Rumors surrounding this possibility have been circulating for a while now. These rumors have now been confirmed by the man, himself. After nearly a decade as a top pro in the sport, Lyman is walking away from one dream in favor of pursing another. As I understand it, this decision is rooted in Lyman’s desire to accomplish as much as he possibly can in life (rather than Lyman falling out of love with his job as a pro wakeboarder…or anything like that) coupled with a realization that, if there ever was a perfect time for him to join up, it’s now.
“Just about a year ago, I really made the decision that I’m 27 years old now, and I could continue wakeboarding for probably a couple more years at the level I am now and maybe continue getting better. But with what I want to in the military, I’m going to need some youth left, so I made the decision that now is the right time.”, said Keith Lyman in an interview with Luke Woodling that is posted on the Transworld Wakeboarding site.
When asked why he would leave what most riders would consider a “dream job”, Lyman said, “It’s really hard to explain why I want to give up my dream job, and wakeboarding really is my dream job. Wakeboarding stole my heart when I was 13, and that’s all I wanted to do and all I could really see myself doing, but this desire to be in the military never really went away. If anything, it’s gotten stronger with time. People might not ever get it, and that’s OK with me because I’m doing exactly what I want to do.
Lyman went on to say, “It’s hard for me to say, ‘Yeah, I’ve done everything I wanted to do in wakeboarding.’ To be realistic, I think it would take me a lifetime to do everything I want to do on a wakeboard. But to be honest, I’ve done a lot. I’ve jumped off the wake and landed on a 7-foot rail 60 feet away. I’ve been in multiple videos. I’ve met tons of fans. I hopefully have inspired some kids, and I think I’ve been a positive influence. Of course, there’s plenty I’d love to do still, but I only live one time, and I want to do as much as I possibly can with that one life. I’m happy. I’m very satisfied with what I’ve done with my career.”
Well…all that I can say is that I’m going to miss having Keith around the wake scene, but I understand that you’ve got to follow your heart. And…if Keith’s approaches his military career with the same level of ambition and drive that he approached his pro wakeboarding career, the defense of this country of ours is in good hands.
Be safe, Keith.