I have been directly involved in organized football for the past twenty-nine years. I started playing when I was eleven, and continued on with some success through high school and college, and took up coaching my first year out of school. I decided last year that the 2008 season would be my last. While I miss the interaction with athletes and coaches, as well as the excitement of the games, I must confess that having more time to spend with my family has been a truly amazing experience. Football has been very kind to me and has certainly opened many doors. Everywhere I go people still call me coach, and when I try to correct them they tell me I will always be “coach” to them. I smile.
The idea to retire from coaching wasn’t easy to make, and was even more difficult to announce. How do you let go of something that has been such a dominant factor in your life? How do you walk away from a part of something that has become your identity? My father’s health, preparing for a new baby, and my dream of sharing my art and words with the world made the decision a lot easier.
Change does not always come easily, but we must be willing to open ourselves to new experiences, new identities, and new responsibilities. I had no idea of all that went on while I was at football, let alone all the work my wife did while I was away at practice. I’m finding out that there were a lot of fun activities going on, even some family traditions, that I had no idea about. I’m cherishing my time with my father, rededicating myself as a dad and a husband, and pursuing my dream as an artist with even greater vigor.
I hope you take a few minutes to think about some of your daily routines and evaluate how they may be affecting other areas in your life. Is there anyone that could benefit from a few extra minutes with you each day? Are there any identities that you wear that are keeping your from following your dream? Are there any family traditions that you might want to renew or begin this Fall?
(Kelly Croy is an inspirational speaker, author, and performing artist. Visit our website to invite Kelly to perform at your next event.)