- Rob Tillman
What We Can Learn From Andrew Luck
When Andrew Luck decided to retire from the game of football, it came as a shock to many and started an interesting debate. Luck has been a superstar in the game, and still young at the age of 29, he seemed to have it all. His injuries and what he described as “unceasing and unrelenting pain” became the focus, but if you listen to his words it was much more than pain that led to his decision.
As Luck described, it was “the hardest decision of my life”. He talked about the pain over the last four years, and said it had “taken my joy of this game away”. “I haven’t been able to live the life I’ve wanted to live, and I need to remove myself from this cycle.” When I heard those words, I knew it was more than the pain; he was ready to reset his life and move on.
How many of us have reached that point in our lives? I sure have, and most of the people I’ve met in life have. As Luck said, “I reached that proverbial fork in the road”. But how many of us intentionally decide to make the changes we need to make in our lives? Making meaningful change is hard, and when we do, we often don’t know what lies ahead. For Luck, he may have given some thought to life after football during his time off from injuries, but I’ll bet he made this decision not knowing what’s next.
Interestingly, in spite of the seeming suddenness of his decision, he described himself as “retired” and not “retiring”. He demonstrated he is ready to move on and not just retire, but to reset. He said, “I have a lot of clarity on this, and I’m so grateful.” His gratitude and honesty showed he has already moved past the pain of the moment. He even talked about how he felt when another quarterback stepped in during his injury; “I was jealous and resentful of the happy dude who was in my spot.”
We can all learn a lot from Luck’s decision to step away from the game, but we can learn even more from how he did it. He faced the truth with gratitude and honesty. He reached out to family, friends and co-workers, and he made a tough decision to change his life now. Even without knowing what he will do next and knowing that he would disappoint so many people, he charged ahead with clarity, honesty, and integrity.
Seeing how Luck faced this tough decision and talked about “my journey moving forward” is a real-life example of what it takes to move on and reset our lives. It was inspiring demonstrated by the comment from Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who said, “I hope he becomes President of the United States.”