Team Turtle Island
Head Coaching Team Canada Men's Roller Derby was a dream and a challenge and I'm so happy and proud of myself that I did it. It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid to be a part of high level athleticism and this World Cup has been the pinnacle. I've held Provincial titles in fastball, bronze medals in provincial figure skating, was a part of a Jr's World Cup and was on track to go to the Beijing Olympics 2008.
I had hit my ceiling as a ball player and that was a very difficult truth to face. I was in the best shape of my life, and I was struggling to hit the fastballs. I could've double downed and trained and went to Beijing and probably struck out, I had scholarship prospects from some incredible American university's but I was 16/17 and had to make a decision and I chose theatre. I choose theatre.
I had only one moment of regret leaving fastball and it was in my final year at UBC in the BFA program and I was working my ass off, working from 6am-12pm at a coffee shop, classes 12-4 and then rehearsals 6-10pm and I was doing this for 6 days a week.
I had no time to get groceries, so I went to the local pizza by the slice shop on main street, I like getting to know the people at my local businesses and I was shooting the shit with the pizza shop owner as I munched on my veggie pizza and slurped down a diet coke. The manager pointed to the t.v and said "not bad eh?" It was the 2008 Summer Olympics and he was pointing at my friends, the incredible women I spent years shedding blood, sweat and tears with. I watched in silence for a minute, took a deep breath, smiled and said "no, not bad at all" and walked home.
10 years later I'm sitting at the Barcelona airport waiting to hop a plane to Berlin, lovingly reflecting on the wild athletic career I've had. The people I've met, the lessons I've learned, I'm humbled by the teachings of sport. World Cup and our Team took 5th place in the world, I'm a happy camper.
I want to send a heartfelt limelet to my Assistant Coaches Boxcar and Rev for your commitment, support and respect - you two have made this journey so rewarding and special you are remarkable humans.
To the skaters, sechanalyagh for your work and vulnerability, you have truly left it all on the track and I'm so proud of each and everyone of you. It's been an absolute privilege getting to learn from you.
To everyone who liked a post, gave me a high five and supported us, from my ancestors to yours limelet and sechanalyagh, this one now is a gift that lives inside of me and the athletes.
As an Indigenous person, Coaching a "Team Canada" was challenging because I don't really believe in Canada, I think it's just a false oppressive group of systems, it's why I believe Canada has such an identity problem - it just doesn't exist because Canada is a construct. I believe in the Indigenous Nations that have existed on these lands for thousands of years and I took this position knowing these incredible athletes came from all across Turtle Island.
Limelet to the people who worked hard from all across these lands that worked for the person beside them. I believe that we have created a better entity, one we can be proud of to pass on to the next generation of what the team needs.
I say we did not bad eh?
In love and gratitude,