I just returned from an incredible fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis. The speaker was Cassie Campbell-Pascal, the Captain of Canada's National Women's two time Gold Medal Olympic Hockey team from 2001 to 2006.
She spoke to a powerful collection of professional women (WAMS-Women Against MS) who attended as they are dedicated to raising research funds to end MS.
A professional athlete and leader was chosen to speak at this prestigious event because there are many parallels between life with a chronic disease or someone who has a chronic disease (in this case MS) and a committed athlete....she explained how and why and I wanted to share some great insights that Cassie used to encourage all you great athletes out there, so here goes:
1. Cassie really emphasized how we learn from Challenges. It seems that has been in the papers lately as advice from great people- I just read this is one of Steve Jobs' biggest mantras....Challenges give us perspective and motivation to do better. Challenges change our perspective about how we are going about doing things and the opportunity to REEVALUATE- how can we be better at what we do? and how we treat others and play the game...whether it is life or sports.
2. "Keep coming out of your comfort zone"- THAT IS THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GROW..in sports this is especially true- just think if Shaun White or Tony Hawk, hadn't come out of their comfort zones, snowboarding and skateboarding wouldn't be at the levels they are today...and there are tons of other examples, of course.
3. "Eat Crow while you are young and tender"- in other words, now is the time to learn as much as you can and to learn from your mistakes as this is the best way to grow, and be humble.
4. "Avoid thoughts of special entitlement" In other words, we all have to work really hard (maybe in different ways and some not as apparent as other)- sweat, devotion, going the distance, these are the attibutes of a champion- whether or not you score the goal, you are equally important out there playing your position; defending the goal, passing the ball, encouraging and supporting your team mates.
5. "Spend less time on finding blame and more time fixing the problem" No self-pity allowed- Just FIX IT- you can do it!!!! This is what you love any way, so spend some extra time....if it is getting better at scoring goals, defending goals, running or even walking or thinking positive....
As someone with MS, and a former competitive athlete, I think Cassie's wisdom and insights were very inspiring. If you have a great story you would like to share, please send it to me so we can share it with other great athletes like yourself!!!
I hope you have a a great day and make the most of it...don't forget why you are out there on that field, court or track- because you LOVE it!!!!