Charles Woodson spent his entire live running, running, running.
He was running toward greatness.
Yet, one of his first thoughts after he was told he was being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was that he didn’t have to run anymore. He finally hit the finish line, which he will officially reach on Aug. 8 when he is elected into the Hall of Fame in Canton in his home state of Ohio.
However, after he was told, Woodson felt like taking just one more run. So, he laced up his shoes and ran around his Orlando, Florida, neighborhood for about two miles.
“I had so many emotions,” Woodson told reporters in a media call on Wednesday.
Now just weeks away from induction, Woodson says he is not nervous — but he is ready to see his bust, and to celebrate with family, friends, teammates, coaches and fans. While he has been working on his induction speech every day, in the end he plans to simply “let it flow” while on stage.
“It’s just not one night,” Woodson said. “I won’t be a Hall of Famer for just August 8th. But I will be one that Monday, that Tuesday ... I’ll be a Hall of Famer for eternity.”
Woodson — who played for the Raiders from 1998-2005 and from 2013-15 — also recalled his time wearing the Silver and Black, and what it was like to play with legendary players such as Willie Brown.
“I really didn’t understand what it meant to be a Raider until I got out there,” Woodson said. “My first memories of going out to the facility was hanging around older guys like Willie Brown. He was a guy who made sure you understood what it meant to be a Raider.
“He would tell us there were 31 other teams and then there was the Raiders ... I knew very early what I had to bring to the table as a young player and I had to bring it by being a tough, physical, fast football player.”
Woodson, who said he is thrilled to be inducted alongside legendary Raiders’ coach Tom Flores, also mentioned that he was excited to finish his career with the Raiders’ after seven-year detour with the Green Bay Packers.
“The fans welcomed me back with open arms that second time around,” Woodson said. “it gave me a chance to show guys what it meant to be a Raider.”
Now, Woodson is about to join several other Raiders in Canton.