Spending an entire decade in the NFL can be both an eternity and a blessing. Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum knows this, and at 32 feels he has a lot more left to give the game he loves. While he can only imagine how Super Bowl LVI might look a bit different had his team not fallen to the Los Angeles Rams in the opening round of the playoffs, he’s already focused on preparing his body for next season.
Kelvin Beachum actually has a lot more to focus on than just X’s and O’s. He’s a husband, father of three, can give you investment strategies, has 10 paintings from him and his wife’s personal collection that will be on display at his alma mater, SMU, starting next week and is a nominee for one of the league’s most prestigious awards; the Walter Payton Man of the Year award, which will be announced on Feb. 10.
We caught up with Kelvin Beachum to discuss his offseason training routine, what piqued his interest in investing and art, and how he manages family, career, and philanthropy.
How has the offseason been so far?
It would be going better if we were playing in the big game, but it’s going well. The body is starting to recover like it needs to and I’m starting to get back in the gym now.
How long do you take off before beginning to ramp things up with your training?
What I’ve historically done is give my body about three weeks [to recover]. It’s not that I stop but it’s very minimal. Right now, I walk about two hours a day — an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. That will be what I do until I start back working out. Now that I am working out, things are beginning to ramp up a little bit. I think you have to give yourself a week or two to allow the body to recover and reset before you get back into the swing of things.
How do you break down the different stages of your training during the offseason?
Right now, it’s a lot of core work and a lot of ground-based work, where you’re on the ground, up against a wall and really working on isometric exercises. The next phase will be more standing up, some diving and more work on my feet. Then it gets to where the exercise is more polycentric with a lot of jumping, bounding and explosive movements. I don’t want to consider myself old, but I’ve played a lot of football and it just takes time to get to that point. You have to lay a great foundation through the early parts of the offseason — that’s what it’s all about.
Given your experience, is there anything you do differently now than earlier in your career?
I had veterans around me when I started, and they taught me to take care of my body. In years past, once the season stopped, I would stop getting massages and stopped doing a lot of body work. Over the last few seasons, I’ve kept that up. My masseuse is over every Monday. I’m going to start bringing my stretch therapist over to see him more often. These are things I do year-round now. Your body is a Ferrari — well, in my case, a dump truck. You have to make sure it’s nice and oiled up and make sure the joints are good.
What does it mean to be nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award?
It’s amazing to be recognized by not only your peers but also the people who influence the game from all levels — the sponsors, the league office, NFLPA, teammates, media members and community organizations. It means the world to be nominated but it doesn’t stop there. The work has to continue and keep going. It’s a great moment to be able to stop and reflect on the work that has been done to date — not only see my work but the work from guys all across the league. I know that there are issues that pop up that end up getting the headlines about NFL players but to be able to hear these great stories about men across the league, impacting the world is something I find to be super satisfying.
Your passions are rooted in ending hunger and giving kids in underserved communities access to technology. Why are these two issues focal points for you?
I’ve stayed in two lanes — one is ending hunger both domestically and worldwide. The other is providing access to Science, Technology, Engineering Arts and Math [STEAM], and that’s been the focus. Those things are super important to me because, as a young person, I grew up on government-based programs and I understand what it means to be on Women, Infants, and Children [WIC], and that’s some of the programs that Feeding America, World Vision and some of the organizations I work with are serving.
I was raised around cars all of my life and raised to be hands-on with things. You talk to my father right now and he can tell you something science, technical, engineering, art and math-related with cars and he does that every day, and that’s what I was around. To be able to see that and to be around to see how the world is transforming, how the economy is changing, how much money is going into technology — I want to make sure that our young people have access to that. That’s a passion of mine and it’s something that’s not going to stop when I’m done playing football.
These are initiatives you’ve been involved with most of your career. How have you managed to divide your efforts on and off the field.
It’s all time management. I’ve been blessed to learn how important structure is — not only structuring my time but also my family time. My kids get up around 5:45 a.m., and that means I need to get up an hour and a half before they do so I can knock out whatever I want to get done. I try and knock out as many meetings as I can during the day, so when they get home [from school], I’m spending time with them. If I’m doing community work, I try and take them with me so it’s a family outing. Even with investing, I can recall the time I was in San Francisco and my wife had our daughter in a stroller going up and down the streets there and Palo Alto while we’re going to investment meetings.
If you’re willing to put the time in and bring your family with you, I think that shows you’re really into it. We’re really blessed that we get to do those things. We don’t have a nanny and we try to raise our kids like we were. I wasn’t raised on the salary that I have now, so I try and keep things as simple as possible for my kids so that they realize it’s not about what I leave them with but what I leave within them — the values, importance of family and the importance of doing what’s right.
Did your introduction to investing come from the time in San Francisco?
That’s where it started from. The Super Bowl was taking place there in 2016. The NFL and NFLPA invited us out to go see some startups and we got to see Facebook, Uber, Twitter and all of these companies that were building their brand. We got to hear from Ben Horowitz, Jeff Jordan and Joe Montana about how celebrities and entertainers were beginning to come into the venture world, and I was like, “If they can do it, so can I.” I started spending time out there, making friends, and deploying capital. I’m a sponge and I’m always trying to learn. That’s boded well for me.
When did you begin getting into art and what does it mean to you to be able to showcase some of your pieces at your alma mater, SMU?
My wife is way more artistic than I am and got to see more museums growing up than I did. When we first got married, we were on a cruise and got to buy our first piece on the cruise. It was a piece on endangered tigers. We love animals, wildlife, and that was our first piece. I would say it really got serious when we were down in Houston and went over to the African American Art Museum and got to see a show that Robert Hodge was featured in and there was this work called The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, and that is when we started to get really serious about art. We ended up collecting other pieces from Delita Martin, Robert Pruitt, two Houston natives. From there, we just started to learn more, started to explore, discover, and be curious about the industry. We bought books, catalogs about artists and all art. We just begin learning about the artists and some of the history they bring to life that we may not have read in a history book. It’s been a phenomenal journey just to learn and grow intellectually while collecting great art.
Has there been an artist you found yourself gravitating toward?
That’s a tough one because I have so many good relationships with a lot of artists. Dominic Chambers is one and who I’m a big fan of. I actually got to spend some time with him in New Haven, CT. Ryan Cosbert — I’m actually looking at a piece she did called Indigo and it’s in my office. She’s a phenomenal young artist. One of me and my daughter’s favorite artist is Julie Mehretu. She’s an Ethiopian abstract artist who lives in New York. Her work takes you to a place where you just sit and stare.