So it wasn’t long ago that I wrote this, I know.
And even though he was careful to call it an ‘indefinite break’, because how hard is the word ‘retire’, I think, really, at that time, he was giving it up. You know – the game he’s played since he was a toddler. The game that has taken him to lots of places and given him lots of joy and lots of heartbreak and lots of sore knees and ankles and perhaps even toes. The game that was the only profession he knew. He said goodbye to it for business. It’s true.
Because damn, professional sport can be a roller coaster. And sometimes you get motion sickness and want to yell at the attendant to get you the hell off!
Which is exactly what he did. He got off that ride to pursue life in business. A decision – despite not involving the game he adored and gave everything to (seriously. He is freakishly dedicated) – that meant he could live, we could all live, relatively normal lives in the business world. One that meant no more moving!
And for a while there, it was okay. Yes, he missed football. The smell of the grass each morning, he used to say. The banter. The training. Knowing that he’ll never play a competitive game of football at the highest level definitely ate at him. It devoured him, in fact. He’s a competitive bastard my husband.
But still, he dealt with it. He was just mourning the loss of his career. Every player, every athlete, has to do it one day. He started a coaching school in Cairns which he loved as it kept it in touch with the game. And the more kids he trained, the more fulfilled he felt. He relished the opportunity to be able to contribute to football, in his own little way, in his hometown.
And while the plan wasn’t to play again, he couldn’t keep away from it. He played in the NPL for the FNQ Heat and he enjoyed himself. He was proud to be an important part of the growth of football in Cairns as the potential is truly incredible. So many little soccer nuts up in the tropics.
Of course, it wasn’t the A-League. But for a while there, along with his coaching school, it filled the void.
And then something very sad happened in his life. In our lives. It changed everything.
His feelings are not mine to talk about. But what I will say is this – when certain things happen in life, things that absolutely rock your world, perspective can change. On life, the way you want to live it, the things you want to achieve, the person you want to be. Every day.
And it’s probably an overused saying, but truly, very truly, life is short. Scary short. A football career is even shorter.
So yes. We’re back on the roller coaster. Unexpectedly. Excitedly. Because sometimes that motion sickness is worth it.
Football. It’s all he’s known. It’s his happy place.All comments read, appreciated and responded to. So thank you x