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Confessions Of A Former Athlete: There Is A Time To Quit

I’ve Always Loved The Game

We all have things that we might feel too embarrassed to share or express.

Situations in our life where things didn’t go the way we planned, and we might have had to change course abruptly.

Events where we put our all into something, and it just doesn’t work out the way we wanted it to.

Yeah, I know… we all have been there.

I’ve had plenty of those situations happen to me, especially in the game of basketball.

I put a lot of love and effort into the game, and sometimes it just didn’t love me back.

Sometimes shots didn’t go my way. Sometimes I lost games and championships on buzzer-beaters, but sometimes that’s just how life goes.

I put a lot of love and effort into the game, and sometimes it just didn’t love me back.

Moreover, that’s how love goes and a lot of times love can be hard.

Having a true passion for something is invigorating and exciting. It’s captivating and can consume your every thought.

Basketball was that for me, and I never could imagine being without it, but there comes a time when you have to face the facts.

The facts of life and the facts of reality.

I faced those facts when I was confronted with retiring from a game that I had played my entire life.

 

It Was Time To Quit…

I don’t think that I have ever been this blunt about it before, but honestly, I quit playing the game of basketball.

I willingly walked away when I still could have played probably for many more years.

It wasn’t because of an injury or my inability to play at the next level.

It was under my pure will and choice.

I made a conscious, well thought out decision to move on in my life.

The truth was that I saw a greater purpose for myself, plus the fact that I didn’t want the unstable lifestyle any longer.

I didn’t want the uncertainty of whether or not I would get paid on time living overseas, and I didn’t want the inconsistencies that every American experiences overseas.

I wanted to do something bigger than myself. I wanted to inspire other people and leave a legacy that was bigger than a game. I wanted an opportunity to get a jump start on the other things that I wanted to pursue in life.

Till this day, people still say to me all the time that I should keep playing and that I still have “game,” and admittedly I have some doubts about whether I made the right choice when I heard this.

But throughout this past year since I’ve walked away, I’ve grown to realize that it’s not about what they want for me, it’s about what I want for me.

It’s not about what they want for me, it’s about what I want for me.

It’s about me making the best decisions for my future and my life going forward because at the end of the day I have to live with every consequence and result. No one else does.

But more than anything, I realized that passion and burning desire I once had, just wasn’t as strong as it was before and the greatest thing that I realized was that this was okay!

I knew I could put the ball down for good once I found something that I was either more passionate about or once I wasn’t as passionate about the ball.

Making this decision still wasn’t easy and even though all of this was true, I knew that the transition wouldn’t be easy either.

I understood that it would be extremely uncomfortable and that I would have to adjust to a completely new lifestyle.

I understood that I was protected by the game in a sense and that now I would have to enter the “real world” in some capacity.

I knew this, accepted this, and still stuck with the choice of walking away from a life that I had always known.

 

Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Writing this now and looking back at my athletic career is pretty surreal to me.

The fact that I am 26 years old and can now hold the label “retiree” sounds pretty crazy.

But I’m cool with that. I’m cool with being uncomfortable at this stage in my life.

Deep down I know that I made the right decision for me at the time and that I have no regrets.

I’ve had a ton of other opportunities and choices since I’ve left basketball behind.

I’ve experienced things that I wouldn’t have had time for if I were still playing, but on the same accord, I’ve missed out on chances to travel, see the world, and get paid to play a game I still love.

I see the pros and cons of every scenario in life.

Though it’s uncomfortable and different, I’m good with closing that chapter in my life.

I’m good with removing the title “Professional Athlete” from my social media profiles, and I’m good with less attention and praise from people around me.

Life is about change and I’m good with that as well.

Besides, what better way to go out than on your own intention.

I know I’ll look back one day when everything works out and remind myself that even though I gave it all up, it was for a greater purpose and it was all my choice to walk away from the game.
 

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