Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

To be a gymnast...

I got a note from a young gymnast who quit a year and a half ago, but is considering a comeback. He asked for my advice. Below is what I wrote to him. 

This is what it takes to be a gymnast:

Here's the deal - it requires a lot of effort, passion and love of the sport to be a gymnast. You have to be physically tough, mentally tough and be great with time management. There is no shortcut to the top. You have to show up everyday and pull the most out of yourself. You have to do it when you are tired, sore, injured and bleeding. You have to do the hard things even when you don't want to. That's the hardest part. 

I would say it's the sport that takes the most time and dedication. You don't get days off - even when you have a day off, you need to live the lifestyle of a gymnast.

So, I'll ask you this: Why do you want to return to gym? Is it because you miss it or is it because you know you have unfinished business and you are ready to commit to being great. You have to really want it to make it worthwhile. I've seen a lot of guys quit and then want to come back after a year and a half because they realize that something feels missing without being in the gym. What you are feeling is normal - I urge you to search really deep for the reason WHY. That will tell you a lot.

I hope that this resonates with him. I hope he is able to find the WHY and to make a decision that is the right one for him.

Good luck.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Hall of Fame Induction - 2011

One year has passed since I had the incredible honour of being inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Since that induction ceremony, I have been to the Hall on numerous occasions for various events and it's an amazing venue to explore the wonders of sport. Each time I go, I discover something new and I am always humbled to know that my gymnastics legacy will be preserved and celebrated. 

When you are inducted into the Hall, you get a snazzy suit jacket encrusted with the Hall of Fame logo. It makes you feel like you are joining some exclusive club and that you are being weaved into the fabric of Canadian Sport history. Unfortunately, the jacket doesn't get worn too often (quite frankly, it doesn't match any of my outfits), but last night was an exception…

November 8th, 2011 marked the 2011 edition of the induction ceremony. Kristin and I attended the dinner and it was inspiring. 

The newest honoured members into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame are:

Ray Bourque - Hockey
Andrea Neil - Soccer
Lui Passaglia - Football
Lauren Woolstencroft - Para-Alpine Skiing
Peter Reid - Ironman
Dick Pound - Builder

2 quick stories:

1. I went to elementary school with Lauren at Queen Elizabeth and we were in the same class. I remember one day when she showed up to school and she was about 5 inches taller. She had been to her doctor and they had outfitted her for new legs! She walked a little taller that day…

2. I thought that Peter Reid's speech last night was the best of the bunch. He spoke about how he was never a super talented athlete, but he had incredible work ethic. He got into triathlon because his buddy was too scared to do one alone. He did a few, but wasn't super passionate about the sport and decided to stop. Then he was at home for a family get-together and he was talking to his mom about how he felt like he had left something on the table - he hadn't given his triathlon career 100%. She told him that she never wanted any of her kids to feel regret in their lives and she encouraged him to give it one last shot. He moved to Victoria, started working with a coach and committed 100% to the plan. Next thing he knew, he was winning triathlons and then half Ironmans. And then he became a 3 time World Ironman Champ. Not too shabby ;) 

The moral of the story was: When you have a plan and fully commit to it, goals become achievable. Work ethic is more valuable than talent any day.

This resonated with me and made me feel a spark inside. Who knows, maybe an Ironman is in my future? Anything is possible. Thanks Peter! One quick question though: how and when do you eat while doing an Ironman? I've never fully understood…

Congratulations to the class of 2011. Welcome to the Hall!


Friday, November 04, 2011

Gold Medal Plates

Photo © @JesseLumsden28

Last night I was in Edmonton for Gold Medal Plates - an annual gala fundraiser for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

I, of course, did my customary handstand on stage. Always a good party trick that helps sell auction packages! Last week I attended the event in Calgary and I didn't have as much success holding it - in fact, I think I was about 2 glasses of wine over "handstand" holding capacity ;)

I am super excited that I will be traveling to Napa Valley in California in April, along with Alex Bilodeau and Colin James, to host a group of guests from these GMP events. It is going to be an amazing trip where we will drink lots of wine, go on some amazing runs and relax in the California sunshine!

Thanks to everyone for coming out last night and congratulations to the all of the chefs on some incredible food!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Finally, after months of tedious work, I have a new website!

Please check out and let me know what you think ;)