Being born 13 weeks early, 2 pounds and 1 ounce and dropping down to 1 pound 7 ounces, I was in for one hard first day of life. Having been taken into the special care nursery and on oxygen my poor parents were not able hold me for long, in those first few moments. Over the next few days I would struggle for life but as the days ticked away, my body grew stronger. Those days, turned into weeks, then to months, and after 11 weeks in hospital I was finally ready to start my own adventure!
For the first few years of life, I would grow and develop just a little bit off the normal. Speech and walking would come just a little later but my parents were patient and supportive throughout those stages. I never felt like I was behind, only looking back now do I see that yes I may have been a little bit later in development but I always had determination to keep up.Even now being an Olympic luge athlete for Canada, I strive to be the best every day. There will always be someone better or someone pushing you from behind, and you must match that with even more intensity and fight. In 2014 I got the chance to compete for Canada at the Sochi Olympics where I placed 5th. Now I am competing on the World Cup circuit and the aim is to compete at the 2018 Olympics in Korea.
Every day I get the chance to push my body to the limits, both mentally and physically. Some people say I have an inspiring story going from a premie to Olympian, but the real heroes are the doctors, nurses at Victoria General Hospital, my parents for never giving up faith, all my family, my team support staff and coaches, my luge sponsor and employer Klaus Hofer of Communications and Training, and everyone who has ever helped me become the person I am today!
You could choose to give up, and not follow your dreams, or fight every day for who you want to become.