Mr. Irrelevant is making all the difference in his post-NFL career
Former NFL linebacker, David Vobora, was in a dark place after his football career was cut too short due to a shoulder injury. Now, five years later he has found a new passion away from the gridiron.
Brian Aft had no idea how much his life would change when he first met former NFL player David Vobora.
“I was rolling back to my truck in a parking lot,” Aft said, “And all of a sudden I just hear ‘HEY! HEY!’ and I look over, and I see this giant Spartan dude running over at me and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God…you’re gonna get robbed, Brian. You’re gonna get robbed.’”
Instead of robbing him though, Vobora and Aft connected. Aft had his limbs blown off after stepping on a land mine in Afghanistan in 2011. After failing to find help at the VA, he became addicted to drugs, suicidal, and unemployed. Vobora was able to identify with those struggles, since a shoulder injury in the NFL the same year landed him a bad addiction to pain pills. After working with Vobora, Aft has strengthened his muscles as well as his mind. He can walk now with the aid of prosthetics, and has a job and a fiancée.
David Vobora was the man known as “Mr. Irrelevant” – the last player taken in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played 5 seasons in the NFL and then his career was over. A devastating injury led to off the field issues that would change his life in ways that would see him come out stronger for it. What happened in 2014 is what legends are made of.
In January of 2014 David Vobora, met US Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills. Since retiring from the NFL, David owns and is head trainer of Performance Vault Gym, providing personalized performance training for elite athletes. David opened his gym, and offered up his training expertise to Travis, who despite being a quadruple amputee, never lost the inner desire to live “Army Strong.” The pair started working out together, customizing and adapting to the unique challenges posed by Travis’ injuries. Through working with Travis and engaging the veteran community, specifically those that were severely injured, David developed a hunger for helping those with life-altering injuries find a path to life-fulfilling activity and fitness through adaptive performance training.
The gym focuses on self-reliance and strength, and teaches people that they are more than their injuries. On this Veteran’s Day, it is nice to see a former player helping those who served improve their life. Looking back to 2008, David Vobora was the last player taken in the draft. His post career included his own personal struggles with pain and prescription drugs. Unlike other pro athletes in his similar situation, “Mr. Irrelevant” made a positive change and has become relevant to many of our true heroes.
Thank you to all who served – Happy Veterans Day!