Pushing a sled has pushed me as a person. I have grown deeper and achieved higher than I thought possible because of this crazy sport. And, I have had the honour of inspiring and partnering with others along the way. For me, that’s true gold.
Maybe that sounds cliché. But scribbled on the 5th page of my grade 8 journal (the first of what now is a 20+ volume series of thoughts, prayers, musings and doodles captured in pen and ink) is a giddy prayer about my audacious dream to one day compete at the prestigious Olympic Games. Don’t ask me when and where that dream exactly started. I don’t remember. But by the time I had reached the 8th grade it was there, familiar, deeply ingrained, and already tainted with a grown-up understanding of probability such that in my journal I referred to it as my “silly dream”. It wasn’t logical (dreams rarely are). And I had no idea where or how or if I could do it. But more than anything, deep in my heart I wanted to compete at the Olympic level ...and more than that, I wanted to use that experience to empower others.
Helping and playing on the farm provided me with endless learning opportunities, unique experiences and a strong foundation for athletic strength and coordination. Yet, more than hands-on skills and knowledge, the farm taught me many lessons that still guide me today: As my family cultivated, planted, cared for and harvested crops year after year through the ups and downs of abundance, drought, pests, market swings and weather both good and bad I learned about the value of hard work, the payoff of perseverance, the importance of integrity, the relationship between risk and reward, the power of perspective and so much more!