Remarkable and worth being remarked-this next story.
Like jail or death is the end to the means of drug dealing, aging out or injury is the ends to the means of sport, typically.
Often times though, in sports, when careers end all you can hope is [that] they invested well (for when they age out, get injured, or retire), because the one thing about sports is-while it’s highly revered and celebrated in America, getting injured (which is highly likely in contact sports), could end your career in the next week and hopefully you invested or saved well.
I had a boyfriend in college who was so naturally athletic and was a natural at playing football and he loved it. From college, he got drafted to the NFL and did good—but not for long.
While we were in college, he did his best to be a good boyfriend to me but too, was a country boy from some back roads, shack-like town. City life was new and quite the culture shock for him. So that, compounded with the fact that he was good looking, kind, and funny; girls were all over him.
Long story short, as much as we liked each other, I didn’t feel he had soared off his wild oats enough to match the kind of liking he had for me as his girlfriend. So in addition to all that (and my already being a few years older than him when we were in college); I wanted him to get his “play” out. Because as wild as I knew he was growing in to being (considering his influences and this new life of popularity he wasn’t used to), I foresaw trouble ahead.
He worked really hard at trying to present me: the person I met-knowing he was a different person out of my sight. I lived off campus in my own house and the only friends we mutually had were his friends so, his secrets were “safe” but I still had friends that he didn’t know so, his secrets were not so “secret.”
When he went pro, he moved out of state but he always kept in contact with me even though we had gone our separate ways by this time. His career ended quickly when he got injured. But one thing I always liked about him (as he grew into the man he his today), is that (now) he is aware and can honestly admit how he was (out of my sight), but knows he tried. I too, had my ways and wasn’t so kind at times, but we were both still young so, we’ve pardoned the past.
But one thing about him that I find redeemable (in this life in the now) is how he came back and got settled into life as if he never got drafted. He fell right back on his college degree, bought a house, and runs an agency housing people with special needs-this was he does for a living among his top of the line, state of the art gadgets while while driving his couple of fancy, high end cars that his pro monies bought. He did good-he took care of his mom and family. They didn’t have much.
Over the years another thing I really liked about his change is life is that, he still cares and conditions his body as if he was still training as the athlete he was and too, while he’s just as obsessed about the game of football, he was never obsessed with trying to get back where he was. He totally accepted his new life, and injury that took him out of the game without bitterness and the inability to let go. And in addition to that business, he bought a facility and he trains other people as is to, himself still in great physical condition as when we were in college.
The pearl in us (in this day in time) is that I could chill with him, sleep over, he’d cook for me and we could hang out with no strings attached. Obviously he’s a man but still, regardless of where I press pause, the pearl in our thing is that he can’t say that at the height of his success I was any more all in than (today) I’m not. And whatever we had (today) we were even, pardoned and at a clean slate past all that was good or bad.
A man is a man is a man, though. Somebody who’s been with you and knows what it’s like to have been with you and through it all, still has feelings for you is not going to take “let’s hang out and be friends” while they still have access to you in their presence for too long. Although this time around, I didn’t have a definition for what I considered him to be in my life at this new moment in our time, I hate that he wouldn’t just let me enjoy him and ‘us’ just being us-without a label or ‘us’ being defined or back at one-like before. I was enjoying him in a new light whereas before-it was him at my house and me doing the cooking. Now, here he was, having experienced life-a man now, cooking for me and I was lounging at his house just being a man. That was sweet for me. I wanted any happenings this time around to just ‘happen.’ He wanted answers + action and I get that. As a young, gorgeous, virile man, I understand. And his knowing me all too well-he didn’t want to get to that level then get hurt or feel like he wasting his time. I got that. I respect that.
But I find it admirable, a turn on even, that he fell back like such and took his money and invested it like such and still manages to tend to his passions daily. Still, he’s hyped about football season just like the average football fan that’s never gone pro. Several of his friends had gone pro and are still in the game and still, he’s not bitter and a hanger-on. That’s sexy and admirable because I
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