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More Than An Athlete.

What do you do when you lose the joy and drive for the job that you love?

That’s a question we all will have to ask ourselves at some point in our lives. You might have gone to school, got your degree, and after years of effort, you finally land a job.

Nonetheless, after years you get worn down. The long hours, the frequently growing list of responsibilities, the long commute to work, among other grievances. One day you reach a breaking point. You wake up one morning, and even though there’s still a part of you that likes what you do, you just can’t bring yourself to go into work.

Now just imagine that during all the years that you’ve worked at your dream job, you battled serious health issues, such as a sprained shoulder, lacerated kidney, partially torn abdominal muscle, torn cartilage in your ribs, a damaged labrum that required you to have surgery, a calf issue that won’t go away and at least one concussion.

Even if you really loved your job, by this point, you’d probably ask yourself “Do I really want to do this anymore?” Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck suffered from all of the injuries listed above, and one day he woke up and realized he just couldn’t bring himself to lace them up, put on his pads, strap on his helmet and competes for our entertainment.

He stunningly announced his retirement last offseason and as he walked off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium, some Colts fans decided to shower him with boos.

Fighting back tears, he talked about how retiring was the “hardest decision” of his life, but it was the “right decision.” He talked about how he “felt stuck” in the long string of injuries, and after playing through pain during the 2016 season, he said he made a “vow” that he wouldn’t do that again. This reminds the people and fan that he is a human being just like the rest of us and he has finally been worn down by the job he loved and the sport he still loves. The statement that stuck out the most when he announced his retirement — he felt that he was “unable to pour my heart and soul into this position.” And that it ‘would not only sell myself short but the team in the end as well.” This shows the love he has for football and the Colts.

Luck decided to end his playing career far sooner than both he and the rest of us all expected and even though he seemed content with his decision, it was clear that it was still killing him inside to turn his back on the sport he enjoyed so much. It was painful watching him deliver those words and most of us have no idea what he was going through. You’d probably end up making the same choice that Luck did, and you’d probably be a lot happier for it.

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