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We got a chance to catch up with the San Diego Charger’s main man, Philip Rivers. The 34-year-old quarterback let us in on his journey through recovery, his new partnership with Gillette Shave Club, and his favorite pre-game meal.
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M&F: Something our readers find a lot interest in is injuries and rehabilitation, and I know you tore your right ACL back in 2008. What steps did you have to take in order to recover and return to the field?
PR: It is a long process. You want to get well in a hurry, but you really have to commit to that rehab process. I did it with a patellatin: They took out that third and used that graph as opposed to a hamstring or a cadaver. I know there’s other ways to do it. But the biggest thing for me was getting it to full flection and having a full range, both bending it all the way and being able to get it straight. I think once you do that you can really begin to go, but if you lag behind on that then it can get to a point where you can’t straighten it out. It’s just one day out of a time though: the doctor told me it was a 12-18 month deal until you don’t feel any more pain at all. I think he was right, because now I really can’t tell you which knee I had operated.
What type of training does someone at your caliber of athleticism have to do in order to stay sharp and compete among the top athletes in football?
It certainly takes a commitment to the routine, whatever that may be. I have seen mine change, training wise, as I’ve gotten older. It was definitely different than it was when I was 22 and in college! Changes in how much weight you use on certain things – I don’t get under a squat bar anymore like I used to. It depends on your position, your age, what Injuries you may have had. Other than not getting under a squat bar I do pretty much everything I used to do. I enjoy doing the lifts with the lineman and all the other guys. From a conditioning standpoint you have to be in shape and be able to do those quick bursts, but I think for my position it’s more of about endurance. I do a lot of interval training: run for a minute, walk for a minute, so I can be strong for the 4th quarter.
What is your eating regimen like? Do you follow a specific diet?
As you get older you have to be stricter with the eating. I’ll be 35 this year so I can’t get away with eating everything that I used to. My biggest thing for me is staying away from gluten. I also try not to eat too many carbs after lunch, I have some in the morning around my workout and then try to ease back a little in the evening. I used to be able to just eat anything I wanted and now I guess I’m just too old!
What do you like to eat before a game?
I used to always eat a piece of raisin toast before my games. Not that it was a part of any superstition; it just used to be a part of my pre-game ritual. Raisin toast, some pasta, and then a filet. I’m more of a rib-eye guy myself, though.
What drew you to partner with Gillette Shave Club?
Gillette has a new video out called “Go Ask Dad” and that really spoke to me. Nowadays, kids can look up online now to find out how to do anything: how to tie a tie, how to change your tire, and these are things that I had conversations with my dad about how to do. There’s nothing like your father teaching you how to do something. So I just felt very passionately about this campaign and connecting fathers and sons back together. Plus, with Father’s Day coming up, Gillette razors make for a great gift. Every man needs a good shave and it’s a gift that you know they will use.
What was one of the important lessons that your father taught you?
That everything matters. Everything we do. This interview, whatever we do, it matters. I’m trying to teach my kids that while they’re young so that way when things really start to matter, they could approach it with the same mindset that they always have.