I just had a brief “aha” as I was perusing through my social media feeds…

Authenticity.

Is it today’s overused catchphrase. A trend? Or can we still milk some sort of value amidst the shadows of hashtags, followers, filters, overproduced content and the need for the dopamine hits that result from that pesky like button.

Do you agree with me? Listen in here. “Authenticity”

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Whether it’s business, personal or athletic my endeavours are intrinsically motivated. I would encourage you to take that type of attitude the next time you’re thinking – “Is it worth it?”
My greatest fulfillment comes from the collaboration of a greater unit – be it a team, a family, or a network of strong individuals in the workplace. Now, it’s very helpful to have a team of absolute thoroughbreds; top class individuals. However, when the team is pulling in anything but the exact same direction, a new challenge is presented. Much potential. Lack of unification. Less results.
How do we solve this dilemma?
When the team of thoroughbreds come together and pull the chariot in a unified fashion, the driver of that chariot is much better prepared to overcome adversity. They have a team, fully bought in and ready to do what it takes to pull the chariot into glory.
All we need is a catalyst to change that mindset of the team, one horse at a time.

So as I sit here ready for my new Bont Vaypor boots to come out of the oven at the Olympic Oval, in Calgary… My home away from home… I’ve had a bit of time. Time to think and to listen. There’s an underground buzz, people talking, talking bout people. Notably me. I’ve been dubbed the next “longshot” – if you’re unfamiliar go read up on “Longtrack Longshot” Kevin Jagger.
While I’m not surprised or offended at all, I do want to set myself apart from that stigma.
There’s a negative connotation amongst the skating community for reasons that may or may not be amplified… Who knows… I wasn’t there. I’m just here to do my thing, communicate my story and quite honestly, skate.
If I can inspire one person to pursue something they have been putting off, or give hope to one family that might be in a similar situation to where my family was, mission accomplished.
It’s a darkhorse story. But it’s all about the journey… You coming along for the ride?

To be the best that you can be is paramount to success. To  be the best it comes down to two undeniable parts:

  1. Attaining the highest quality resources in training and performance; and
  2. The pursuit of passion

To sit here and write on which one is more important would be taxing and not an effective use of my time. They both clearly go hand in hand. I am going to write about the third, not so talked about key, support and belief.

This dream of mine Pyeong Chang, 2018 started as a fun idea that’d at the very least, increase my fitness into a whole new world. It’s seen a few smaller transformations as the months have gone on and this has provided me with a real reason as to “why” I am indeed following through and “what” it exactly is that I am pursuing.

It’s two-fold though – my dream is both tangible and intangible. I can touch, feel, live, smell and hear all the awesome that will come with winning races, making personal records and breaking them, training hard and skating fast. In my head that encompasses the tangible wins that translate to success. However, the intangibles are the reasons I can’t feel. Like the testing theory of overcoming physical barriers that I have always tried to break free of. This time, I’m doing it right. Not in a rebellious fashion but for the positive. Bringing awareness and hope to others in similar confining circumstances, be it physical limitations, psychological barriers or otherwise. Anything can be done, and I’m setting myself out there to prove this theory. It’s about damn time I give back to the folks that have helped me get to where I am today.

That brings me to my point; support.

Support is the third and most underrated key to success. The darkhorse, if you will…. No matter how hard I train, how great my equipment or coach or training is, no matter how much I develop my skills – none of that matters if I do not have the support of the fine folks around me.

That positive reinforcement and encouragement is sometimes all you need to truly understand you’re doing the right thing. And it doesn’t have to be constant. I have recently experienced little pumps of confidence in my journey from friends and family. They don’t even realize the power of their words or actions, but it really helps fuel my dream and put into perspective the “why” of this 4 year dream. I already feel successful and this ride has just begun.

I can’t wait to share my story with anyone that’ll listen. Here we go SOKO 2018 – dasDarkhorse

No matter how hard your train, how much you focus on strategy, skill, coordination… No matter how many times you roll through the movements, excite the race in your mind and envision winning.
No amount of training can fully prepare you for the competition. Embrace the nerves. Go out and be.

Why do we try to be everything to everyone?

As I sit here basking in the nostalgia of Everclear’s “So Much For The Afterglow” – one of the first albums I ever bought on my own, I am finding myself lost in the simpleness of imperfection. I don’t think the social code of modern times really caters towards imperfection. When I say this I really mean folks should be okay with making mistakes. It’s part of our code in how we learn for the better.

One of my heroes in the business and philanthropy world and frankly one of my most favourite human beings – Mr. W Brett Wilson keeps this mantra. In fact his book “Redefining Success: And Still Making Mistakes” takes this theory to the next level. You should read it! I really admire that man for everything he has been through, good and bad and his ability to not expect a certain outcome or result. He is clearly comfortable in his element and therefore has found incredible amounts of success, first in his professional life albeit with the sacrifice of his personal life and heath. Thankfully, he figured it out and has since got everything back on track. Not to spoil the book or anything, I’m just a really big fan of perseverance…. and apparently tangents…

Essentially what I am getting at is that we as humans are meant to make mistakes and be imperfect. It’s a uniqueness that we all have and should embrace. However cliche it may seem, we need to fail in order to find true success. You may have heard it before, but you don’t really know what it is like to win, until you have lost. And that is true heart.

The heart of a champion is one that has seen defeat. Some times repeated defeat. The difference in the heart of a champion is that it knows no rest. It will kick and kick and pump and pump and try again. Backwards or not. Against all odds. The heart will persevere.

How do we apply this positively to our lives now, though? Well in a world so caught up in social standards, I can understand where this becomes puzzling. I too, struggle at times with just being okay with the outcome. There’s so much pressure to climb the corporate ladder. Achieve the greatest amount of success. Provide for yourself and your family. But don’t do it that way! You need to do things this way. In the right order.

You know what? I am running on a theory I’ve had in my entire sports career. The more we build up the pressure to win, the pressure on having a perfect game, making the perfect play, perfecting our routine….. The more we fixate on that perfectly perfect rationale…. the more we lose sight of the actual outcome. We get pigeon-holed and subsequently stuck in the fear of losing and we ultimately choke. Look at any underdog. Why do you think the power of the people back the underdog in most cases? Everyone loves a good underdog story. Heck, I’m one of them! Even my story is one of them! If you’re reading this, you are likely just like me in that regard. But why?

There’s a good chance that the ones without the fear of losing will out perform the favourites. There’s nothing to lose, right? Just go out and have fun. Why doesn’t the same theory apply in all aspects of life?

I think for the sake of being cool with oneself in a given situation, knowledge of the proposed outcome limits our ability to succeed. I say just role with it. We are only in control of how we handle experiences at the end of the day anyways, right? Being okay with imperfection will slowly build character, integrity and a long withstanding respect. Example – I think it says a lot about the professional athlete that bifs as they step out on to the ice and has enough wit and humility to shake it off and understand that they alike the rest of us will make mistakes. Sometimes juvenile and silly mistakes. To me, that just adds to the appeal and is something I stand deeply for in truly understanding myself and being okay with where I am at as me. I want to strive for that. That to me is perpetually learning. That to me is unbound success. No comparisons. No judgement. Just continuing down my path, one step (or stride!) at a time.

Thank you for listening.

You can’t talk your way out of things you behave yourself into.

– Stephen Covey

How applicable.

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