little, a little coffee at the little coffee shop and, and right. It's these it's , it's just simply we over-complicate things I had , um, Zoltan Moscow, former Patriots punter was on the podcast and he told me while he was with the Patriots, it was, everything was simplified. There wasn't some ZX 9 2 7, 3 9 crazy play that was in the bill. Bellacheck , you know, created. It was, Hey, I need you to hit that. Guy's left shoulder on this play. Can you do that

Kris Doura:

To be a symbol

Collin Kushner:

Dude? I love that song.

Kris Doura:

That's what's life's about simple is the best, you know , not over-complicating things and, you know , just, you know, live in every day as it's your best day,

Collin Kushner:

Chris, I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me and share your story from the very beginning of New York, weaving through Miami, living in Haiti, coming back, go into Charleston, getting a shot in the NFL, going to Canada, coming back. I mean, so many wrinkles in the layers to your story, and I'm really excited for people to hear it because it, it puts life in perspective for you. It's it begs the question, you know, if you have one day left on this earth, how are you going to utilize that day? And I think that's something that rarely anybody thinks about because we feel like our time is infinite when it's not,

Kris Doura:

You know , I'm excited to know that , uh, I'm able to share my story on your platform and really be a part of something special. Thank you. Call it a very great

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