Anyone that knows me knows that apart from athletics, the only other sport I follow with interest is MotoGP. I simply love the sport, and if I were given the opportunity to travel through life again, but on a different path, I would choose the bikes. I have not been on a bike for the best part of two decades, and by no means did I ever race them or do anything special, but from that first moment I rode one, I thought it was awesome. I cannot risk riding one at the moment, for fear of injury, but hope to in the years ahead.
Only recently, one of the athletes I really admire and enjoy watching race, Casey Stoner, is retiring at the end of the season. For whatever reasons he is choosing to retire, it’s his decision to make and no one should be questioning it. He has spent most of his life racing bikes, and has other passions he would like to pursue. So, when you no longer have a passion for it, why continue? Why not go out on top? Casey is certainly looking good this year; and on a Repsol Honda like Mick Doohan did all those years ago.
As athletes, we have a dream to become the best in the world, but in pursuit of it we rarely ever stop before it’s too late. Usually, some of us see the signs and stop just as the decline begins, while others persist and continue the slide while trying to regain the form that saw them reach the top. Some make it back, most do not. It takes a tremendous amount of soul-searching to reach a decision to walk away from something that has quite possibly defined your life and legacy, whether you have reached the pinnacle or not. Those that have done it while at their best should be commended.
What I do in my sporting life is very important to me, but what I do for my family until the day I die is the legacy that I am concerned with. I want to be remembered for being the best son, brother, uncle, dad, granddad, etc ever. I hope I know when it’s time to walk away.
What Casey does for the next 40, 50, 60 years of his life will be more important to him and his family than this past 26 years. I wish him all the best, and hope to see him win down at Phillip Island on 26th October.