The transition back to a ‘normal’ life can be tough for many former professional athletes. They go from the highly-regimented workouts and schedules, the constant stress and competition, the emotional highs and lows, and the adoring fans, to… well … to, what? That’s often the hardest question to answer.

Some transition into coaching or commentary, staying close to the sport that brought them wealth and fame. Others find success in other industries or just choose to spend time with their families. Some, though, they flounder. Listless and directionless, they don’t know what to do next. That’s where Chris Borland steps in.

Borland understands exactly how they feel. He had to abandon a promising football career after only one year due to repeated head injuries. His exit from the league was abrupt, jarring and hardly on his own terms. And that tends to be the norm, rather than the exception, for most NFL players. Borland shared his thoughts on that struggle with the Associated Press:

“One healthy thing I’d like for players to know, whether they’re active or former, is you likely can’t replicate the thrill of playing before 100,000 people and big hits and making that much money… We can get ourselves into trouble trying to. Coming to terms with transitioning is one of the harder lessons I’ve had to learn the last couple of years, is that life is a little more methodical than in sports. The peaks aren’t as high and the valleys aren’t as low. That’s the adjustment…”

Borland says military veterans can go through a similarly difficult transition. His brothers, John and Joe, serve in the US Army, and Chris says many veterans also struggle with making the transition to civilian life: “There are very similar physical struggles, but also two populations that have a hard time transitioning out whether it is the military or football and reintegrating into society…”

That’s why the former football player is transitioning himself into the guy who can help others bridge that gap. He talks of the sacrifices one makes for one’s teammates, and how those people remain teammates, either in sport or in the military, long after you hang up the uniform. “These are guys you shed blood with…who worked with you and still need support…”

Borland says he misses the camaraderie and the big games, but reality has to set in sooner or later, and guys need the best chance they can get to make a smooth transition. It sounds like Borland, with the help of his brothers, is setting a good example.

Ronn Torossian is a public relations leader with over 20 years of experience

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.


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