By Roger Esty
I heard Rocky Marciano say once that the thing that convinced him to hang up his gloves was the day he walked into the gym and couldn't take the smell anymore. The smell of the sweat soaked canvas and the mildewy shower.
Ted Williams said that one afternoon of a game he was standing on second base and looked down at home plate.
"That's a hell of a long way to run on a hit through the infield."
That look at home plate standing on second convinced The Kid to hang up his cleats.
Arnold Palmer said that he just didn't want to compete to win on the golf course anymore during a tournament.
"I just let go of the rope. I was tired of it."
He never won another tournament.
Then there's the story of Andy Heilman not coming out for the next round against Ronnie Wilson. A fight Andy was winning easily. He told his corner that he didn't want to fight anymore. And he didn't.
Sometimes the moment is that fast. Triggers just as fast a decision. The fire's extinguished.It's over. No contemplation. Maybe they weren't even thinking about before the moment arrived.