I really believe you need to lose.

I learned a lot from today. I had every intention to hit two personal bests today. To say I came up short is a gross understatement. But upon reflection, I’m glad it happened.

I had my first career crash in my first race, a 500m I was set on pace to skate just shy of :46 even (which would have been 3 seconds faster than my previous best 500m). I don’t know exactly what happened. I had a good clean start, but was a little rattled after the starter had to coach me into my start. Nerves got me doing into the back straight, and when I went into my final corner I felt like I was flying. It was great. I lost focus and in a split second ended up on my left side, flying towards the final corner wall. 110m away from my best 500m time, for sure. This in every sense of the word was my greatest skating career failure to date. But who’s up for conventional these days?

I stayed there, motionless for a bit. I was certain my left skate blade was in my hamstring. My right blade was definitely 4″ in the crash wall. After I got up, realized my LuluLemons and race suit stopped the blade from slicing my femoral artery, I had two choices. Sit out the 1000m race later and mope, or dust myself off, forget about it and go out to PR my 1000m. I chose the latter. Well, almost.

I didn’t quite make my Personal Best, and I’m not going to sit around making excuses. I basically came in unprepared for today and took a bail in my first race and had a poor outing on my second. Takeaway this – in times of adversity own the podium, admit your mistakes and learn from them. I don’t believe you can taste success until you know what failure feels like. I don’t want to be here again.

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1. Life’s too short to not always have fun.
2. When it rains, it pours. Especially true when referring to unicorns and other mythical creatures.
3. Slow down. Stop looking for a second, focus positive energy on your goals and whatever you were in such desperate need of will show up right on your doorstep. Or your nutrition consult. Or your training floor. -sigh-

Why we do something is at the fundamental core of whether or not we find success. By that I mean it’s not the action of what we do, but rather the intrinsic motivation behind what we do that will fulfill our happiness.
Here’s how I know.
I’m a Personal Trainer by day, aspiring Olympian by… Uhhh… all other waking hours. At work, in my role as an assistant fitness manager, nutrition coach and trainer I have to wear a few hats. As a skater with my story – I keep a common theme of inspiration through living. Similar to my work role – inspiring others. The audience might change a bit, but my message stays the same. I have a passion to help others find success. I like to tap in to what is important to that person, then give them tools to work with to achieve their goals. These tools can be the gift of fitness, cleaner nutrition, strengthened willpower or even just being a good listener. I do the same with my skating. I go out against all odds, and continues to beat my old self. In doing so, I hope to help inspire even just 1 person to do what they never though was possible.
Now ask me “why?”
Simple. I wouldn’t be here without health and wellness. If I didn’t compete, play hockey, olympic lift and generally keep active I very likely could have been another statistic. Thank you, mom and dad! My why is simply knowing first hand the absolute empowerment one achieves when they find the bravery to command their own health and wellness, or overcome any obstacle for that matter. How did I come to it? Well, short of sounding cliché – it found me.
It’ll find you too if you just keep searching. Know full well that you’re here to enjoy the ride, there’s no pressure to find it tomorrow. It’ll come. You’ll know. It’ll start when you wake up smiling, breathe in the cool winter air, have more intellectual conversations with the lovelies around you, and laugh (for god sakes laughter will damn near cure Cancer) and love both yourself and those around you…. You’ll know. That’s your “why”

As some of you know, I have a passion towards affecting -for the positive- as many people within my circle of influence as possible. My skating career, the background cardiac story, my training career and life just in general has a lot to offer those who might be paying attention. In honour of my passion to provide aide and support, I feel obliged to help influence those that are listening by telling my story and my vast mistakes, victories, challenges and successes in the four year fight towards a pursuit of passion I started when the flip switched in my mind last year.
I’m now documenting my story for real. I’m writing a book. Each chapter representative of a certain theme I come across on this wild ride. I am very excited to share my experiences with anyone that is willing to pick up an autobiography-esque self-help, motivation/mindset theory dialogue. This is My Great Work. Add another piece to the four year puzzle.
Thanks for reading.
MS

I find character a topic that’s very hard to digest. How we handle ourselves in times of adversity, times when we’re out of our comfort zone, times when we’re vulnerable – that’s what true character is derived from. In the past 48 hours, character has been tested in two specific events with two separate very close friend’s of mine. Yesterday, I saw it in sport.

We all go through it as competitors. We beat ourselves up about almost anything. We get into our own heads and then our future performances tend to suffer. Why? Well, my argument is that we allow for negative influences to psychologically stress us out. Allowing ourselves to remain wrapped up in history does nothing good for the now. Can stress kill? Absolutely. If you let it. Channel it for the better and you can actually use it to your advantage. Check this TED talk out. https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend.html

Remember to just go out and have fun. Forget about what you did last night, what you did last week. Approach each race, each training session, every single time you strap on the blades.. approach that as if it were the first and last time you will do it. I think you’ll see better results that way.

The second example I have been a part of was in relationship woes. The more I pursue sport the more I tend to see so many commonalities between the psychology of sport and the psychology of relationships, so this is interesting to me.

We can sometimes be bullied into situations we feel obliged to react a certain way. Sometimes it’s for fear of rejection or acceptance. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. Whatever the case, we are put in a situation that we are coerced into a fight or flight response. No one should ever have to feel as though they were forced into a relationship against their will. Part of that is both parties actually knowing one another, caring for one another and building a foundation of trust, friendship and respect. Ironically enough, I believe my biggest slip in the past 5 years was not doing just exactly that with my previous relationship. You can’t expect to respect each others intentions or care for and empower one another without a basic knowledge of who that person really is on the sofa watching Old School and eating a chicken-veggie rice bowl with you. You just don’t have the rapport. Purely physical relationships do not last.

How’s this play to character? Well, one’s ability to recognize fault, stop spinning her tires and make the necessary adjustments to stand up for herself is an incredible test of character. That’s some hard stuff to pull off. You don’t want to hurt the other person, but you definitely need to get out of the troubles you’re in from a purely selfish perspective. The sooner the better. Have the talk, be caring but firm or you’ll get sold all over again.

Rise up. Bring it.

Dear 2015,

Focus on me. Skating Career. Personal Training Career. Enjoy ten good reads. Subscribe to MensHealth again. Finish my Precision Nutrition. Learn German fluently again. Get German dual citizenship. Place as Top 150 long-track skaters in Canada. See Salt Lake. Skate Salt Lake. Own a road bike. Train with incredible athletes. Surround myself in positivity. Drink more tea. Own a home. Build relationships that strengthen me. Break relationships that weaken me. Continue to PR every race this season. Finalize that divorce. Find someone that truly gets themselves, loves themselves and empowers me to do the same for myself. Make sure they have goals. Big dreams and goals for what they want out of life. Put the cell phone down. Live in the now. Eat more sushi. See a psychologist, for sports and for all that’s happened. Build my team, both at work and at play. Write more. Laugh every day. Live today. Make sure that someone I find laughs at/with me, has a really good time and enjoys random adventures across town equally as much as a deep conversation over a glass of vino. Watch all three Mighty Ducks movies again. Play hockey again. Build my YouTube channel and market my brand. Guest speak 5 lectures on my skating story and the power of mindset. Do a handstand. Learn to box. Be a better brother, son and leader and boyfriend or whatever when that happens. Listen to my friends more. Make time for me. Continue to grow. Grow always. Grow all ways.

Sincerely,

Das

When you’re going through any sort of dilemma or drama in your life, often just the ears and hospitality can flip the switch. Thank you. You don’t even know. The parallels are uncanny and as a good friend told me tonight, everything worth it is worth the time. Same applies to relationships. Invest, share, empower, support and your return will increase tenfold.
They might even make you schnitzel or teach you how to make a bed proper.