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It may seem small, but it sure means ALOT. | RindyLoucks.com

It may seem small, but it sure means ALOT.

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JABC group
Some of the JA community in Vancouver showing their support!
The 2011/2012 season marks my 8th season in this sport and over those years I have received a fantastic outpouring of support from my friends, family, the JA communities I have had the honour of meeting here in Canada, and pretty much anyone I meet that learns I do this sport. However, also over the years it has been on only a few occasions that I have actually had anyone come out to a track for the specific purpose of watching me slide. With most of my ‘non-sliding’ friends and family either in BC or elsewhere in the world though I will admit that to make the trek to Calgary, or another track I may be at, is a bit above the call of friendship duty. Not to mention that for those that possibly could come out here in Calgary…well… let’s just say that it can get mighty cold standing along the side of a track for a mere glimpse of a streaking suit as it whizzes by so I really don’t begrudge folks not coming out. Having said that, it sure is nice when it does happen.
michael and I konigssee
Michael and I in Konigssee
The very first person to ever come watch me slide was, interestingly enough, when I was in Konigssee, Germany of all places! My friend Michael, whom has supported me in so many ways over the years for my sliding dreams, is stationed in Italy with the US Military and lives there with his wife and daughter. In the time I have known him he has been deployed to Afghanistan (x2..or maybe x3?), SE Asia and innumerable others. And in 2009 he made the three plus hour journey, in the dead of winter and crappy, snowy roads, specifically to come watch me slide in Germany! It was fantastic to see him (as it had been a number of years since I had) and it was exciting and certainly appreciated to have him at the track. It is enjoyable to introduce someone to the sport ‘live’, as it were, and it really is a great feeling having someone come out to watch and support you. In fact I can’t really describe how great it does feel to have someone come out.
As for family, my father saw me slide for the first time in the start of the 2009/2010 season when I was able to get on the Whistler track for the two weeks of international training prior to the Olympics. He lives in Pemberton so it is not a mammoth journey to get to the track from there. My mother lives in Kamloops and I suspect that she will never see me slide unfortunately. I think though that this is not a unique story to many of us sliders. Many of our families are just not near to where we need to be for sliding and with tracks only in very specific places in the world (most being expensive to get to for the majority) it would be understandable that our families may never see us slide live. Still, it is a little sad to me that my Mum and most of my closest friends will never see me do something that I have focused so much of my life on these past few years. But, It Is What It Is and it just makes it that much more special to me when someone does come out to watch.
Molly and Rindy
Molly and I at the Calgary track with my sled. (unfortunately the photo is a tad tiny)
This past season I was lucky enough to have friends come out on two occasions to watch, both while I was in Calgary training for the AC race. One of those friends was Gina. And she brought the ‘troops’…her family. It was super to have them there as the adults were interested by the sport and keen to see it but the kids just had that enthusiasm about it all that only kids can really have. After getting their fill of watching sliders on the track (and getting quite cold I am sure) they came back up to the start dock where I had them come inside the start house to see the mayhem of athletes and their gear strewn about. We chatted about what they had seen, I answered questions they had and, the "pièce de résistance", I showed them my sled up close and personal. Molly, Gina’s daughter, seemed the most keen and when it came time to me offering up my sled for them to try laying in it Molly did not need much convincing, she hopped on like a pro! Perhaps we have a future skeleton athlete in Molly? At the very least we have a girl with adventure at her heart I would suggest!
To Gina, Molly and family, David and Jordan, Michael, and my Dad….big hugs for making the trip to the tracks on those cold days to watch me slide! And as always, my thanks to everyone for their support shown in other ways over the years.