Aaron Rodgers, the star quarterback of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, just returned from a darkness retreat in Oregon, where he planned to figure out whether he would play next season or retire.
Appearing on Aubrey Marcus’s podcast, Rodgers spoke for the first time about his journey into darkness for two days.
“I spent parts of a couple of days imagining what it would be like to retire and then imagining what it would be like to continue to play,” he said.
Last month, Rodgers checked into a sensory deprivation facility called Sky Cave Retreats for a prolonged stay in a room completely devoid of light. He had previously said that he was spending the time in isolation “have a better sense of where I’m at in my life.”
When asked if the darkness retreat shed any light on his decision, Rodgers said he still wasn’t sure but would know soon.
“I really wanted to contemplate some things with some relationships in my life, some family stuff, and then obviously career stuff, just kind of let whatever was gonna come in, come in. And it did. It definitely did,” Rodgers said.
He said he expected some people would not be satisfied with his answer.
“If you don’t like it and you think it’s drama, you think I’m being a diva or whatever, then just tune it out,” he said about this big decision. “That’s fine. But this is my life. It’s important to me, and I’ll make a decision soon enough, and we’ll go down that road and be really excited about it.”
More details on the retreat
Before entering the retreat, Rodgers told “The Pat McAfee Show” that he was going on the darkness retreat for four days. But according to reporting by ESPN, he cut his stay short by two days.
Scott Berman, who owns Sky Caves, said that Rodgers stayed in a 300-square-foot room that is partially underground structure and pitch black. His accommodations included a queen bed, a bathroom, and a meditation mat.
Rodgers admitted to Marcus that it was difficult to maneuver in the dark.
“The worst part was being disoriented, coming out of one of those like meditations where you think the bed’s over here. And that’s how I ran into things multiple times because I think, ‘I’m good,’ and bang — I ran into the wall, or dang, there’s the bathtub.”
But ultimately, he found the darkness valuable.
“All the answers are right inside me, and I touched many of them — and definitely the feelings — on both sides during the darkness. I’m thankful for that time,” he said.