Retirement is exciting, but as we’re seeing with Jason Kelce, it can also be an absolutely terrifying experience.
When Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce was spotted crying on the sidelines during the team’s last game of the season, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that he would be hanging it up. Reports even came out that Kelce had played his final game with the Eagles.
But then Kelce came out on his wildly successful New Heights podcast and said that we was still grappling with the idea of retirement, and had not yet made a final decision. Kelce made sure to paint things clearly, and said his announcement will be made in a definitive way.
That was back towards the beginning of January, and now as we find ourselves a good ways into February, it appears that Jason Kelce is still undecided on his retirement. He elaborated on how he was feeling while he was a guest on the Green Light podcast, which is hosted by Kelce’s former teammate Chris Long.
The topic of retirement and post-NFL careers popped up in the conversation, and Jason Kelce had this to say:
“It’s exciting to think about possibilities, it’s exciting to be able to lose weight, feel good and not have to physically fight for my life every day. But it’s also daunting, it’s anxiety. At the end of the day, it’s the unknown.
People ask if you get nervous for games but the only games I get nervous for are the first time I’m doing something…you don’t know what is in store. Ironically, it sometime makes you play better, it makes your senses alive. But that is kind of where it is at when you start thinking about retirement.”
Kelce has played football for basically his entire life, and now that he’s 36-years-old and thinking about walking away, he would essentially be entering into uncharted territory. It’s that feeling, and fear of potentially not knowing his purpose outside of football, that is apparently keeping Kelce from calling it quits (for now), as he went on to explain:
“You don’t know what you are going to like until you are doing it. You don’t know what you are going get fulfillment in until you are doing it, you don’t know what you are going to be great at until you are doing it.
All that stuff is also in the back of your head. No matter how you handle it…no matter who you are, how well prepared you are to enter the next stage, everybody goes through a level of depression, really.”
The discussion of mental health has become more mainstream in recent years (rightfully so), and Kelce is clearly open to talk about his fears about calling it quits with football.
Kelce and Long continue to talk about fighting off depression, along with how players are basically grieving the end of their career after they retire, in the video below: