I am a hustler. Not the kind that tries to game you or get something from you but the kind that is moving fast and working hard, working smart and centering my needs. I explain it to people using a sports analogy - in baseball the players jog walk onto the field, thats when they move their shoulders a lot to make it look like their running but they are actually just walking. In fast pitch we ran onto the field, sometimes we sprinted - we hustled, I hustle.
I've just finished the 3rd module for the Banff Cultural Leadership program and it's always an intense week of pretty much 12 hour days. It's brilliant but it takes some endurance, we all hustled so hard on this one day checking out cultural institutions and organizations in Tiotia:ke (Montreal) and someone got so tired, they didn't call it - they just took a knee in the middle of the art gallery - like a goddamn football player just so they could keep on hustling in their Artistic Leadership.
I have so much respect for the inaugural cohort in the Banff Cultural Leadership Program - we've got a global level of power and innovation and I've learned so much and I'm so inspired for the generosity and I'm already sad we only have one more module, but I know I have colleagues for life!
We focused on networks and the power and impacts of effectively using and leveraging the networks in your field of the arts - it was fascinating and powerful. It got me thinking a lot about the variety of networks in my life. I've worked pretty hard to give myself a large and diverse portfolio of sectors I've worked or studied in, from politics, youth work, arts admin, amateur sports, theatre and of course my beautiful Indigenous community to whom I live for - those who have been, those who are and those yet to come.
As I exit that journey which is really allowing me to hone my leadership, I move to the edge of one of the most giant and exciting leadership endeavours I've ever taken on and I'm privileged enough to be doing it with some of the finest athletes I've ever worked with - Team Canada Men's Roller Derby. I'm so proud of the work that we've done and I'd like to take a moment to presence the individuals who've been working their butts off to put this all together.
Managers , you have truly made this happen and allowed me to focus on my job - managers get us into the game and I'm so grateful for these powerhouse women making it happen.
H.P Love Crash
I've been incredible fortunate to have world class athletic experience in our Coaching staff. Boxcar and Rev are incredibly smart and team focused individuals whom I'm so excited to step into battle with. We got each others back for sure.
Photog Anja Wettergren who will be capturing each moment thank you!! We know how much the athletes love their photos being taken. ha!
Monster Muffin for making us look slick!!! And to Darrell Thorne from the Cowichan Nation for designing our black jerseys.
Skaters - the team that's going to make it happen I'm so excited for all of you. I'd like to make a special shout out to the Captains Red, Spencer and Mr. T who are the red hot skaters rounding out leadership.
We've worked against some sizeable challenges including the size of turtle island but I have no doubt we will find one another where it matters the most - on the track in Barcelona.
I am a person that sets goals and works to accomplish them and I'm trying to work on taking time to not just critically self reflect on how I could do better but to also celebrate the milestones and the moments of accomplishment. I really want to model that for my athletes.
So here goes - to Team Canada, limelet for believing in me to help lead us, it's been an honour and a privilege to get to know each and every one of you. I'm so excited to see all of you succeed at your goals on and off the track - your success is truly why I Coach. North, East, West - Together is best. Jam by Jam, for the skater beside you and the ones coming next, team is where we will succeed, team is the one belief.
This one goes out to all the hustlers out there, and safe travels to all the athletes and team staff en route to the 2018 Men's Roller Derby World Cup in Barcelona. Aaaaand to all the family members and partners who support us in this wild and crazy sport.
And a special sechanalyagh and limelet to my Mom and Dad for being the ones who have always believed in me as an athlete, artist and leader. For holding me accountable to work towards excellence, any good I do is because of you both.
In love, sport and leadership,
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming "wow"! What a ride."
- Hunter S. Thompson