Never Give Up.

This blog is my first entry for themotivenation.ca

This website is one that Erin has created to help motivate the world.  It is where she will have monthly features on different ‘motivators’.  She will help tell their stories and share a quote that the live by. Then by those words, she will create many different avenues for their quote to inspire others, and the truth behind why they do that for them.

For example, starting September, she will doing her first feature piece on Benoit Huot who is a 19 time Canadian Para Olympian Medalist and whose quote is “Never Give Up.”

My part in this project, is to take their quote, and help share stories that bring out the power of those words.

So, without further adieu …

NEVER GIVE UP.

As an almost 10 year Professional Athlete aka veteran, I can understand those words. I can understand the weight that comes with them. The tears that come so quickly to the surface as I think of moments where I almost gave up, where I thought there was no way I could possibly keep going.

However, that is not what comes to my mind now.

All I can think of is the last 4 month, as a wife, to a 4 time World Cup participant and 2 time Olympian who has just had her third Olympics taken away from her due to a 3rd ACL.

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A third ACL injury, where she actually played through it to help her team qualify for the Olympics.

Yep, you read it right! Erin McLeod, Canada’s #1 keeper, played through a qualifying tournament without an ACL. Not only the game vs Coast Rica, where they won, but also a Cup Game and ten minutes of a quarter finals match in Champions League.

How do I know this?!

Well as her mother and I sat in the waiting room in Malmo, to hear how her surgery went, the doctor came out to ask us when exactly did she think she tore it? He asked that because the greatest damage of her ACL, that he found,was not from 3 weeks before from the Champions League game. He said the damage would have been from a month or two before, or even a couple months before that. (The CL game was just the final push on her knee)

I won’t even even get into details how she was asked to play with it wrapped up! Yeah I know it sounds nuts, but that could have been an answer to get her through the Olympics, but ultimately that would be (most likely) ending her career.

So, like I said, never give up.

My wife made the decision to do just that.

She chose faith. She chose a path where the pain would be unimaginable, not only from the surgery but all the other thorns that come with it. She chose the decision which would allow her to continue on this crazy journey of chasing her dream. That has so many unknowns, sacrifices, defeats, but also joy, courage, honour, and fight.

So here she is, almost 4 months into her ten month rehab process, and trying to find her way. Trying to find her way while the team she has called her “family,” (for 15 years) is playing in the Olympics. A team, where she has sacrificed everything, to become a medal contender.

The best way I can explain it, from the outside, is like coming up with all the pieces of an app like ‘Twitter’ and then a couple months before you launch it, this million/billion dollar app, you have to take sick leave.

So as you watch, at home, you see the product. The product where you have put everything into it, with your teammates/friends/family, and then what them enjoy all the success.

You hopefully even do feel a part of it, in some way, but the world, and you standing on the podium is a dream you simply have to just let go. A dream that has pushed you through the grueling workouts, the time away from your family, the holidays missed, the birthdays forgotten, etc…

That does not meant that you are not happy to see all the people who have sweated, cried, laughed, and dedicated most of their lives (with you) to succeed. It just means there is no remedy.

There is no answer or words that can be said to make it okay or easier. It is just a pain that you have to find a way to work through, a pain that can be shattering, and humbling all at the same time.

A pain where a wife can only really grab a box of tissues and say; it will be okay …

Now, of course, there are good moments. There are days were we can, she can, understand the journey and power of faith. Where the pain can turn into inspiration and pure grit. Or maybe even better with a new tattoo;p (Moms that was for you ha)

In summary.

Life, as we know it, is a roller coaster. Like any journey and dream is in life. Its about riding the ups with incredible joy and then holding onto those moments as you go through the crippling downs.

I know in my life I have gone through some downward spirals, where I just wanted the day to be over, because I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know and can respect that that is where my wife is now.

Where she is in a place of asking why a lot more than saying thank you. These moments, we can all see in our own lives, and as hard as they are then, if we hold on, it usually turns into the moments we become incredibly grateful for later.

This month, to me, is about finding a way to lift your head when you feel the chains won’t allow you to take one more step. That whether you are an Olympian fighting for your chance on the stand, a veteran fighting to find her way without her sport, or a wife trying to simply be a number one fan.

It’s simple: Never Give Up.

Because if is truly your dream, you will always find a way, to simply lift your head …

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