RETIRED West Coast Eagles defender Eric Mackenzie kept it wonderfully simple when asked to write a letter to his younger self by the AFL Players’ Association.
Mackenzie, who retired last year at the age of 30 due to chronic injuries in his big toes, wrote the letter in bullet point form.
He asked himself whether he would choose from all the negative points of his career, or all the positive ones.
Mackenzie’s letter is a study in economy, clocking in at just 143 words – four less than the 147 AFL games he played for the Eagles – but every one is a winner.
The result was an eloquent summation of a football life, the highs and lows of elite sport.
You have two options…
– You will never win a premiership or play in a Grand Final
– You will miss multiple seasons through injury
– You will have 14 surgeries
– You may never run again after your career
– You will win a wooden spoon
– You will miss out on life membership.
– You will win a best and fairest and also finish runner-up
– You will captain your team
– You will make multiple all-Australian squads
– You will play 147 games
– You will win the Players’ Trademark Award
– You will kick a game-winning goal and save a game-winning point
– You will make friends for life.
The choice is yours but the outcome is the same, it just depends which glasses you are looking through.
Either way, enjoy the journey.