Just as he did throughout his athletics career, Ashton Perritt looks for signs before making his next move.
Now employed as a certified personal trainer for UFit in Greenwood, the 24-year-old reflects on the difficult decision of stepping away from organized baseball, a sport he previously envisioned playing well into his 30s.
“God has blessed me,” said Perritt, a Whiteland graduate. “Wherever he leads me, I’m OK with it.”
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Perritt last pitched for the Washington Wild Things, an independent professional franchise located near Pittsburgh. A rough game there last September helped get the exercise science major started on his second career earlier than anticipated.
“I was coming in as a relief pitcher in a game against Lake Erie, and it was a very bad outing,” said Perritt, a former Liberty University standout who was selected in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers.
“I got rocked,” Perritt added. “After that game I was just crushed.”
It turned out to be Perritt’s final pitching performance.
Shortly thereafter, Perritt was driving by himself to Lynchburg, Virginia, for his wedding week — he married the former Libby Campbell on Oct. 21 — and mulling over whether to continue working toward his dream of eventually earning a roster spot in the major leagues.
Letting go of a sport he played since he was 4 years old proved difficult, but Perritt did it.
Employed at UFit since March, Perritt works with the same enthusiasm and commitment that made him a standout as a Warriors football and baseball player.
Working with clients ranging in age from 25 to 70, Perritt is equal parts teacher, motivator and supporter. One person may want to lose weight, while others are working to get stronger or have more endurance.
Perritt customizes training programs for each client.
“I always wanted to be a baseball player, but I love being a personal trainer,” Perritt said.
“I’m able to help people firsthand and help improve their quality of life.
“It’s knowing people’s limits. It’s a pretty cool thing seeing people reach their goals. When I first started, I was told I’ll grow close to these people, and that their goals will be important to me.”
Perritt hopes to one day open his own gym and preach the importance of a healthy lifestyle to athletes and former athletes suffering from afflictions such as depression or drug and alcohol abuse.
A relief pitcher most of his Liberty baseball career, Perritt played one season for the Spokane Indians, a Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. In 2016, he split time pitching for two independent franchises, the Traverse City Beach Bums and Washington.
He feels he can use his experiences as a trainer and former Division I athlete to make a difference.
“It’s what I feel called to do. People assume today that athletes have it all together in life when there could easily be a void that’s eating away at them,” Perritt said. “I want to be there for those athletes and give them a deeper purpose to live for.
“Something more than just winning games and getting into the spotlight. I want to help athletes gain confidence in themselves rather than for just their ability on the field.”
Family: Wife Libby
High school: Whiteland (2011)
College: Liberty University (2015)
Major: Exercise science