Twitter screenshot, via @Joeingles7
Renae Ingles, right, retired as a professional netball player this week after 15 years. Her husband is Utah Jazz guard Joe Ingles.

Sometimes change is really hard to make and deal with. Sometimes it’s really necessary and good, too.

And sometimes it’s all of the above.

As I read a touching blog post by Renae Ingles this week, my heart felt her pain and her joy as she thoughtfully described her decision to retire as a professional athlete. For the past 15 years, she has been one of the best netball players in Australia, but she decided it was time to relocate herself and her twins, 18-month-old Jacob and Milla, to Utah where her husband works. You might have heard of him — Jazz shooting guard Joe Ingles.

On Wednesday, Joe tweeted out a link to Renae’s blog. Inspiring stuff, indeed.

“I wanted our kids to be with both Mum and Dad all year round,” Renae explained about her decision to retire and relocate. “It wouldn’t have been fair on them, or Joe, had I continued to play in Australia with the children while Joe was doing everything in his means to make an impact over in the NBA and succeed in his own career.

“I wanted us to be a family, and therefore my decision to retire was and is the right one. My family is my everything.”

I’ve never been a professional athlete, but I spent the past nine years of my life closely following the ones who play for the Utah Jazz.

It was amazing ... and draining ... and exciting.

It was also a grind.

It was a collection of incredible experiences — from getting to cover the Hall of Fame enshrinements of John Stockton, Karl Malone and Jerry Sloan to chronicling the Jazz’s surge back into the playoffs last season and a whole lot of wildness in between.

It was a lot of odd hours, a lot of travel and a lot of time away from my family.

It was time for a change and a priority shift in my life.

Eric Woodyard is doing a terrific job as the new Jazz beat writer, and it's fun to see a new perspective from him.

And me?

I’m digging a new role that gives me a variety of intriguing topics to write about — local college football, interesting high school stories, even the Jazz on occasion.

More than that, I’m really enjoying being around my family more often. I have four kids, ages 5, 8, 11 and 13, and they mean the world to me.

This shift allowed me to do things like attending my fifth-grade daughter’s school Geography Bee (she made it to the sixth round!), go to SoCal for a lacrosse tournament with my seventh-grade son, chaperone my third-grade son’s class field trip to the Utah State Capitol and watch my preschool-aged boy sing Christmas songs with classmates. I’d missed a bunch of moments like that while on the Jazz beat, which was a blend of demanding and rewarding.

Being reassigned was one of the toughest things I’ve ever dealt with emotionally. For almost a decade, being the Jazz beat writer was my identity. It gave people a reason to talk to me. ;) (Not sure how many people I disappointed that I didn’t have tickets or juicy off-the-record stuff from Dennis Lindsey to share.)

Our situations aren’t completely parallel — heck, I’ve never even watched a netball game (sorry, Australia Diamonds!) — but I can relate to Renae’s plight.

“It’s been tough. But equally, I can say that the past year has been one of the most rewarding,” she wrote. “Everyday I wake up thankful that Joe and I have two amazing kids, with our twins having brought so much extra love and joy to our lives.”

I highly recommend reading her blog. It gives extraordinary insight into the difficulty athletes have stepping away. From afar, I also admire the relationship between Joe and Renae and respect their family-first priorities.

“I am extremely lucky Joe is also an athlete,” Renae wrote, “and can understand my thoughts and feelings, and support my transition into whatever lies ahead for me.”

I’m lucky to have one of those wonderfully supportive spouses, too. Heather, my wife, occasionally joked that my time on the Jazz beat taught her how to be a single mom. I’m grateful to work for a company that recognized it was time for that to change.

Thanks for the beautiful reminder, Renae, that the painful decision was the right one.

(By the way, if you want to read more about my job change, I expounded on that process on my personal blog.)

Other links

Psst, Jazz … Atlanta is making more money after dropping concessions prices

• Psst, RSL … Check out the leg on the Wyoming wrestling coach

NWSL, Utah Royals’ league, is losing a team

And finally, the weekend planner:

Friday, Jan. 26

NBA: Jazz at Toronto, 5:30 p.m.

G League: Stars vs. Austin, 7 p.m.

ECHL: Grizzlies vs. Tulsa, 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball: Dixie State vs. Fresno Pacific, 7:30 p.m.; Westminster vs. MSU Denver, 7:30 p.m.

Women’s basketball: Dixie State vs. Fresno Pacific, 5:30 p.m.; Westminster vs. MSU Denver, 5:30 p.m.; Utah vs. Oregon State, 6 p.m.

Gymnastics: Utah at Arizona, 6 p.m.; BYU vs. Air Force, 7 p.m.; SUU vs. Boise State, 7 p.m.

Men’s volleyball: BYU at UC Irvine, 8 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 27

ECHL: Grizzlies vs. Tulsa, 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball: SUU at Montana State, 2 p.m.; Utah Valley vs. Grand Canyon, 3 p.m.; Utah at Arizona, 3:30 p.m.; Utah State at Fresno State, 5 p.m.; SLCC vs. USU Eastern, 5 p.m.; BYU vs. Pacific, 7 p.m.; Weber State at Idaho State, 7 p.m.; Westminster vs. UCCS, 7:30 p.m.

Women’s basketball: UVU at Grand Canyon, 2 p.m.; Weber State vs. Idaho State, 2 p.m.; SUU vs. Montana State, 2 p.m.; Utah State vs. Fresno State, 2 p.m.; BYU at Pacific, 3 p.m.; SLCC vs. USU Eastern, 3 p.m.; Westminster vs. UCCS, 5:30 p.m.

Gymnastics: Utah State at Denver, 6 p.m.

Men’s volleyball: BYU at UC Irvine, 8 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 28

Women’s basketball: Utah vs. Oregon, noon