HDEU x JRT COLLABORATION
When Head Down Eyes Up founder, Chase Rice, and Journey Risk True founder, Ryan Johansen, became friends they quickly realized how similar their stories actually were. Faced with many challenges along their journeys they have both developed a strong passion to never give up and to always KEEP GOING.
HDEU and JRT have teamed up to inspire others to always KEEP GOING.
Chase Rice's Story:
HDEU for me started my junior year at the University of North Carolina. I was injured during the very first game of the season (a season during which I was expected to be one of the top players on our team) and I was left with an ankle that needed rehab and a heart and mind that were crushed.
I was in the weight room at the beginning of my rehab and I looked up into the mirror to see myself in a way that I had never seen myself before. I looked mad. Not “mad at the world” or even mad at my situation – mad like the man in the mirror craved only one result: Victory.
Going into my senior year I was finally healthy again ready to play and I got a phone call from my mom. I picked up the phone and my mom just says my name and her voice is really shaky. She says, “Chase come home. Dad died.” I didn’t know how he died, I didn’t know what happened but I got in my truck and drove home.
Coming back from that injury I knew I could heal, I knew I could fix my leg, I knew I could rehab. But something like losing your dad is not something you can just rehab from. It takes time. That whole fall my mentality had to kick in even more. Head Down Eyes Up…Keep Going.
When I graduated from college and started writing songs, I wrote the letters H D E U on a hat. I wanted to have that on me to always remind myself “Head Down Eyes Up.” I wanted to always see those letters. Whether life’s good. Whether life's bad. Everyone’s telling you how good you are. Everyone’s telling you how much you suck. For me it’s all about the idea: If you keep the mentality, Head Down Eyes Up…Keep Going…Who can stop you? It’s as simple as that.
From that day on, “Head Down Eyes Up” became my personal motto; my way of life to succeed not by looking at an end result, but by fighting every step of the way, focusing only on each moment in front of me. Through it all, I've kept my head down and my eyes up, and they are locked in on every small step of the way that leads to victory.
Head Down Eyes Up…Keep Going.
- Chase Rice
Ryan Johansen's Story:
When I was 16 years old, I nearly quit playing hockey. I didn’t even get in the line up around 15 games that season out of 60. When I did play, I didn’t see much ice-time. It came to a point that I no longer loved the game I grew up playing. At the same time that I learned to walk, I learned to skate. It was all that I knew, and I was ready to throw it all away.
As a teenager it is easy to crumble when you are faced with adversity. Luckily, I had a strong supporting cast including my father who told me to Keep Going. He knew that I would catch a break and get my opportunity to show the skill that I knew I had; it was just a matter of time.
A few months later one of our top players had a season ending injury. This opened up an opportunity for me to receive more playing time. In the playoffs I was an impactful player and proved my worth. 2 years later I was selected 4th overall in the National Hockey League (NHL) Draft.
From that point on, I have continued to Keep Going. Embracing all challenges and good times that I am faced with, taking them head on. At 27 years of age, I have played over 650 regular season NHL games and am one year away from playing in the NHL for a decade.
The next time you think about giving up on your dream, your passion, the countless hours you have dedicated to your craft, no matter how tough and challenging that time may be you, no matter your age... Think about a 16 year old kid about to give up on his dream of playing in the NHL. With his dad holding that career on by a thread. To just 2 years later that dream coming true. KEEP GOING
- Ryan Johansen