I could be long boarding across Canada, cross country skiing the Alpine, rock climbing glaciers. Whatever. I chose skating because it is fun, it’s a super awesome new challenge and am so passionate. The blades are the mode of transport of the whole thing. It could have been any of the above. Those are just the mediums to get the point across.
This is for you! I am doing this all for you! To push beyond your greatest fears…. That’s not just athletic achievements. It’s about not holding grudges from the past (no matter how dark it is). It’s about moving on, wanting to be something or someone more than you are right now!
It’s about

communication

These whole past 72 hours of a nightmare have seen me up and down quite a bit, but I am okay. I have always been an open book, and I am okay.
To Christy: I’m not sure for how long I was being “tested”, but I can tell you if half of the effort from these tests was put into yourself, the relationship wouldn’t be in shambles and it’d then be more valuable to put the remaining half effort into the fail(ing/ed) marriage.
Of course my pursuit of passion was directly geared towards the one person that up until Friday night had me convinced that she was my biggest fan. My best friend. My love. How else could I have done it? You immediately put up a wall when we tried talking about hopes, dreams and aspirations… All of that. Maybe if you saw me inspire someone else to be able to push beyond their deepest fear you would believe that you could too?

Then I quite literally watched everything I had worked together for in the past 5 years, get up, turn her back on reality, open her door, close ours and walk away. No discussion. All planned. I was mid sentence “could we talk about things..?” And anxiety, shock, bewilderment- you name it. I’ve never felt it before and will never allow myself to be put in a situation to feel it again. I never wish anyone, friend or foe to feel that.
The blades are still my vehicle. At the molecular level I am number one, and it is still my dream to inspire someone past their own insecurities and greatest fears. You need to have a purpose in life, a dream or aspiration. Something worth fighting for. I am sorry we were not that for you, but whatever it is, maybe walking away from us was the first step in your healing. It just really hurts to be treated like that, but for the sake of your wellness

I’m okay.

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I would love another chest MRI tomorrow. Maybe the imaging would pick this mess up and explain the mystery of my last 8 hours. I feel like I’m about to wake up from this nightmare. Adversity. Character. It’s times like these you learn to live again.

This is not a pity party. Nor is it an excuse to hang the blades up. Do I feel used? Do I feel abandoned? Yeah, absolutely. But I am in charge of nothing more than my reaction to every given situation I’m faced with. It’s all fresh. I have went from absolute terror, to hysterics, to chills, to empty, faceless overwhelming pain. I have never been hurt like this before and I am so goddamn lucky to have my family and true friends to help pick me up. Thank you Mom, Dad, Natalie Sean, and Joel.
This will be the biggest challenge yet. Never mind 2018. That’s tangible. You can’t touch or feel this kind of emptiness. This kind of loss when you are walked out on, literally moments after you spent hours picking up others’ spirits, raving about your affection and mutual love and respect is totally incomprehensible.
I can bury myself in self hate and regret and focus on what I did or didn’t do or I can remember why Rafiki is on my calf. This is not the first time I’ve had the wool over my eyes. I will rise up. I will be. Me.

I’ve heard it before, lived it today.

The body is capable of just about anything; your mind is the one that needs convincing.

I’m now spin flushing the lactic acid built up from the what shouldn’t have been so taxing on my body as it was Sunday ice program. Until this morning, I wasn’t even sure if I would take the ice today. I had a really poor performance last Thursday on ice, and must admit I was questioning myself; why I was putting myself through this hell, and why I wasn’t just sitting at home playing NHL 15 on the PS3.
Then I read some material from a “colleague” – Alec Janssens, Canadian Long Track Speed Skater and hopefully a friend and mentor sometime down the road. This guy exudes performance. In a nutshell, he could excel at rowing or speed skating at a world class level. However, his love of the sport on ice keeps him turning left through the gruelling training, lactic acid and all the rest.
That’s what kept me going today. I felt what he describes as the “slingshot” out of the corners today. It was surreal.
I can’t wait for my next ice session. Knee or not, mind is checked in. That’s the important part.

I know I will take some heat about my position in the sport. How I may be “Longshot v. 2.0″… How I’m really not that good, and people may make a big fuss about what this story really is all about. My point is exactly that, though. I understand I’m not in contention this year. Nor next. I’m still learning the sport. It’s going to take practice. Perfect practice. And a lot of patience from everyone involved. But it’s a step process to achieve goals, my friends. Just wait when years down the road we all look back on these early days and go ” I’m glad he didn’t quit” (even though I’m sure some folks think I should…).

Today I could have performed better. I could use the excuse of injury, the rust, the fact that it was my 3rd and 4th career race respectively… I could use any of that. Plain and simple though, I could have skated faster.
Just me saying that affirms in my mind that I am in the right sport. If I were happy with my results it’d be really easy to pack it up. If you don’t give 110% it’s quite simple to say, “oh yeah, no I didn’t put it all in..” It’s easy to walk away.
I’m not about that. Even though I set two personal bests today, I am not satisfied with my times at all and have already looked at the tape to improve upon my times at CAN-AM’s. The biggest challenge for me is remembering that speed skating is about me versus the clock. Me versus the last time blades hit the ice. Inch by inch. Step by step. Four years, man.

Cowboy handshake, right? Deal is done. Judgement of character. Both sides get it. Best deal is the Fair deal. This is how I was raised. A good deal is a fair deal. Well – I’m revved up right now… And I shouldn’t be. Have you ever been completely randomly attacked, over social media of all things…. By someone you’ve never actually met??? Crazy, I know. But when some lowly prick out of nowhere makes comment on a topic that is clearly out of his realm, in hopes of what exactly, I don’t know….A reaction, fuel for self-loathing tendencies. Just a bully move…? God only knows. What a piece of work…. That. Just. Happened.

Take this home, kids. Be a role model for the life you want others to lead. If you need to tear others down in order to build yourself up, you’re going about it all the wrong ways. If you want your angst-ridden, pregnant daughter to grow up and make good decisions, you should be on the forefront about the decisions you make. If you want to defend him like the sun you never had…. If you want to accuse me of not “having a life” because the one I have is seven times what you could have had.. Then that’s your prerogative. Pick your battles. If you hope for another family to embrace yours, dysfunction and all, you’d better not try to make war with the allies. Give your head a shake, and don’t think I will let it slide.
I don’t do well with being made to look like a fool. Assassination of character doesn’t fly here, man. Get real.

Tonight marks a huge personal accomplishment for me in my skating. I was able to complete 4 sets of 8 laps in just under one hour. For those like me and can’t math – that’s just shy of 13km. Having just come off a fairly lengthy and super frustrating injury to my ITB almost all of the month of October, I’m very happy to have been able to finish the 4th set as strong as the 1st tonight.

It’s not always about the grand scale of things. Let’s be honest. I’m not anywhere close to national form. I will be. But not overnight. Not in a year. Sometimes the satisfaction of getting over the little hurdles on the way are just the kick you need to remember why you are doing what you are. Physically and arguably even more importantly psychologically I am back in the right place to keep on keeping on. And I gotta tell ya – that feels fricken’ awesome.
Now to roll out and spin flush….

Work on your glute med recruitment the next time you’re on the slide board. Push. Single leg squat. Then fall through the push back with your hips. Spend time on each leg. Get comfy in the straights on one foot before you push back. Don’t short change the recovery foot. Don’t rush. Stop thinking. Just skate.
Things I’ll take home from tonight, coach.
Thank you.