Just before Christmas I had my hands in the sink, doing the dishes after making five kilograms of icing for my son’s class gingerbread activity (I kid you not; five kilograms!) when I heard this story on the CBC sportscast and thought this is it. This is the story to carry me (and all my writing friends) into (and through) 2012.
This is the one.
Go ahead and read the story but let me give you the highlights. It’s about a snowboarder from Gatineau (as an aside, my current work in progress is about an Ottawa skier who competes in Gatineau – well, technically Wakefield but those of you in Ottawa will know it’s close enough!). The Gatineau snowboarder’s name is Caroline Calvé. Remember that name. Say it to yourself whenever you’re discouraged.
Because what you need to know about Caroline Calvé is that she didn’t give up.
In December Caroline Calvé beat 47 competitors to win Gold in her 57th World Cup race. That’s right fifty-seven races. It’s taken her since 2006 to compete in that many races.
She competed in the Olympics and, while many people might have said, “that’s enough – I had a good run, I’ve been in quite a few World Cup races and to the Olympics”, she kept trying because she hadn’t yet won World Cup Gold.
Not only did she keep trying, she paid for it herself. The national team wouldn’t fund her flights or accommodations for the 2010-11 season but she kept racing anyway.
Her results were so good she got her funding back for the beginning of this season and look what happened – she WON a World Cup race! She did it.
Strangely enough, her funding’s run out now and she’ll have to start paying for her own flights in January again.
I’m not too worried though. I have a feeling if this girl wants to keep racing, she’ll keep racing. For an even more in-depth story about some of the hurdles she’s overcome, click here.
So the next time you wonder if you can tackle another revision, handle another rejection, start another story, think of Caroline Calvé and imagine what would have happened if she had quit any one of the 57 plus times she might have felt like she had a good reason to.
P.S. Doesn’t she look happy in the picture?