I’m a lad in my mid-20s. I farm part-time in partnership with my father and work full-time off-farm as well.
I’ve played hurling with the local club for as long as I can remember. I’ve been on the senior team since I was 18. While I get on like a house-on-fire with the lads on the team, I’ve kind of lost my grá for it.
To be honest, a lot of the time I find it’s extra pressure. During championship you’re always on a drinking ban, your weekends are taken up and you can’t go away anywhere.
I’ve only kept playing because I know my dad will be gutted
It has taken me a good while to accept it but I genuinely don’t enjoy it anymore and I want to give it up. The last while I’ve gotten into CrossFit a bit, I enjoy it more and I’d prefer to concentrate on that. I’ve only kept playing because I know my dad will be gutted.
Myself and the father have a grand relationship but I feel like hurling has always been the thing that kept us together.
At this stage, it’s really more his interest than mine
We’d fight about the farm from time-to-time and things can get heated but we’ve always bonded over hurling.
He goes to all my matches. At this stage, it’s really more his interest than mine. I’m afraid that if I give up, not only will he be upset but also we’ll have no common ground anymore.
What do you think I should do Miriam? Should I stick it out for the father’s sake or give it up and risk hurting him?
Dear Unhappy Hurler,
Thank you very much for getting in touch. From the off, I would like to say that from reading your email it is abundantly clear you have made up your mind with regard to giving up playing hurling. You are very certain this is something you want to do. Your father is the only thing keeping you from doing so.
I also think it is very considerate of you to take your father’s feelings into account
Looking at this from an alternative perspective for a second, this puts you in a different position to many people who write to me. You know what you want and very definitively. That is a good thing, many would still be soul searching in this regard.
Again, taking another angle, I also think it is very considerate of you to take your father’s feelings into account. It shows you value your relationship with him and want it to continue to be strong.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
If you want to connect with your father, it will happen and it doesn’t need to be because of hurling.
You do you
The long and short of it is, you should give up playing hurling. No one in this life can make you happy bar you. While it is very important to be considerate of others and have empathy, living your life on other’s terms is a one-way street to unhappiness.
You do you.
I think a good thing to do before you tell your father you are giving up hurling is to have a plan in place for something you can do together that will replace hurling.
I am sure there will be some matches on that you would both still like to attend
Do either of you golf, fish or play cards? Think of something you both like or might like to try and let that be something non-farming you can bond over.
Also, I am sure there will be some matches on that you would both still like to attend, so this doesn’t need to mean your hurling relationship is totally over.
Best of luck in hurling retirement and here’s to the next chapter.
Wishing you all the best,