Quitters aren't failures

Tomorrow I am heading into my final year of my undergrad degree at the University of Toronto.  Thankfully I had no class today so I got this one extra day of summer! Over the last few days I have been brought back to remembering lesson #12 from a previous post regarding the Women’s Fitness Summit: we are not failing when we choose to quit.  This year was supposed to be my final year as a captain on the varsity field hockey team.  We were going to be vying for a CIS banner.  Then in March, I officially removed myself from the team and honestly I could not be in a happier place in my life.  

Growing up, I played competitive sports, danced competitively, and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next physical activity.  Although I am still active, my focus has shifted now from high performance sport, to total health and wellness, leading a healthy, active lifestyle.  My decision did not come easy and honestly not a day has gone by since then that I haven’t thought about it.  The most difficult and frustrating part of this whole experience is trying to explain my reasoning to others.  I learned, I do not owe anyone an explanation for my decision.  However, for those losing sleep over this (most likely no one), here is why.

I recognized that what I was putting into the program, I simply wasn't getting out anymore.  For my mental, emotional, and physical well-being I needed to make this decision.  To be honest with all of you, I was nervous coming back to school this year.  Not because I was fearing the start of my final school year but about what people might think once they found out I wasn’t playing.  Then Dr. Cassandra Forsythe shared a personal experience in Kansas City a few weeks ago and I learned lesson #12.  A lightbulb went off in my head and I realized that I am more powerful and strong to have made the decision for my own happiness.  It is okay to recognize that your values, beliefs, and interests can change in your life time.

We can all relate to this.  Whether it is on a sports team, at a job, or in a relationship we need to be able to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary to make ourselves happy.  September is a great time to reflect as we set our new goals and reevaluate where we have come.  Remember that you have no reason to fear making changes for the better.  It will always be difficult for other people to understand. 

We are not failing when we choose to quit.  It is empowering to be able to recognize the unhappiness, or whatever it is within the situation and create new and better opportunities for yourself.

Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.

Rachel

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