One year later…
Today marks one year since I had the honour of representing Canada in the sport that I love at the London Olympic Games. It is hard to explain the pride that I felt wearing the maple leaf, standing next to my mentor, teammate and good friend Karen, as well as my coach Dave. I was living my dream and loving every second of it with the support of family, friends and an entire country. For that opportunity, for every opportunity I get to represent our country, and for the support that I receive from so many around me, I cannot express enough thanks.
The Olympics have captivated me since I was a young kid- the magic of the opening ceremonies and feeling the athletes’ passion and determination as you watch them on the field of play. For me, the Olympic experience is about more than just sport- it is as much about the journey. It is a physical, mental and emotional experience- a truly human experience. Standing on top of the podium one year ago today was such a powerful moment because of what it represents and I imagine it is different for every athlete.
I am not sure even a year later I can put it into words but I will try to express what that moment truly represented and meant to me.
Stepping on the podium showed me that every experience we have – good, bad, challenging – is necessary and worthwhile. It showed me that each time we fall down, each time we make a mistake, it is not a failure but an opportunity to learn and to grow. It is important to embrace each challenge we face for what it can teach us. It proved to me that as long as I breathe, I have the strength to make it through. It reminded me of the value of the people around me- my anchors – because no matter what happens in life, these anchors never change. To me, this thought was a powerful grounding notion that helped me more than anything else in my journey. Stepping onto the podium proved to me the importance of working with those around me because nobody can do it on their own. It represented every ounce of energy that an entire network of people contributed to get me there. The journey leading into London, I struggled with believing that anything was possible with hard work and perseverance but stepping onto the podium showed me the importance of always believing in the possibility. Even though there is no guarantee when you start down any path, having the courage and willingness to try in a situation where there is no guarantee is worthwhile because along the way, finding and following your passion and loving the journey hold more value than any potential outcome. You never know where a journey will take you but if you enjoy what you do, each and every day, the value of that journey is worth it.
This past year has been a whirlwind filled with experiences and people that I cherish as much as that moment standing on top of the podium- with that, I continue to live my dream. I try to remember this lesson in all parts of life. Going forward, I am excited to be in the gym with that same fire and motivation I felt leading toward London as I train for the Pan Am Games in 2015 and Rio 2016, ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges that go hand-in-hand with that journey.