“Rising Tides Lifts all Boats” … what does that mean? To me, it is a slow, progressive build to the height. Now that there is 10 years of distance between the height of my sailing career, the Olympic Games, and today this quote means more than ever.
Every day during my Olympic journey, 2001 to 2008, I woke up with excitement and energy knowing that what I did that day was going to make me little better than I was the day before. I looked forward to the jet lag when we came back from Europe since that meant I could get to the gym earlier with no reason for an alarm clock and no waiting to get on cardio machines! My health and fitness were a priority. I networked to raise money and awareness for our team with abandon. We had over 600 followers to an e-newsletter in 2008 before Instagram and twitter. We did so well on the first day of the Games that we were a highlight on prime time TV!
It was not all sunshine and glory though. We did not qualify for the 2004 Games which was the first goal. My team wanted to move on with their lives to marriage and to have children. I did a lot of soul searching and talked to a lot of other athletes trying to decide whether I would try again. I would be 40 by the time the next Olympics came around so there was a lot to consider. During this time, I was amazed to find who fell into my path. Athletes from many different sports who I had known but not seen for years, I bumped into in those few key months. The universe was trying to tell me something for sure!
Enjoying the Journey
Everyone had their own perspective from their own experience but the one that sealed the next 4 years for me was a two-time Olympic Sailor who I had known for a very long time. He advised – if I was only going to commit to another four years just in the hope that I would qualify the two weeks of the Olympic Games, then it is not worth it. BUT if you loved the journey, the training, the experience, love that you get out of bed every morning with the goal of becoming a better today than you were yesterday then absolutely go for it!
So I did.
Bought a new boat, rebuilt the team, worked with many coaches sailed with 5 different team mates until we found magic. We knew it within 10 minutes of being on the water together that this was different. This was fun. This was our team. This was worth the 4 years. The goal was achieved to represent Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
My thoughts were echoed by one of my Olympic crew recently. She said it was easy to go to the gym, eat well, work a job and sail since it was focused towards achieving a singular goal that was present in everything we did. Taking care of yourself was a priority. Becoming better every day was just a part of what we did both when we were together and apart.
Doing all of that when you are just living life, putting time in, is a lot harder.
10 Years Later
Through these past 10 years, I have been searching for that same feeling which I know cannot be duplicated but hoped could be redefined with the right path. Just putting time in and going through the motions of life was not fulfilling and not the life I wanted to live.
Just so you know, I have done a lot over the past 10 years. Had two really good corporate jobs – both paid well but did not inspire me to be better every day. I actually hid my Olympic past since there was no place for that type of excellence in corporate politics – don’t be too successful or you are a threat. Been on three volunteer boards, traveled, acquired new certifications, taken courses to become a broadcaster, been involved in a book project. Lots!
However, nothing has been as inspiring as becoming an entrepreneur! Knowing that what I do every day moves my business forward and it becomes better every day. My business is an extension of my why and my passion is sharing it with others. To inspire people to motivate themselves to become better every day and live their most fulfilled life. It is a journey with all the emotions that go along with a journey.
Join me on this journey of becoming better every day. It takes time, but it is worth it!