Transitioning Into the Next Chapter

Last night was the 2015 Varsity Blues Athletic Banquet, and the final one for me, as I have decided to not play field hockey next year. I know, it sounds crazy and for those who know me this will come as a shock.  I was a captain, starter, and going into my fifth year. However, I put lots of thought into my decision over the last 4 months and I do not have any regrets.

High performance sport is something I have been heavily involved in since middle school. I played on provincial field hockey teams since grade 7 and there was no question I was going to be playing at university.  In my four years at U of T, I made great strides as a player and could see my own hard work pay off.  I truly felt confident in my last few years on the field.  In the meantime, I also became a fitness instructor, allowing me to channel my passion for physical activity in a different direction.  Before I knew it, this passion would begin to take over my life in a very positive way!

As I played my fourth year of varsity field hockey, I quickly began to realize I was transitioning out of my love for high performance sport and into my new found love of fitness and coaching.  In the last year I have been blessed to have had many opportunities in this field that will ultimately support my future career plans and I couldn't be happier. My hard work teaching and motivating other females is starting to pay off and is encouraging me to pursue these dreams further.

So why quit? I could have made the time to play, but my commitment just wasn’t there. My underlying passion for being active and having a healthy lifestyle still remains, just my outlet has changed.  I am moved beyond words by the support I have received from my participants each week, who show up and are dedicated to me and my class.  Each and every one of you drives me to be dedicated and pushes me to work harder.  

At many points in our lives we are going to transition into new chapters of our lives, going to university, starting families, new career paths, etc and this is a huge step towards my new chapter.  There will be a lot of foreign territory up ahead and I am sure it will be weird not to head to preseason at the end of August but I know this is what is best for me.   A friend told me as I was going through this difficult decision making process, “I miss sitting on my front lawn eating ice cream when I was 6, but that doesn’t mean I am going to go back and do it”.  That was the lightbulb moment for me.  Of course I am going to miss field hockey because at one point in time, this was the biggest commitment I had.  I poured hours of hard work, sweat, and tears into the sport and I have many memories.  Now, I can be excited to move forward, learning from those past experiences, and channeling it into my new adventures!

I think we can all relate to my experience in some context.  Life is all about changes and experiences and making decisions.  What I have learned through this decision is:

  • Do what is in your best interest.  Put yourself above anyone else and go with what is going to make you happy.  
  • Surround yourself with positive things and positive people and eliminate the negative.  My dad has had a huge role in remembering this lesson.  He is constantly saying in his retirement he wants to be around happy people and enjoy his well-earned time out of the work force, so I thought, why wait until then?! I am always going to strive to have as much positive in my life as I can.
  • Have no regrets.  A saying that fits to this is the “don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened” quote from Dr. Seuss.  Once making a decision, whatever it might be, go with it, and know you chose the path you did for a reason.  Remember being 6 and eating that ice cream!


Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.

Rachel