It could be argued that a childless David Mundy would have reached his 350-game milestone a week ago.
In the latest episode of Old Bull, Young Buck, Mundy spoke at length about the mostly positive impact his family has had on his 349-game career to date.
But he also recounted one downside, when a bike accident in December 2019 saw him sidelined for the first half of 2020 with an ankle injury.
While it would be wrong to call it a silver lining, the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic meant Mundy missed only one game and was fit to return when the season resumed three months later.
“I've been incredibly lucky that I haven't had any big impact injuries, bones or joints or anything - aside from the bike (incident),” Mundy said.
“I was riding my bike with my two boys (Finn and Hudson) down near Point Walter and we're going at a pretty good clip down a hill.
“What happened is what I feel like always happens. The boys started racing each other, fighting, pushing each other as they're riding and there's a huge stack right in front of me.
“I had a split second decision…do I run my children over or swerve and avoid them?”
Mundy joked that he made a mistake in hindsight.
“I've made the ‘wrong’ choice to try to avoid my children and let them survive and I've just stacked it and come off my bike,” Mundy said.
“In that process, somehow, I flipped over the handlebars and the outside of my ankle bone has come back down on the main gear wheel at the front of the bike.
“We had a scan and (it showed) it was cracking.”
Outside of that incident, Mundy said his kids’ love of all things sport has helped him both mentally and physically with his football.
He said Hudson was particularly obsessed with footy.
“The school oval is around the corner from our place and one end should be renamed the Hudson Mundy End because we're always down there having some shots at goal,” Mundy said.
“There's been numerous times where I've been at the oval kicking the footy with him and in my mind it's like, ‘oh, this is too many. I need to stop kicking’ so I'll start giving the big hand balls because my legs were a bit sore.
“The last couple of years, I've been watching a lot more football than I had previously…Hudson just loves footy and he’ll sit down and watch games with me all the time, so that’s really good.”
After signing a one-year contract extension in the week of his 36th birthday, Mundy is set to become the first 37-year-old to represent Fremantle if he plays every game of the 2022 season.
He said that his kids’ active lifestyle was key to his own recovery.
“We're always out and about, doing things and trying to occupy the children,” Mundy said.
“I certainly think that helps, particularly in the last couple of years and (especially) after games.
“Often you're really sore and lethargic and the easiest thing to do is to sit down and just wallow in it a bit. To have an active family and an active lifestyle has really helped.”
Mundy’s eldest son Finn is now playing competitive football for the Attadale Bombers and Mundy has been getting involved with his games, either as a goal umpire or supporting on the sidelines.
He spoke about how he helped Finn through a tough game at the weekend.
“I absolutely loved getting down to Finn's and Huddy's sport in particular,” Mundy said.
“Finn had a tough day on Sunday morning at Piara Waters Pavilion, it was freezing cold and belting down with rain and he's got no ounce of fat on him, he’s a tiny little fellow.
“He's stationed at full forward with not much action in the first half. He hasn't got much of the footy, he hasn't run around much and at halftime he's come off and his lips are literally blue, he's shaking uncontrollably. I've ripped off my jumper and my jacket and put it around him.
"I was saying, ‘you'll be right mate, you've just got to keep going, run around and try your hardest’ and I felt so sorry for him. It was such a hard day for all the kids.
“Finn went into the midfield in the third quarter, his first contest he got kicked in the leg and he's dragging his leg around, so I just called him off and sat on the bench with him with my jumper and jacket around him for the quarter.
“They just had their cross country at the end of last term and he did pretty well in that, so I was just talking to him about how much of a great runner he is - just run around and get warm and you'll be fine.
“So he went back on in the last quarter and he got a bit of footy and he really enjoyed it. When he came off we had a huge warm milo for him to smash down.”
To Mundy, this process is just continuing the cycle that his parents started in country Victoria.
“I'm more cognisant of how much time was put in from different people, Mum, Dad in particular, they drove me around country Victoria, for training sessions and clinics and camps and games and things like that,” Mundy said.
“Now I’m a parent myself, I’m understanding how much time and effort, particularly my Dad put in, after working all day and coming home to me pestering him about wanting to have a kick out the front – now I’m going through those challenges myself with my boys.
“It's being more thankful for that time and being raised in a family environment with that much care, love and support. That’s ongoing and I'm really thankful and really fortunate.”