Fifteen years ago my daughter started skating and I've been heavily involved ever since.
In 2003 I started training to become an Accountant for US Figure Skating and up until last year I put in up to 500 hours a year in that volunteer position. It was typical to work at least one weekend a month and if I was the Chief Accountant I would put in 30 to 40 hours preparing for the weekend. Then we would often work 12 hour days during that weekend. It was hard work but worth it to spend time with a terrific group of people, other officials, parents and skaters. I loved every minute of it. I defined myself as a part of US Figure Skating. I continued my training to include set-up and operation of the electronic scoring system that arrived with the International Judging System. It was technical, frustrating, intriguing and very interesting.
Now I'm done. When I moved to the West Coast last summer I found that my services were not really needed. It was also harder for me to arrange time away from my responsibilities here, being single means you can't really count on anyone to help. And I truly believe that being skillful at something means you have to put time into training and perfecting those skills. I don't want to be the rusty link in the chain. I strive to be the best at whatever I do, it's part of being very competitive.
So I've decided to give it all up. I'm going to miss my friends, luckily I see them everyday on Facebook. I won't miss the stress and exhaustion. I've got a lot of things to keep me busy and I'll be seriously looking into some other volunteer opportunities.
Life changes, things change, it's a good thing to realize when it's necessary to make that hard decision that it's time to move on.