The transition from professional athlete to retiree happens too soon, leaving players figuring out what to do when the roar of the crowd fades and the bank account quickly recedes.

Few have reached peace with this most unnatural of retirements as has Shaun Alexander, the former Seattle Seahawks running back and NFL MVP (2005) who was in Vancouver last week to promote NFL Thursday Night football on behalf of NFL Canada.

Now 38, the prolific Alexander scored 87 rushing touchdowns in a five-year period for the Seahawks at the height of his fame. He has been just as abundant in his family life. Shaun and his wife, Valerie, have eight children, all of them home-schooled at their rural property in Great Falls, Va.

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