Returning to being an athlete is not something I expected to do in my mid-twenties. In fact, I had abandoned the thought altogether after I finished high school and continued on to university. Lots of us grew up with hopes and dreams of playing in lit up stadiums, with thousands of fans cheering your team on to victory, but the percentage of individuals who actually have the opportunity to experience that is just all too small.
Growing up my life revolved around competitive sports. To this day, my father still tells stories about times where I went 50 days straight, either playing hockey, soccer, or even both in the same day. Despite my dedication to sports, I was just too small and didn’t quite have what it took to get to the next level. Years later, those dreams faded as friends and other athletes progressed their careers to great heights and I simply fell behind, and eventually, off.
I was never jealous. I was always happy to see their accomplishments and see photos of them “playing in the big leagues” – however, I had always wondered what it would be like to be in their shoes. Learning to leave behind dreams is a difficult but rewarding challenge, as long as you’re able to make the most of it. Changing perspectives offers you the opportunity to go after something new – and that’s precisely what I did.
Fast forward to early 2017 and I found myself back in a position where I was ready for something. I began searching for a change, something I could perform in, and something I could down right sink my teeth into.
And that brings us to bobsleigh. Comprised of rogue athletes built for speed and power, this demanding team sport is the perfect balance of grace and absolute beast mode. It requires athletes that are not just strong, not just fast, but strong, fast, and mentally prepared capable of one heck of a ride. A different kind of animal.
Step-by-step over the past year I have slowly put the necessary blocks in place to tailor both my training and my lifestyle to center around training for bobsleigh, and in time, compete at the national level. The recruitment process is simple but demanding; meet the necessary high-performance evaluation standards and you’ll get an invitation to the National Team testing program in Calgary. Qualifying through the Ottawa camp back in June, I now have an chance to show what I have to make the team.
I am fueled by the feeling of a second chance – an opportunity to perform in a unique space, as a high-performance athlete, that I simply wasn’t able to do in my youth. This is the first of many posts as I embark on a long journey to chase a place on a team, and maybe some hardware in-between. I encourage you to follow, comment, and maybe even be inspired to chase some dreams of your own.
Find your passion, and get after it.