He had biceps bulging enough to attract girls yards away, an etiquette of â€œsirsâ€ and â€œma’amsâ€ to melt tension in an instant and a popped collar to prove it all.
What most couldn’t see, though, was his weed.
Beck Easton, 24-year-old University of Northern Colorado graduate and former Colorado State University football player, led two very different lives. He was an all-American football and basketball athlete to his coaches; to his customers, he was a reliable source for drugs. Not many could see his 2 a.m. party plans through his 3.8 GPA.
â€œI truly remember one time when I was at a football team dinner and someone there was complimenting me on how polite I was,â€ Easton said. â€œThen I walked out the door and drove to the corner of Plum and College to sell drugs.â€
Balancing his life as a parent’s golden boy and a college campus’s big shot came naturally to Easton. He had learned the art of a dual lifestyle while fairly young.
â€œMy mom wore pearls and wrote notes on napkins for our sack lunches. My dad kissed her goodbye before he went to work everyday,â€ Easton recalled of his childhood. â€œIn reality, my mom was struggling with an affair and drugs, and my dad with drinking. I had always thought they were perfect.â€
Soon, Easton’s mother had moved out of their home in Pueblo, he and his father were sleeping in the same bed in a two-bedroom apartment and their closet was filled with clothing too large for Easton and too small for his father â€“â€“ just the right size to share.
According to Easton, his parents’ success burying a crumbling marriage proved that if he could doup â€œthe higher upsâ€ into thinking everything was okay, he could do whatever he wanted.
That is, until, his two lives collided one particular night in Corbett Hall’s parking lot.
Drunk, high and hopeless, his body lay crumpled between two cars in the lot, a 3 a.m. frost beginning to set into his bones. Easton, a freshman at the time, had fled a party to return home to Parmelee after getting into a fight and having all his money taken.
Wallowing in the tears spilling from his eyes and the blood streaming from his nose, he lay in this intoxicated haze for two hours, until his mind, reeling with questions about his life, purpose and what it all meant, caused him to crane his neck to the heavens.
For only the third time in his life, Easton began to pray.
â€œOkay God, I will give my life to you,â€ he said.
The clouds didn’t part nor did doves descend, and he could still sense the numbness of the icy pavement creeping into his butt, but according to Easton, this was the moment his life changed â€“â€“ the moment two lives became one.
Soon after, unbeknownst to Easton, his two friends from the CSU football team, Alex Square and Chaz Miles, disguised a plot to bring him to a Bible study as an innocent dinner invitation.
â€œI agreed to go to dinner, but then they told me, ‘First, we gotta go to Bible study,‘â€ Easton said. â€œI said, ‘Guys, I don’t do Bible study.’ They proceeded to physically drag me there, kicking and spitting.â€
After witnessing Johnny Square, Alex’s father and head pastor at Iasis Christ Fellowship church, speak at the study, Easton was convinced to pursue his desire to answer the questions that seized his attention that night at Corbett.
â€œHis teammates started telling him to come to our meetings,â€ said Jeff Pryer, former director of CSU’s Athletes in Action, a Christian athletic ministry. â€œThey basically told him to get in the car â€“â€“ half messing around, half serious. But he ended up coming.â€
Easton found his way onto UNC’s football team that fall, replacing the people, places and habits he knew in Fort Collins for a shot at rebuilding his life in a town 30 miles away.
â€œI was trying everything new. People would ask me what my favorite color was and I didn’t even know what to say â€“â€“ I was just trying to find who I was,â€ he said.
Like a â€œshy boy with his mom,â€ Easton sought out fellow believers on his new football team and clung to them.
Easton began to harness the celebrity status and influence being a college football player. A status that at one time was used for girls and popularity, now used for testifying and discipleship.
â€œLiving in a secret world is far inferior to walking in the light. I believe every person has a secret life and, whether it is small or big, it is just as hindering,â€ Easton said.
One can no longer look at Easton and see the man he spent years hiding in the closet, disguising with charming smiles and polite diction. That’s because he no longer exists. Today, Easton is just himself.
Graduated and working under Johnny’s direction, Easton now leads the youth ministry at Iasis Christ Fellowship, whose college ministry Campuswise, created by Alex, meets Tuesdays at 7 p.m.
He’s turned down lucrative job opportunities offered upon graduation at UNC to deliver for UPS, clean schools, coach track, dig holes and wash cars â€“â€“ whatever allows him to remain in Fort Collins meeting, with whoever wants to talk.
â€œI want you to find me. Throw rocks at my car, say hi to me at the LSC â€“â€“ do anything, really,â€ Easton said.
Collegian writer Colleen Canty can be reached at email@example.com.
Anyone can contact Easton the following ways:
-on Twitter at
-on Facebook at Beck Easton
-by email at beck.easton12
-by phone at (719) 671-8720