Allian

Family Matters

Have you ever worked with your family? My family’s lively hood is based on working together and it makes for an interesting dynamic.  I swear that we could get our own TV show from all the shenanigans. 

The past few days have especially been exciting.  The gym I work out at in Toronto is no more and Gary, my dad, found this most advantageous.  Through special circumstances all the equipment in the closed gym was purchased and had to be moved to the new space in G&G Installation’s building. 

It all started on Monday, I went into former ATP for a workout and was met there by the whole gang, Mom, Dad, and Brother.  They were working the deal and taking inventory, which seemingly was irrelevant because they took everything, and I was there to do the last workout in that gym.  The deal was done and in the middle of my set and I noticed my Bro and dad were already ripping out the special flooring in the other room.  Before I was finished six helpers were loading dumb bells into a van.  I got into the packing action too, adding to the workout I just had. 

A prior commitment kept me busy for that night but the next afternoon I met the crew in the new space.  I was surprised to see the mirrors and floor already installed and a lot of equipment to be set up.  Apparently I arrived just in time to start unloading what remained in; 2 vans, 2 suburbans, a cube van, and a full size closed trailer. Everyone was in full swing. 

Dad was directing, Mom designing the space, my Bro literally throwing things out of the vehicles.  Me, I was the floater, helping where ever they needed me; washing windows, carrying stuff, sweeping ,etc.  As easy it as it sounds on paper it’s never that smooth in reality.  There were really three bosses instructing associates who were slaving away to create this gym.  Some yelling happened, miscommunications, and a lot of confusion.  Never the less, we did it and within 48 hours we fully tore apart a whole gym and reassembled it to make a beautiful place.  Surprisingly only few sustained an injury. 
 I had my first workout there today, it felt great to be in the new GYT Fit private gym.  Thanks to all who helped put it all together :)

It was a great reminder that when it needs to happen I have a family who can be counted on even when things are on the line and last minute.  I can’t forget about all of the other awesome people who are always there for us too, yes Jenna, Derek, and Dan that’s for you, sorry if I missed anyone.  When the bat light goes out these people really step up to the plate. 

Although working with family has it challenges the benefits are worth it.  I guess it helps when your family has been doing it for over 60 years!

     

The Quebec World Cup

Getting to Quebecwas a little crazy.  First was the flight from Denver to Toronto, which was the best part of the trip.  We upgraded to First Class and it was great.  Truly a more civilized way to travel, being fed and lots of moving around room is the way to go.  Thank goodness I had upgrade credits that needed using.


We arrived at Pearson airport on time but it always takes so long to get luggage, plus clearing customs, we ended up spending an hour in the air port.  This was not good because coach made the decided to drive to Montrealthat night so we could hit up the first day of practice. 

Once all was said and done, eating and saying hello to the parents, it was already 7pm, we had a 515km drive a head of us and I knew my Aunt would be waiting for us to arrive.  We needed to get to Montrealquick. 

The 401 highway was our main route and about 40kms in to the trip the speedometer went out, so I had to drive according to RPMs.  I am used to this because of my boat training; sometimes the speedos didn’t work well on the boats, so you would do what you can.  Driving fast, I was driving with my head on a swivel.  Lady luck was on my side and I made it safely to my Aunts in less than 5 hours. 

The next morning there was practice at the resort, Stoneham, at 10am, and we were still 280kms away.  Roberto drove the rest of the way while I got some sleep so I would have some energy for the 3 hour practice I would have to ensue and perform in. 

We made it and were on course, with accreditation and bibs, by 11:45am.  Phew! I was a bit surprised to have such good practice.  I thought I was going to just do straight airs but I was able to pull it together and get my run down a couple of times.

It was also great to see good friends at the top of the pipe.  I have slowly befriended Chinese rider Xuetong through her coach, my friend, Christopher Clark.  “tong tong’ is her nickname on their team and she’s always smiling and high-fiving when we meet up.  Her and ‘crazy Dr. Loo’ are very patient with teaching me Mandarin, it’s taken me a while to learn ‘how are you’ and ‘I am fine’.  It’s much different from the Japanese that I have learnt in the past, and I have troubles with the intonation, but I am happy to try.   

Coach and I were relieved to finally get checked into the hotel, unpack, eat, and catch some Z’s. 

Tuesday’s practice when very well, with the sun shining and pipe having a much better shape, I practiced various runs with ease, and I could feel the energy building for the contest.  That night I had a meeting with Bob Palmer  to get my mental game up too.  It was great, and I was fired up.

The late morning of Wednesday was a snowy one with light fog in the half, the men rode first and there ended up being a half foot of sugar snow in the bottom.  Neither of this mattered to me because I was so in the ‘zone’.  It’s hard for me to describe to you exactly what happened or what I was doing because it was almost dream like.  I was on auto pilot that morning.  I did my runs and nothing else mattered.  This is what the ‘zone’ is like.  I didn’t even notice anyone else’s runs…I leave that up to my coach.  At least I got that right that day; that I definitely found the sweet spot in the zone. 

When I reached the bottom of the pipe I heard from the announcements that I had made semi finals and I was so stoked.  On to twitter I went telling everyone about my accomplishment.  I had made it though…or so I thought I did. 

Later that night, after preparing all evening, I received a call from Canada Snowboard telling me there had been a tabulation mistake and I actually missed finals by a point and a half.  I was SO BROKEN!!

Just heartbroken with this news! I was in the dumps.  My balloon had been totally deflated.  This contest meant a lot to me, and this mishap made me feel as though I was on the brink of quitting.  I know a lot of people envy what I do, but I also envy what everyday people get to do too.  Life is way easier to punch a clock, get a steady paycheque, and sleep in your own familiar bed every day.  There is so much ambiguity in my life that at times it drives me crazy and the people around me crazy.      

So, with all that happening I am lucky I have the support of some great people in my life.  My Mom and coach who help keep things in perspective; friends who make time for me when I am around and fully understand when I need to work.  I get a lot of love from these people.  At least how I live helps separates the real from the fluff.  No matter what the result of the contest I know I am always winning at life with these people around me.  There will be more contests and it’s a build to greatness.  It is a hard road, but would be much harder alone.