“I went for a long walk and looked for signs of destiny in the sky- but there were no signs, only snowflakes. So I listened to my heart, and my heart said it was time to go.”
This year, amidst some serious career highlights I began to re-evaluate my priorities. I thought long and hard about what it takes to do this job well. What the personal cost of continuing to live like this would be, and what it would mean for me to leave this job. I knew that for me, walking away from this meant walking away from a dream I’ve fought a long time for. It would mean walking away from a huge part of who I am. I took my time wrestling the beast.
In 2010 I decided to devote my career towards becoming one of the top coaches in Canada. I wanted to be a coach who helped push Canadian athletes to the highest level of International success. I’d been coaching for a few years, was done my undergrad, and felt incredibly inspired by the Vancouver Olympics
The life decisions I made from that point on were focused around 2 factors;
1-Will this make me a better coach?
2-Will this get me closer to my goal?
People used phrases like ‘work life balance’ around me. But I wasn’t going after a balanced lifestyle, I was going for professional excellence. People raised their eyebrows when I left good jobs. But I knew I would have to leave jobs and move around to get the experience I needed to grow. People said I would never be a training center coach. I never let if affect me because I knew, unequivocally, that only I decide what I am, or am not capable of.
Maybe it was a reckless way to live, but I was trying to do something I’d never seen anyone do before. I had to find my own path.
I relate to athletes through my own experience. I hold them to the same high standards as I hold myself. I call a spade a spade. I see the familiar hunger for excellence in their eyes. Neither of our journeys are easy, but at least we push the inches together. Working alongside athletes towards a mutual goals has made this job more rewarding than I can express.
The opportunity to coach with the Alberta World Cup Academy was another step in my bid to becoming one of the top coaches in Canada. It gave me the chance to work directly with the top talent in our country, to finally have a team of my own to dig into. And boy did we dig in.
Chris Jeffries created a work environment of collaboration and mutual respect. Together we pushed to make sure we had a team that was happy, healthy, and fast. I am so proud of what we accomplished this year. We stuck to our fundamental principles through some tough times and in the end did right by our team as athletes, but more importantly as individuals. I cannot say enough good things about working with Chris.
I came into the job at AWCA with a lot of expectations and perceptions. What I learned was that in this job we fight tooth and nail for gains. The degrees that separate our athletes from their goals are small, sometimes literally only fractions of seconds. At this level those milliseconds represent hundreds of hours of work. It’s literally blood, sweat, and tears. As a coach you mirror the effort and commitment your athletes put in, and when they can’t give any more you squeeze a little more out of yourself.
The word I’d use to describe this job is humbling. A huge amount of work goes into keeping a training center open, viable, full of successful athletes today, with an eye on the development of athletes tomorrow.
In the end I went for a walk in the only February snowstorm Canmore had. I looked for signs of destiny in the sky but there were no signs, only snowflakes. So I listened to my heart, and my heart said it was time to go.
I have spent ten amazing years coaching. I’ve watched kids win, and lose and best of all watched them grow. I’ve been surrounded by people who are full of life, passion and drive. I have received as much as I’ve given in this job, and that has been a tremendous amount. I have no idea what’s in store for me next- except for two things, I’ll be back in Whitehorse and I’ll be kicking ass at something else.
Thank you for all the highlights- for the open doors, open minds, hug hearts, big hugs, and big smiles. It has been such a pleasure. PavOut