An Open Letter to Anthony Myers

Dear Anthony, 

The day has passed, it’s been 24 hours since I last saw you. I knew it would be the last time. Your breath was different, your appearance was different, it was time. For a few days, I could control my emotions when I came to see you, but this time was different. The feeling was different. There was something you were telling me, it was time to go. You were at peace with life, you lived the way you wanted, you impacted people as positively as possible, you took the last 17 years and lived more in that short time frame than most people live in their entire life. 

You were my favorite kid in the weight room. Every training session I knew you would bring absolutely everything. Every training session I knew there would be 4-5 kids around you that would feed off your positivity, that would feed off your work ethic. Early on, I knew you were the definition of the “All-American” kid. The kid that works his ass off, the kid that people love, the kid that loves everyone around him, the kid that always does the right thing, the kid that never complains, the kid that puts his nose down and strives forward.

There are a few things that I have been thinking about over and over since you passed. I have been thinking about a lot since our last conversation when you could still verbalize your emotions and feelings. I told you that my twins had taken their first step, unsure if you would remember them I asked you if you remembered them, your response, “Seneca and Keenan.” It was something small but that was you. You cared about everyone and everything around you. You lived in the moment at all times.

I asked you, “Are you comfortable with what’s about to happen?”

When you looked back at me, you said, “I lived my life the way I wanted to. Doing what I love, trying to be positive.” That was our last verbal conversation. Three more weeks, you fought, you’d raise your hand when I walked in, you’d shake my hand and squeeze it when I asked questions. I tried to just talk to you about my life, I tried to hug you and tell you I love you. I tried to bring light to the impact that you had on everyone around you.

This led to a discussion that I had with Coach Espo and Coach Latchum. Something was different. You had a different mentality. It was as if you achieved a sense of enlightenment, a sense of peace and a view on life that needs to be spread regularly throughout the world. 

I want to push your spirit and message to everyone. I want everyone to know the impact you have had, the lessons you taught me, the lessons you taught teammates, friends, training partners, your family. Your spirit is defined in a few words. Relentless positivity, striving to seize every opportunity. This is what I took from our time, our training sessions, our discussions, our chocolate milk and donuts, no matter what the topic was, you always had relentless positivity while taking advantage of every opportunity. 

You have taught me so many lessons. Lessons of patience, lessons of finding happiness in others, lessons in pulling their happiness to the surface to ignite a room with positivity. But one word continues to come back into my mind when I think about how I want to grow from this shared experience. This one word has impacted me over the last 5 weeks. The word that I think about everyday when I see my children, when I drive to work, when I kiss my wife, when I train, when I would go visit you. 

Opportunity.

You taught me that every single day is an opportunity. Every day is an opportunity to improve myself, every day is an opportunity to impact people, to make the world better, to learn, to take advantage of every single situation, to love my children more, to love my life more, to love my family as much as possible and to recognize the gifts and existence that I currently have and cherish every single moment. 

The lessons you taught me, I will instill in my own children, in my athletes, in every relationship as much as possible. Your spirit will live on in every aspect of my life, your work ethic, your positivity and again, your ability to take advantage of all the opportunities presented. 

You are the definition of a champion. You have championed life, you have conquered negativity and sparked a positive change that will leave a lasting legacy.

Anthony, I love you so much. 

Dane

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25 comments

  • I dont know this kid or have ever heard of him but after reading this it’s like I knew him all his life I am a mother of four and I can just imagine what the family is going through my condolence goes out you all sleep in heavenly peace young man I pray god strengthen the family

    Karesha Henderson
  • Thank you Coach Dane. This is the most meaningful thing I have ever read, and I’m going to keep a copy close by to remind me of what’s important every day. I also want to thank you for being there for Anthony and his family on a daily basis. I know you’ll continue to be a great father, coach, and role model. We need more people like you and Anthony in this world.

    Dave Myers (Anthony's Uncle)
  • What a wonderful letter . Anthony you were an amazing young man . You both touch my heart . What a wonderful tribute to him . Rest In Peace ! Prayers going out to his Family

    Jan Laguidara
  • This young man seems to have had a wise old soul. Peace and comfort to his family moving forward with such a heart wrenching loss. His short life seemed to touch so so many. RIP #25

    Jennifer (football mom)
  • I have not stopped crying since I read of this exceptional young man passing. My 30 year old son is fighting this battle right now. He was diagnosed this May and it is heartbreaking.
    Prayers for his parents and everyone whose lives he touched🙏💕

    Kathie

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