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Terrell Thomas’ Retirement Another Reminder, Every Good Thing Comes To an End

Ask Terrell Thomas, the former Giants defensive back, about retirement and he will tell you it’s not what he imagined.

Every day I walk into my office, different thoughts consume my mind. Questions swirl my mind and I often wish I could fast forward through the long days. Aggravated customers, grumpy visitors, just something I wish I could bypass some days. Never in my mind however has the thought of retirement crept in my mind. Leaving one career, pursuing another; yeah, but retirement not hardly.

The adage says when you find something you enjoy doing, you won’t work a day in your life.  I often wonder where that came from. For many people such as athletes, the dream to perform in their respective craft of expertise has no expiration date. There are no exits, no cameras shutting off, no walking away from reporters. There are no limits. Every day is a new day and in one’s mind they will still perform at thirty the way they did at 19. Reality check: It’s not happening!

Age and injuries play a major deal in the athletic ability to produce. Sure Tom Brady is still playing well, but as we all know, the Brady’s are far and in between. As a fan it’s tough to see our favorite players hurt from week to week. In our minds we know when it’s time to just let it go. But just but….we know that athletes will not give up the dream; the one they worked so hard to build; the long days and long nights; the practices from pee wee football to the pros. The coaching from dad’s, uncles, recreation league coaches, or respected friends. How do you come to grips and say this is it?

Ask Terrell Thomas, the former Giants defensive back, about retirement and he will tell you it’s not what he imagined.

“I thought I had two more years,” Thomas stated. He added, “I thought I would be a top free agent and show God’s grace, but he had a different plan for me.”

Letting it all sink in, Thomas knows it’s time. Thomas was forced to retire because of his injury. Thrice torn right anterior cruciate ligament. The injury first came during his college years at the University of Southern California and then twice while playing with the Giants. The injury cost him the 2011 and 2012 season. In 2013, however he did join Carolina Panthers linebacker, Thomas Davis as the only NFL players to return to the playing field after three ACL reconstruction surgeries. In hopes of playing last year, he went to a brief training camp with his former college coach, Pete Carroll, of the Seattle Seahawks, but no bite.

Every year Terrell believed in his heart that he would return. Everyone loved him. Coaches loved him. General Managers loved him. The only hurdle was that the doctor’s would not approve his knee. Deep sigh right? How do you fight back the anger and the tears? Playing six years in the NFL is a fairly great time. Thomas is not saddened though. He feels as though he has accomplished much and is very much so looking forward to the next career venture in his life. He lives in Los Angeles and has a five year old daughter, Tatum and fiancé Ashley Sells. He also has a perk to take with him; a Super Bowl ring from 2009-2010 when the Giants beat the Patriots….sweet!!!

Thomas was the Giants’ second-round draft choice in 2008. In his four seasons on the field (2008-10 and 2013), he played in 60 regular-season games and had 41 starts. Not bad! For his career total; he holds 300 tackles, of which 232 are solo and 12 interceptions, including one returned for 14 yards for a touchdown at Washington in December 21, 2009.

Although Terrell is leaving the game earlier than anticipated, I have no doubt that he is at peace and he is ready for the next level of his career.” Whatever God has anticipated for me; I’m ready to see”, he adds.  A little pass his 30th birthday, I’m sure the last thing to cross his mind was retirement; but it’s here and now the change comes.

Each day as I walk in my office I will think to myself can I do this forever; or will something force me to retire? Regardless ill enjoy the moment while I can, just as Terrell did!  Thomas is living life with no regrets; we all could borrow a page out of his book. Now let’s see where do I buy that book? Like anything else, every good thing comes to an end; right?

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