Monday, March 30, 2015

Retiring from sport isn't the end says boxer Caley Reece

PIC via Caley Reece Facebook
When is enough? How do you decided it’s time to end the love affair with competitive sport?  One of my favourite MuayThai fighters took that huge decision this weekend.

Australian Caley Reece was one of the most successful and inspiring MuayThai fighters around, male or female. She's retiring with six World titles and the respect of anyone who's watched her dominate the ring.

But even if she wasn't a world beater, retiring is huge. For anyone playing sport competitively (especially fighting) retirement means a 360° in your approach to life. Being a sports woman is all-consuming so you need to be sure of what's coming next.

In Reece’s retirement statement on Saturday she said:
“In 2012 I made a decision to retire and at the time, I based it on emotions that were happening in my life. After 8 months I realised I missed fighting so much that I returned to the ring for another 2 and a half years and had another 10 fights …”
 "I never thought I would really feel the day that I would fall out of love with fighting and it used to worry me I wouldn't be anything else in life. My sports pysc and Daz (her husband/trainer) said, "one day you will wake up and just know". That day happened recently. I woke up and I knew. My love for Muaythai and training is there but the fight in me has died."
An online search for professional athlete + retired + psychology gave 1,130,000 results. American website ‘The Sport in Mind’ has some great resources if you are facing this decision or know someone who is.
PIC via Caley Reece Facebook
Training structures your day in so many ways, even your diet maybe dictated by the demands of your sport. There’s a potential loss of friendship, and changing body shape. Probably a lot of new clothes to buy.

Stopping competition doesn’t mean walking away. 

*dons wise woman hat* More than ten years after my last Muaythat fight I’m still friends with many of the same people and new ones. Still passionate about the best sport in the world*

It also opens the way to new sports - once you’ve been fit and strong you never want to lose that!

Reece’s statement finished like this:  "You can take the girl away from the fight but you will never take the fight away within the girl. 

"This sport will always have my heart because its created the person that I feel proud to be. Muaythai.... will always be my life and I will continue to do my best to inspire with past stories, opinions and advice."
*may be a biased opinion


Anonymous said...

It scares me to think i will have to give it up one day. Caley and i were some of the last ones left from our generation of fighter in Australia. Ive been fighting for 7 years and i always feel like without fighting im nothing. Its hard to think about it but i think as long as you have something to go on to it wouldnt be as bad.

Natasha Sky

real girl sport said...

@Natasha Sky - you've had a great career Natasha! It's all about planning I guess, or trying to replace that passion. Have to say I didn't plan super-well and would love to re-do some things but it all worked out in the end - the hardest for me to learning to relax about not being super-fit. Probably still do too much but better than being obese and dying early I say :)