Mike Marjama's retirement announcement on Monday came as a shock to many, but he is pursuing much greater things now.
This past March, Mike Marjama publicly opened up about his struggles in high school with anorexia nervosa. As a wrestler, he was faced with abundant pressure to fit into a certain weight category. He was constantly having his body critiqued and compared to other individuals.
After sharing his struggles with the world, Mike Marjama received a plethora of positive feedback and support. So, he decided to work full-time with NEDA to help support individuals struggling just like he struggled.
There is an assumption in the world today that individuals with eating disorders are white, emaciated females. By speaking up, Mike Marjama is defying one of these stereotypes. He is showing that eating disorders do not have a "look" and that males can develop eating disorders, too.
Baseball has been Mike Marjama's life and he is stepping away from that to help support individuals with struggles similar to him. He is stepping away from a job paying him over $500,000 dollars a year in order to volunteer his time to work as a NEDA ambassador. Sports are a great past-time and passion, but Mike Marjama has decided at the young age of 28 to pursue something greater with his life.
I am simply in awe by the courage of this man.
The courage of this man to share his struggles.
The courage of this man to defy the stereotypes.
The courage of this man to aim for something better.
The courage of this man to serve God.
This man speaking out can result in the diagnosis and treatment of males with eating disorders worldwide. It can show men that having an eating disorder does not make them weak, but rather, admitting that they have one makes them strong.
As an individual who has suffered from anorexia nervosa, thank you, Mike Marjama.