My Next Chapter | by Nick Hardwick

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For the first time in 15 NFL seasons, my Sundays won’t be filled with football.

Well, it may be filled with backyard football to go along with soccer, hockey and whatever various activities my sons Hudson (6) and Teddy (4) want to get involved in. But this is the first time that I won’t be directly involved with Chargers football since I was drafted in 2004.

After one season as the field reporter and two years in the booth, it is time for me to step away as color analyst for the Chargers’ radio broadcast.

The thing I value most in life is my family, and I believe that the time devoted to a subject should be in alignment with one’s values. Simply, I am no longer able to miss out on as many weekends with my family as the football season requires.

But being a Charger is something that will always be a part of me. It’s in my DNA.

I will always be a Charger.

From being a part of LT’s historic 2006 season to playing against New England in the AFC Championship Game to an unlikely playoff appearance following the 2008 season that resulted in an overtime walk-off touchdown by Darren Sproles against the Colts, I’ve got a lifetime of memories and friendships that leave me forever grateful.

I also smile looking back on my three years as part of the radio broadcast. Being able to call games while watching one of my best friends, Philip Rivers, command the team was joyous and gave me a new perspective.

I’m also grateful for the men I shared the booth with – Josh Lewin and Matt “Money” Smith.

I learned a tremendous amount from Josh when I was first getting into the broadcast game, especially about preparation and professionalism. And last year with Matt was a blast, as anyone who has spent time with him knows well. He’s a pro, and we shared quite a few laughs and called some great games!

Now, as part of my post-football journey, finding health and inspiring others to find their own has become a major part of my family life. Recently, my wife Jayme and I have become part of an ownership group in a San Diego based gym, Renegade Fit Camp.

As anyone who followed my career knows, having and giving direction are what fuel me. From this gym, we are identifying and building a community of like-minded individuals who are looking to find the healthiest version of themselves. This has now given me a great opportunity to find a leadership role like I once had as captain of the Chargers.

I’m thankful for the opportunities that were provided to me in the broadcasting world since I joined the Chargers’ broadcasting team in 2015. It was an important piece of my search to find health and happiness. It provided a great outlet to find my voice and grow as a communicator.

I’ll continue to work on those skills as a sports talk show host on XTRA 1360, providing commentary on all sports. I’ll still get to talk some Chargers football, along with a broad array of sports topics.

Naturally, I’ll always follow the team. I’ll still be cheering hard for them along with my family, I’ll just be doing so from my living room instead of a stadium come Sundays as we – yes, I will always say we – pursue that Super Bowl title.

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