Today I drove 4.5 hours from Calgary to Tawatinaw.
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I'm here to do some mentoring with the Canadian men's gymnastics team…and perhaps to do a little spying for a big announcement that will be made tomorrow;) Stay tuned!
On my drive here, I had some major flashbacks.
The song Ghetto Superstar brings me right back to the summer of 1998. I was the first of my friends to get my drivers licence and naturally I would pick everyone up on a Saturday night. We'd just cruise around Calgary and laugh our faces off. Six of us would pile into my dad's 1992 periwinkle blue Plymouth Acclaim and blast this song with our arms waving out the window - not a care in the world. That was a magnificent summer and hearing the song today transplanted me right back into that moment.
Smell often induces a flashback moment for me as well. Today I rolled down my window somewhere between Red Deer and Edmonton and I could smell the fresh canola fields. This instantly brought my brain back to being 6 years old and having my summer vacations in Manitoba. I can vividly remember driving to the Shewfelt Farm outside of Basswood and sitting on my Uncle Nelson's lap. He would let me take the steering wheel and drive his truck on the highway and it was the best feeling in the world! The windows were always down, the air was thick and hot, the wind would be blowing and you could smell canola for miles and miles. Ah….
Finally, I had a crazy flashback to 2008. My teammate and friend, Grant Golding, and I drove to Edmonton together for one of our final training camps before the Beijing Games. I could remember the feelings of anticipation and the conversations that Grant and I had almost to the word. We talked about what was going to happen after the Olympics and where life would take us. It's funny to look back on that now because Grant knew he was going to join Cirque and I knew that I wanted to continue speaking and get more involved in broadcasting. I guess the fact that I was driving to a gymnastics training camp today, something I haven't done in quite a while, fuelled this little tid bit of nostalgia. Still, it was weird. It felt like I was on my way to actually train at camp and I had forgotten my grips…but then I had a huge sigh of relief when I realized that I don't have to do a single routine! Not even a backflip if I don't want to:) I'm just here to inspire excellence and to help the team reach their ultimate potential at the Worlds Championships and Olympic Qualifier in October.
It's funny how a smell, a song or even driving a familiar route can immerse you right back into your past. They say that memories can last a lifetime - I sure hope they're right!