Today is my Papa's birthday. I owe so much to this amazing individual So, I decided that I would dedicate this blog post to him. Behind every athlete, and every person for that matter, are the people who influenced them. My Papa is probably one of the most influential people in my life.
From a very early age he had me enrolled in sports programs. Papa firmly believed that athletics is good for developing the skills that would be useful throughout life. He was an avid hockey and football player, himself. He played top level hockey and varsity football at Western University. Undoubtedly, he used some of the skills he developed as an athlete when he went on to become quite successful working in the finance industry. First, as a bond trader and now as a co-owner of his own company, High Rock Capital Management. Without that introduction to sports at an early age (and the early development of discipline and the experience of hard work yielding rewards) I wouldn't have achieved what I have and be who I am.
Papa pushed me to achieve perfection. I remember receiving a graded book report in 5th grade marked "B+" and Papa told me to go to my teacher and ask that teacher what I needed to do to get an "A+". I did just that and learned what I had to do and did it. From then on, I didn't get less than an A on anything, test or assignment, that I completed the rest of the year. If I got less than 100%, Papa's classic line was "what happened to the missing %?" Although he was being sarcastic, I took it literally and did everything I could to get that perfect grade. New schools, new sports, new anything, was always overwhelming at first. I wouldn't do too well off the bat, but Papa's words stuck with me "figure out what you need to do to do better" and I did. Even when a subject at school didn't come naturally to me (history class!) or a task was challenging, I worked hard at it and I got better! The same was true with triathlon.
Papa is my biggest fan. He drove to and from the cottage on Wednesdays and Saturdays for soccer practice and games when I was 10, he (and Mamma) drove me to early morning swim practices twice or more a week for 5 years, watched almost every swim meet, soccer game, cross country race that I was at during school. Since I started doing triathlon he has been at every major race. He has dedicated time, money and love towards what I am doing in this sport. He was behind me when I quit my full-time job. His support keeps me going when I feel like giving up.
Papa, I wish you a very Happy Birthday! Love, Moke