I became the #1 tennis player in Canada in the under 14 division and continued through the years to train and compete with the best players in the world. Among them being Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, and Lindsay Davenport. After my junior tennis career I was given a scholarship to San Diego State University. I was then offered company funding and a sponsorship to play on the pro circuit. After all my years of hard work I was off to play on the professional tennis tour. I traveled all over the world from England, Paris, and Amsterdam, to Monaco, Germany, Canada, Hawaii, Australia, and all over the United States playing on the pro tour for four years where I earned a world tennis ranking.
In a blinding moment that changed my life forever, I was a passenger in a horrible car accident. I’ll never forget the sound of the metal crushing and the onset of intense pain in my neck and back. When the smoke cleared I had been badly injured. I put in two years of physical therapy, but as hard as I tried I could not regain the form of the world class level athlete I once was. So, with the abrupt end of giving 19 years of my life: from my childhood, teens and early twenties to tennis, my professional career was over. The thousands of hours on the court, the countless miles of running in the snow of Canada and heat of Florida. All of the strength training and all of personal sacrifices endured. GONE.
Although I had been through the trenches with tennis, I was still a young man. What did my heart say? What would allow me to wake up each day of my life and be happy? I just didn’t see myself in a suit for the next 40 years. What I had always fantasized about was music - singing, playing the piano and composing. Music had always touched me on a profound level. It was hard to explain but I felt it deep inside. “Don’t be stupid,” I thought. “You have already spent a huge part of your life chasing a dream. Do you really want to spend God-knows how many more years going for another one that is, in all reality, way out of reach?”
When the experts in their respective fields said, “You need to understand, it’s too late. You are too old to ever reach a level of professional expertise. Professional singers, piano players and composers start when they are young.”
At first I figured “they” must be right. But then I thought, “How do they know? This is my life and no one can tell me what I am able to accomplish until I am done trying.” When I told people that I had decided to become a professional musician at age 24 they would laugh at me. That just made me want it more.
Eric now tours the world as a master tennis teacher, singer and motivational speaker.
Who says dreams can’t come true!