I was lucky enough to be present at the very first RBC Training Ground at the Richmond Oval a couple years ago. I was stunned by the amount of athletes that had showed up to test their skills. RBC Training ground has always had the same purpose, to identify and support the next generation of high performance athletes in Canada.
I remember at the first event while the kids sat in the bleachers, having finished their tests, patiently awaiting their results. They listened to RBC Olympian Scott Dickens and myself fill the time, by sharing our Olympic and athletic career stories as the results were tallied.
Scott is a swimmer and I’m a snowboarder, we shared our storied realizing how different winter and summer sports are. I will always remember one thing Scott said that stuck with me. We as athletes usually have to sacrifice a lot to do what we do but Scott had an alternative way at looking at it, what he did was a choice, not a sacrifice. That one word choice got me thinking. Scott was totally right, what we do is a choice, these kids chose to come here today and push their limits, yes they may have sacrificed a day out of their weekend, but that sacrifice was a choice.
In life, I find we’re always trying to come up with an answer to the next question, we don’t always listen to the person talking right in front of us. I learn so much from others just by listening to their stories, not trying to come up with a better story, just listening. Everyone has a story, everyone can be a mentor in some way. This day Scott and the kids at the event became my mentors.
I watched how much the next gen kids put into their testing, I listened to Scotts stories and realized I have a choice to make. Thanks to every opportunity and choice I’ve made, it’s almost a month away from the Winter Olympics and here I am again, fighting for my spot on the team.