I first heard of Kevin Jagger through twitter. Someone who’s always loved and participated in sports, he brought it up to the next level after watching the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. It was then he fell in love with the sport of speed skating. He quit his job as an Investment Banking Analyst and started training full time to try and make Canada’s National Long Track Speed Skating Team.
He did this even though he had never speed skated before in his life. This is his story…
I am now nearly twelve months into my new “career” and have found the experience incredibly rewarding in all aspects of my life.
Who would have thought quitting a successful job to attempt to make a National team in a sport that I had never tried before would be regarded as a positive turning point in my life and not just a “quarter life crisis”. I am thrilled with my decision, regardless of the final outcome. My life is a 180 degree difference from this time last year and I could not be happier.
My journey is not unlike what most people undertake a half dozen times throughout their life. It is about changing course mid-stream, not looking back, enjoying the journey and not worrying about the end result but accomplishing the mini tasks that lead to the final goal.
Who knows if I will make the National team. Skaters who have been skating their entire lives are still unable to answer that question. To sit and ponder that is a waste of time and simply, a distraction. All I can do is work my butt off and wait for my chance, if it never comes, it was never going to, if it does come, I’ll be ready.
To prepare for that moment, I have surrounded myself with people, tools and thoughts that contribute to achieving my goals.
What will haunt me the rest of my life is not whether or not I could do it. Not attempting it seemed like the true risk. Going full speed and attacking my goal with everything I have is what allows me to sleep at night. Outside of that the cards will fall where they may.
My decision is not unlike what many people encounter – the decision to go back to school, to change careers, to travel the world or even to have a child. If you think about it, you are not qualified to be a parent…until you are one.
Through effort, research, leveraging other people’s experiences and a strong passion, you can accomplish anything. When embarking on a new journey, big or small, it is important is to make your goals / decision / plan public. Tell people about it!
By telling people about your aspirations, no matter how lofty, you serve two purposes.
One, it holds you accountable. Now that you have said it you must follow through.
Secondly, you are giving people a chance to be a part of your journey. Share your goals and express your concerns about what you perceive to be speed bumps (there are only speed bumps, no stop signs!). You will be amazed to see the people that come out of the woodwork to help you achieve.
Everyone likes a good underdog and those that are willing to help will do all that is in their power to assist you. All they ask for in return is that you are committed and willing to accept assistance.
This is how far Kevin has come.
Dry Land Training For His First Season Speed Skating – Summer 2010
First Day On The Ice – August 2010
1000m Oval Finale – Kevin’s Personal Best Of 1:18.01
Photo Credit: Rob Reynar