Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is it time to hang the cleats up?

So, I've accepted an offer to be an assistant professor at a University in the US. I won't tell you which one yet. It's in the Midwest, in a small town, and the University team makes regionals in the Great Lakes region.

The questions, among basic logistics of moving and preparing for a new job, are what to do with my Ultimate playing career. I'll be about 1 hour from a regional quality club coed team and 2 hours from any regional quality club open team. I will, likely, try to help out with the local University team, and hopefully, move into a coaching position as time goes on. Still, my playing days seem numbered unless I'm willing to drive +2 hours to practice.

At the age of 32, there's other sporting options I've been considering. Hockey is played in this town, and the sport is much gentler on the body. The golf courses (both disc and club) have been calling my name. Mixed martial arts also is high on my list of to dos.

The major sacrifice I would be making, is no more team building as a player (note that the hockey would likely be in pick up form or house league), and a separation from the Ultimate community (which I would still be a member of, but as a coach, which in my opinion is a big difference). These are the elements that addicted me to Ultimate, and the parts I would find hardest to leave.

Also, my hopes of playing world masters seem to be heading down the drain. Still, maybe it's time to hang up the cleats? What would you do? When is the best time to retire?



NoVA said...

I was reading the post, and I was going through my head when you were describing the school.
Nope, dammit, so close.

Anyway, if I had to give you some advice, you're 32, how close is the masters team?
But honestly, if you still love Ultimate, isn't it worth it, if you decide it isn't, there's your answer.

pgw said...

But honestly, if you still love Ultimate, isn't it worth it, if you decide it isn't, there's your answer.

So to sum up, you should make a decision - and once you have decided, your decision should be what you decided it would be. Sweet, good advice.

NoVA said...

What can I say, I'm a Brett Favre fan.

UPASRT4 said...

Amusingly I've been reading your blog for quite some time and this is my first post. I'm in a similar market to you (London, Ontario) which is 1 to 2 hours from truly competitive teams. I never had the time to drive 3 times a week to practices in Toronto or KW. I've helped (alot) with the UWO team, grown the league in the city, and attempted to get competetive teams out of the area.

If I were you I would start looking at growing the sport around you - you may find it more rewarding then you think - hanging up the cleats is never an option.

n said...

Keep playing at as high level as you can as long as you are enjoying the process of doing so - including the practices, training, driving to tournies, etc. When your internal drive fails, you'll know - and if you quit too soon, coming back after 32 is harder than you might think.

lionshark said...

Like NoVA above, my school was also one criterion off. damn...

tingle said...

congrats pj, all the best where you're headed.

Z said...

hanging up the cleats is easy to say, hard to do.

if you're going to hang up your cleats just be sure your hearts no longer in ultimate

higy said...

I wouldn't hang up the cleats.

They'd make your closet smell.

Jeters said...

Higy puts out the best advice. I guess burn them is the right conclusion.

The harder then you think point is well taken.


Steeve said...


Ultimate players never really retire. They just play less.

Alex Korb said...

To pgw, If I'm remembering my existentialism class from undergrad correctly, that's exactly what Sartre recommends in a famous essay of his :-)


reentoe said...

I love that your potential retirement sport is MMA - 32 is a great time to try new things! I've thought about MMA, but I'm actually strongly considering taking up parkour. What happens in our forties - jumping motorbikes?

Jeters said...

I believe both MMA and hockey are lighter on the body depending on how much contact/sparring you get involved with. Parcour, now that's just crazy. I think skate boarding and the like are probably the most damaging for us.