Maybe Once a Year is MORE realistic!

by emily 31. August 2012 02:45

When better to write a blog than in the middle of thesis writing! 

My monthly blogs have turned into something of a rarity and I apologize for that but unlike my life as a ski racer, things quite chaotic – but then again it is all, relative. 

The last 6 months of my life have been a whirlwind adventure.  I have discovered that this little piece of insight defines who I am. Whether I am hurling myself down a mountain or completing my MBA or traveling around the world trying to experience the discovered – I am fuelled by change, challenge and adventure.

The Olympic Games this past month reminded me about the power of sport, the necessity of it in our societies and why I fell in love with it so many years ago. To witness a Games from the “other side” of the fence was the perfect way to close a door left open after the Vancouver Olympics. To see people come together in peace, to celebrate greatness, diversity and opportunity – there is no better event in the world.  I was lucky enough to witness the men’s 200M final and the world record-breaking men’s 800M.  The men’s triathlon was both heart breaking and awe-inspiring.  All in all, I was proud to share in the 2012 Games as a spectator and fan.

As I sit on the train heading out of London for the weekend, I find myself thinking back to a year ago and how I was sitting on the cusp of what was to be a great adventure. I had just flown to London to complete some supplementary exams for my admission at Imperial Business School. I was waiting with great anticipation for the results of my exams and papers – all the while understanding what an opportunity like this would entail. Now, as I sit here, I can tell you it was an amazing experience and journey.  My mind was challenged in every possible way. I was continually tested and inspired. Never would have I thought that would come where I was writing a thesis – and here I am 3 days from submission. You might have noticed the coincidence of blog writing and thesis submission combining nicely – that would be called procrastination.

My thesis is on the topic of Community Bonds and their potential as a fundraising tool for charities and foundations. It is great to be able to continue to explore and discover new aspects to philanthropy and try and find news ways to make a difference and create opportunity within our great world.

My past year in London has been amazing. The city where organised chaos prevails, the norm is undefined and culture exudes itself. Every day that I walk out of my flat I never know what awaits me. It is inspiring to live in such a city. I have lived up to my goal of travelling Europe and discovering new places. My jet setting ways are still very much a part of me and I am coming to realise that they are here to stay. I managed to check of new countries, islands and cities on my travel bucket list. Greece is the place everyone needs to experience once, Barcelona is the most underestimated city in Europe, the Irish people live up to their boozing stereotype (and yes Guinness tastes much better there), Malta is the most unassuming island, and day trips to Paris are my new favourite thing. 

You may be asking yourself where school fit in and most of my cohort is asking the same thing. My reply is simply “work hard – play hard”. And true to my vagrant lifestyle, I seem to work better from airplanes, trains and exotic cafes so all in all it is a good system.

So what happens next….

It is time to start a new chapter in my life……

The corporate world…..

The most amazing opportunity has presented itself.  Starting in October, I will be working with BP as part of their Future Leader Program.  The program is 4 years long and in that time I will have 3 different jobs in 3 different geographic locations. I see this opportunity as a form of continued education. I am so thankful that BP has accepted me into their program and look forward to all the great experiences and adventures the future may hold.

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Sorry this is late and out of date but thought I would still post!!

by Administrator 21. November 2011 19:55

Fish n’ Chips…..that is what started it all. At a little pub called Bumpkin, a huge order of fish n ‘chips and a lager to match is the most British way to start a London adventure.  The adventure started with a bang with an unprecedented heat wave, the catching up with old friends and the daunting task of finding a flat.  I am in my second week of school and so far so good. It has been an interesting transition into such a professional and high-caliber institute of learning. By the end of the first week we had built a rocket, created a business plan called Pitch n’ Ditch and met the most diverse group of people I have ever been surrounded by. So far I have felt intellectually challenged in unimaginable ways and can only imagine what the future holds.

I am so happy that I arrived in London a good 10 days before classes started because it took me that long to start getting settled. This city works much differently to Calgary and the ways that I am accustomed to.  The first task on my list of things to do was “accommodation”.  As wonderful and hospitable my friends are here, I knew that I needed to find somewhere to live quickly; and not overstay my welcome on the sofa.  To go from owning a condo in Calgary to renting a flat here, at more than double the price, was a hard pill to swallow. After many discouraging flat viewings I finally found something.  I actually can’t really remember what it looks like as everything started to merge together in my mind after the first week. All I know is that I am moving in today and I am so excited to get settled and unpacked.  Daunting task number 2 was setting up a bank account.  Most banks here wont let you set up a bank account without a residence and they wont rent you a flat without a bank account – talk about the chicken and the egg problem!  I ended up finding a way through my school and have official opened a British bank account as of last week.  Task 3 dealt with communication and technology. Yes, you guessed right - the cellphone and the dongle - (weird word, I know) but it saved my life.  But there is a catch. You cant get a phone plan without a bank card which I couldn’t get before I found a flat; now that is something like the chicken-egg-egg syndrome.  The solution was a ludicrously expensive pay as you go plan – the price of staying in touch but well worth it. Needless to say it has all been such a great experience. Although there are times of frustration it is a great learning experience and adventure.

You may all be happy to know that I managed two Thanksgiving dinners last weekend in celebration of “Canadian Thanksgiving”. I put that in quotations, as I have had to explain to many of my international friends the very important fact that it is not the same as “American Thanksgiving”.   Fernie friends hosted the Saturday night dinner, which was filled with great food, company and conversation.  Dinner number two was held at a local pub and was a combination of Turkey dinner and Sunday roast; needless to say, it was yummy.  There were about 15 Canadians who came together to celebrate friends and all we are thankful for.  I can’t believe how many Canadians are here in London; apparently we are everywhere.

I also need to make mention of the British Olympic Associate Ball I went to last Friday, which my great friend, Chemmy Alcott who skis for Britain, invited me to.  It was my first ever ball and hopefully not my last.  It was fun to dress up and be glamorous for the night – just like Cinderella.  It was a star-studded affair with Royals, Athletes, Comedians and Actors/Actresses and Musicians all making appearances. Tom Jones performed his magic on stage and lives up to all preconceived ideas I had of the legendary singer.  They raised an amazing amount of money for the London 2012 Games and the Olympic movement in general.

All this fun and activity is definitely the calm before the storm and I am fully aware of just how much work this next year of my life will entail.  I am excited, nervous, anxious and inspired. It feels good to be back in the seat of challenge and hard work.  I will try and keep you updated as much as possible but as texts books will take priority over blogging it might be a month or so till the next update.  Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

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The Adventures Continue..........

by emily 11. September 2011 11:01

If anything, over the past year I have come to realize that I am as determined, persistent and stubborn as I ever was as an athlete.  I am starting to believe that it is just a part of my make up and will forever be what drives and inspires me.  I love that I challenge myself and set ambitious goals even off the slopes. Maybe it is my naivety or maybe it is what people call ambition but whatever it is, I feel inspired and motivated by it.  I honestly never thought that I would find something that would challenge me in the way skiing did, but I believe that I have and now I am so excited to step up and embrace this new adventure.

At the beginning of September I was accepted into the MBA program at Imperial College in London, England.  It is a true honour that this prestigious and influential school has decided to take a chance on me.  It has been a long and grueling process – it definitely wasn’t handed to me on a silver platter.  I have been tested intellectually in ways I never dreamed of and have had to humble myself and push myself in ways I never thought possible.  The application journey took almost 14 months and in that time I was tested with exams, essays and interviews.  There were many ups and downs, doubts and questions yet at the end of the day it was all worth it. Like skiing, you often learn the most when you are overcoming obstacles and hurdles; when your body and mind are pushed beyond what you thought were your limits.  I learned about patience, asking for help and trust. Isn’t it a bit ironic that I probably should have had more of that while I was an active ski racer but the again, if I learned everything then, what would be exciting about the future.   I have never felt so academically stimulated as when I walked into the Imperial Business School and felt inspired and excited for the new journey and path heading forward.   As hard and demanding as the application process was, the actual program is going to be on a whole other level and I am sure it will take the word “challenge” to a whole new level.

My classmates are going to be the most diverse group of people that I have ever had the pleasure of working with – it is going to be the most amazing opportunity to learn from others and open my mind to the diversity of our world.   Every student will have his or her own story and journey and each will bring something to the table. It is going to be fascinating to learn about different cultures, countries, life experiences and work experience.  There is no “norm” in London and I think that it is a really powerful experience to surround oneself in an environment like that.  Although the city is massive and may seem daunting to some, I am truly excited to be a resident there. I am fully ready to embrace the organized chaos that London has to offer.

I already have a great group of friends and family in London, which I am sure will help with the transition of moving there.  Chemmy Alcott, whom I skied with on the World Cup circuit is a great friend of mine and has already started showing me the ropes of London.  Erin McEachren, also lives and works in the city and will be my temporary flat provider upon arriving in London. We skied on the National Junior Team together almost 15 years ago and now we meet again in England - such a small world.  I am starting to think that London is one of the social hubs of the world.  I have yet to decide whether it is the fish and chips paired with a big cider, the amazing castles and history or the tea and crumpets that draws the throngs of people but whatever it is, it creates an amazing atmosphere of diversity and culture.

I have found myself drawn to London for many years.  I remember as a child going there is being in awe of London and the infamous double-decker bus.  Later it became a second home for me when I didn’t have time to come all the way back to Canada. The British schools are world-renowned and I am thoroughly excited and honoured at being accepted into the family.  This will be one of the most challenging years of my life but I am ready for a new adventure.  This journey will be filled with many unknowns and obstacles but then again that is exactly what sport was all about – I have just changed from relying on my body to relying on my brain! 

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Stop to Smell the Flowers

by emily 29. June 2011 06:11

Sometimes it is just good to stop and take a look around you.  For those of you whole know me well, this may seem like an oxymoron but as cliché as it may sound, wisdom comes with age and experience.  Slowly I am learning that stillness is not such a bad thing after and albeit it is sometimes forced upon me I am learning to appreciate it.

After a life filled with schedules, goals and dedicated time management, I just figured that that was the norm. I craved movement and business and rarely did I stop to just be still.  Now don’t get me wrong, I still have a near compulsive need to be busy and active, the difference now is that I am slowly learning that that is not always that healthy; how do you give your mind, body and soul time to rejuvenate, repair and restore if you never stop.

Surviving my first full year at university this year was a feat in itself and one that humbled me, inspired me and reminded me about the importance of education. While being at school is a step in the right direction toward entering the real world, I do understand and appreciate that it is a stepping stone; one that gives you the time to truly figure out what you want to do with your life.  The biggest obstacle post athletic life I believe is finding something that you are equally passionate about.  Sport is such a unique and rewarding experience, that it is hard to top it.  Although my time at university is just beginning essentially, I am slowly figuring out what inspires me and what motivates me.  Things that I thought were important straight out of sport no longer cross my mind and things that I wanted to walk away from are stubbornly constant in my life.  One thing that I am sure of is the need to give back and pay it forward.  There never will be a shortage of people in need and those people deserve the chance to dream and believe just like I did.

After finishing my year at Uni, I decided to set some time aside to focus on my GMAT’s (entrance exam for mba programs) and preparing to get into an MBA program in England.   I literally put my life on lockdown and confined myself to a 40km radius around my condo; good news is that there are a lot of coffee shops in that proximity.  Studying for my GMAT was one of the most difficult and annoying things I have ever done. You spend hours upon hours doing questions, which, more often than not, make you feel incompetent and stupid, yet contained nothing more challenging than what you learn in grade 12 Math class.  The questions are not so much, difficult, as confusing and sneaky.  Thanks to my tutor Josh I was able to improve my score and increase my chances into getting into the business program of my dreams in England.  I spent 6 weeks focused on this task and now that it has come and gone, the waiting game continues; I am being forced to sit and wait.

So here I find myself in Portland, Oregon with my best friend, her fiancée, a planned camping trip, a water-ski boat and summer festivities on the horizon.  I am on a forced time out.  It is time to sit back and appreciate all that has come my way: time to reflect upon the year of change that I have just experienced and contemplate the new journey that I am now on.  I have no regrets; I left the sport of alpine skiing when it was the right time. I left no stone unturned and I am honoured to have been given the privilege to compete for my country –all while doing something I absolutely loved to do.  Now it is time to find something new and exciting that challenges me, inspires me and helps me make a difference in the world today.

As my life sits at a crossroads I am excited to see which road it takes; Calgary, Vancouver or London, England.  I will keep you posted as life unfolds.

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Who Would Have Thought

by emily 26. March 2011 11:03

What does a retired downhill ski racer do next? Run away from snow. Take up backcountry skiing. Jump the fence and join a skier cross team.  All sound like viable options but I didn’t just want “viable”. I wanted challenge. I wanted something new and something that most people would never think I would do and that my friends is how I came up with a marathon.  Yes you read that right…Emily Brydon ran a marathon!!

I competed last weekend in the LA Marathon and survived. It was one of the most amazing moments of my life. It was pouring with rain, there were 30,000 inspirational runners, and the streets we all our own; there was no better place in the world to be at that moment.  Although I suffered for probably 50% of it, it wasn’t quite as bad as I had envisioned.  I did develop some solid blisters, I looked like a running squidgy and I am not sure if it was rain or sweat that blurred my vision but those are all minor details.   The power of 30,000 people together with the same goals was awe-inspiring.  It got me to thinking……all these people with a common goal and a strenuous journey ahead of them – what an amazing feet of humanity.  How is it possible in our world today, that we cannot do the same thing on a more regular basis, with various goals and intentions?   Image, 30,000 minds, hearts and ambitions put together in one moment – shouldn’t we able to help the world and the people in it?

These are just some of the things that crossed my mind on my 4h28min run. I also counted steps (instead of sheep), read the inspirational signs held by rain drench supporters along the way and tried to master the art of drinking and running simultaneously (much easier said than done).  We were literally slipping on banana peels and being bathed in Gatorade but all these things seemed inconsequential when you had to run 26.2 miles.

I saw Los Angeles at its calmest and had the amazing opportunity to run through the most hectic and historical parts of the city.  Sunset Blvd was amazing, the temptation of shopping on Rodeo drive was fleeting as I had a sneaky suspicion that a case of “pretty women” would have happened, the houses in Beverly Hills lived up to all expectations and the down hill slope into Santa Monica was a true blessing. Unfortunately, Santa Monica pier was shrouded in fog but in reality I probably didn’t have the energy to look at it even if it was sunny.

A marathon is something that I never though that I would do but it is something that I will never forget.  To experience my marathon with my friends made it even more special.  Marathons bring out the most amazing stories of accomplishment, overcoming adversity, and achieving goals.  There are people from all walks of life, each with his or her own story and own journey; I was honoured to be a part of that moment.  It felt great to have a physical goal again and although I don’t see another marathon in my foreseeable future, I am definitely not crossing off the possibility forever.

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Closing one year and kickstarting Another!

by emily 11. January 2011 08:27

First of all I would like apologize for my site being down for the past couple of months.  There was a slight technical hitch that was a little over my head thus unfixable quickly and thus the delay. I am back now and ready to be a blogging extraordinaire in 2011. It is hard to believe that 2010 has come and gone. It was a year with such anticipation, excitment, highest of highs and lowest of lows, success and defeats, growth and challenge; it was a year I will never forget.  As for 2011, I am excited to see what it brings me and the rest of the world. 

I am back in school full time again at the University of Calgary.  This semester is a little less intimidating as I have met some acquaintances and class buddies. I am learning the lingo of “Uni” and trying not to date myself on a daily basis. I have embraced being a mature student and decided to not take being asked if I am a TA in a bad way!!

Being a student you get this amazing little break between the two semesters and for the first time in probably 15 years I was able to spend Christmas in Fernie and enjoy it to its fullest.  There was no guilt for over eating and drinking, the gym was a place that didn’t even cross my mind, I was able to free ski without the worry I putting my ski career in jeopardy while ripping around trees and over cliffs and I was able to be a fair weather weekend warrior athlete.  My Christmas was filled with great friends and family who shared in the activities, traditions and celebrations of the Brydon household. I kicked off the holiday celebrations with the annual Christmas tree hunt with my Mom which involves snowshoeing in the deep woods behind my house, my mother finding the “perfect” tree, my mad hand saw skills be used to falling the tree and followed lastly but definitely not least – the carrying of the tree back to the homestead.  Just to clarify, the carrying action is done solely by yours truly while the conductor took pictures, held the saw and tried to stay on her own two feet.  You are now probably thinking that the worst of the adventure is done – well I beg to differ. The next step is where my skill as a mathematician comes into play.  We needed to get a 17ft pine tree through the door, around two 90 degree turns and vertical while keep all chandeliers intact!!  Our genius this year was the stapling of the angel to the top of the tree before the final hoist– we also managed to string two sets of lights!

Two epic days of cat skiing at Island Lake Lodge are up in my top moments of 2010.  The snow was amazing the company even better and above and beyond all – it reminded me how much I love to ski.  My feet would beg to differ as I am now suffering from 2 black toe nails! There is no better combination than great friends, fresh powder, an amazing cat ski operation and bluebird skies – Thank you Island Lake Lodge. My life has also changed with the introduction of my “comfy” boots called Poisons and my fat “Shogun” Salomon’s; they have changed my life!!

 

I also tried out my skating skills on the golf course pond – let’s just say that it is a good thing I stuck to skiing. By the time we had cleared off the snow, sketchy ice and hazardous speed bumps the sun was setting and jack frost was coming out so the actually “skate time” was minimal although a blast.  I swallowed my pride one day and attempted the feet of skate skiing.  I was the diesel burner sweating profusely and out of breath as my friends ran by on snowshoes. When people recognized me I claimed that I was Emily’s twin sister. It was at this point that I thanked my parents for putting me in a gravity sport!!

New Years was celebrated at chez Brydon in front of a big bonfire alongside friends and family! Snowshoeing, “bonfiring” and games filled the evening.  Just a side note – in the game we played, it was the “cougars” versus the “geriatrics” and luckily then cougars (that would be my age generation) held our own, although the geri’s put up a valiant effort.

 

My Christmas was one the best that I can remember; a perfect way to close out a year filled with so many lifelong memories. It lived up to all my hopes, dreams and expectations of a perfect holiday season.

I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and welcomed the New Year with flying colours!!

May all your dreams and goals for 2011 come true.

   

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What they didn’t tell me at Ski Camp

by emily 28. August 2010 17:14

This summer has been one of adventure, freedom, reconnecting with friends and family and above and beyond all, a time to relax, refocus and reflect; I have had the summer of my life.  As my time as “lady of leisure” comes to an end I realize that one, I can’t “leisure” and two, this summer was truly a gift.

What started out as almost panic by idleness, I realize now was the transitioning from a life fully planned, scheduled and analysed.  How could I not sort of panic? How could I not feel guilty for not going to the gym? How could I not feel a little bit unfettered by the lack of daily emails checking up on my heart rates, rpm on the bike and what I squatted that day in the gym? Once I realized that all of these anxieties were “normal” I started being able to move on and leave that old life behind me.

Everyone is quick to tell you that the transition from athlete to layman is difficult but because it is such an individual journey no one has the magic key to unlock the next door in the journey called life. No one told me that deadlines for school are more often than not in January, which would explain the exacerbated looks when I applied in JUNE! I think that the information about admissions, school hunting and transcripts got lost in the mail.  I had the honour of typing in “mature” student on my application for the University of Calgary and the slightly humiliating experience of handing out the sport awards in Fernie to my up and coming classmates!  Looking over my high school transcripts was like going back in time and boy did it feel like eons ago but all in all it has been an inspiring experience and one that reassures me of my decision to finish my undergrad degree.

Having mastered the application process, I set my mind to resume writing; much easier said than done.  My Second Cup barista experience in 2002 did not turn out to be the highlight of my resume which at the time I thought would! How do you eloquently describe being an Olympic athlete and the multi faceted life experience it was? Oh, six pages is a bit too long?  Thank goodness for good friends and amazing editors.  My resume was complete; check. Next was my “personal letter” which I needed for my application at LSE in London.  I have to write my personal letter in under 500 words? What, that is just my intro.  I started learning quickly that less is more and no need for all the frosting on the cake; so much for my blogging style.

Next came the GMATs! Yes, you read that right. I decided to skip a couple steps and try out the GMAT. My first day with my lovely new best friend, the GMAT book for dummies was a little rough.  I honestly thought that I had bought the Chinese version.  The simple grade 12 math looked like high level calculus and the simple algebra was about as simple as the abacus.  The good news is that through all my writing and reading over the years, the English part was actually doable and made me feel that I wasn’t a long lost cause! One may ask, why the GMATs without an undergrad and my answer, why not! I am putting a lot of options out there into the universe and hoping that one of them will work out. I truly believe that you can’t put all your eggs in one basket and you need to give an honest effort to all your little baskets.

This was all while trying to raise money for the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation and organize our annual golf tournament for September 18th.  With TECK’s amazing $50,000 donation and Canadian Pacific’s $5000, I am off to a great start.  The golf tournament is shaping up nicely although we are always looking for more willing and daring participants.  Go check out www.emilybrydonyouthfoundation.com

So here we are, mid August and I can proudly say that I am going to be a student at the U of C starting this fall.  I am happier than a hound dog that I get to spend a winter close to Fernie where I can experience a “real” winter with “real” skiing!! Thank you to all who have made this transition so much easier and a great adventure.  Thanks to London, Portugal, Fernie, Calgary, Osoyoos, Kelowna, Portland, Vancouver, the West Coast Trail, Charlottetown, Digby, New York, Montreal, Quebec City, Charlevoix and Sutton for allowing me to come and play!!

 

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Lady of Leisure

by emily 21. July 2010 04:51

One would think that retirement would lead to routine, relaxation, reflection and reading.  Well, this summer I am out to it to prove that all wrong.  Since retiring in April I have been to Mexico, England, Portugal, PEI, Nova Scotia, the Okanagan, Portland, Fernie and Calgary. Right on track to having my ultimate goal of maintaining my “elite” status with Air Canada accomplished in no time at all.  I know that the day will arrive when upgrading to first class and those amazing hub seats will be a thing of the past and waiting in the waiting rooms will replace the ever alluring lounges.  In short, I suppose that I am just trying to hold on to every little last bit of glamour and luxury before my life as a student starts in September. Yes, you read that right. I have decided to fully embrace the title “mature student” and I have enrolled myself into classes at the University of Calgary for this fall.

It has been quite an amazing journey over the last couple of months trying to figure out which way my life was going to take me.  I almost feel as if I am at the mercy of the ever cliché, “fate”.   I travelled to London, England to not only experience Wimbledon and all its greatness but to also look into schools and work. It has always been a powerful ambition of mine to live in London at some point in my life so I figured that there is no better time than the present.  Unfortunately, in the real world there are things called deadlines of which I missed by a mere 9 months. So although I fell in love with London, it will have to go on the back burner until I figure out if school and a job can be more than a dream one day. 

 There I was in lovely London, having a great time when all of a sudden that antsy, been a place for more than 2 weeks kicked in.  Next thing I knew, I was on a plane heading to Portugal to meet up with a friend who was traveling Europe.  Apparently I needed a vacation from my vacation.  The Algarve coast was spectacular but I must admit that it didn’t quite live up to my beach exceptions following Mexico!! I risked my life in order to experience a day of “scootering” along the coast in gale force winds and a helmet that was so large so it acted like a parachute off the back of my head instead of protecting my head.  Nothing like embracing the elements and honestly it was nice to feel the wind on my face!!  I visited a local organic winery where they truly just let the earth and nature grow their vines which was inspiring to see and even more amazing was how good the wine actually tasted.   Although the trip was only 3 days long it was the perfect vacation from a vacation and exactly what I needed knowing what was to come upon my return to Canada.

The day after landing back in Calgary, I boarded a plane for Charlottetown, PEI where I was to take part in two amazing golf tournaments, a music festival and the fund raising for two important organizations; the Boys and Girls Club and Nova Scotian Sport.  I kick started the tour with two rounds of golf in Charlotte town, which was followed by the Cavendish music Festival and concluded with two rounds of golf in Digby, Nova Scotia.  These tournaments are legendary in themselves and it is a true honour to be invited to take part in them each and every year.  They bring together people and celebrities from all walks of life and it is truly an event filled with a lot of passion, inspiration and good times.  There were some amazing musical performances which alone were awe inspiring.

After one sleep in my own bed I headed off to the Okanagan for a couple days of mother-daughter bonding and an event at the Mission Hill winery.  I enjoyed a couple rounds of golf in Osoyoos, some phenomenal wine tasting at the ever more popular wineries stretching along the Okanagan corridor (I think that there are actually more wineries than fast food joints and gas stations combined!) and the trip was concluded with a beautiful event at the Mission Hill winery in benefit of the Kelowna Symphony Orchestra. 

Although I am doing very well in my mission to see a different side of the world and Canada, away from the mountains and snow, it is truly all about balance.  After living a life that was dictated by schedules, programs and self discipline it is a freeing experience to be only at the mercy of my own schedule and my own desires.  Rejuvenation is all about restoring your mind, body and soul to its original state; to find that base from which anything is possible.  This is my time to do that.

I hope that everyone is having a great summer.

Emily


 

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Emily Brydon Day

by emily 26. May 2010 14:22

A day…named after me….check that off the bucket list!!

May 12th 2010 in beautiful Fernie, BC was Emily Brydon Day.

An honour beyond my wildest dreams.  An honour that made me speechless.  An honour that I was proud to share with my Mom, friends and supporters.

Fernie is a little town nestled in the southeast corner of British Columbia; a place that I am proud to call my roots.  What once was just a tiny blip on the radar has grown into an international destination and a much sought after ski resort. It is a community that honours its citizens, lends a helping hand when need calls and inspirations beyond words.

So there I was, Mommy and me riding in the back of a 1950’s Studebaker fire truck, being escorted by a police car, 4 huge Olympic sport mascots, and two Mounties. Trailing behind us were the kids that the Emily Brydon Youth Foundation had helped and the people who were instrumental in my life and career thus far.  It was the ever growing parade as we picked up kids along the way like a giant “swiffer picker upper”. The only complaint to date was the lack of candy – next time!   People actually showed up and people actually cheered.  It was one of those occasions where I dreaded the worst (no one being there) and was blown away by the people whom I saw in the crowd.  It was so important for me to see this and to experience it.  It was a private showing to what happened during the games and a little taste of how the Olympics united this tiny village in the Kootenay’s.    It reinforced my belief that the Olympic Games can be so much more than podiums and results; the power of sport is one of the most unrecognized and underestimated forces of the world.  It grounded me and gave me what I needed to heal my disappointed Olympic heart.

From the fire truck, I was lead in by two local bagpipers (one of whom is a ski racer!) to the local community center.  The people in the crowd were all there because they were somehow connected to my life as a Fernite, ski racer, friend or supporter.  It was the most diverse, inspiration and thought provoking group of people.  Speeches followed and awards and presentations were given.  I kept the tears at bay but the dreaded clenched jaw was in effect. My speech at the end of it all was definitely one that was emotional and difficult; rarely am I at a loss of words, but I was.  How do you thank all these people who have already given you so much?  It is something that I will forever be indebted to the community, my friends, my family and my supporters for.

For all you ski fans, you can now enjoy Emily’s run at the Fernie Alpine Resort.  You can go for a lovely little jog or stroll along the Emily Brydon trail and if you ever get locked out the city just give me a call……I have the key!!!

Thanks for all the recognition, support and inspiration.

 

Emily

Photos taken by Henry Georgi

 

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Welcome to my Retirement!!!

by emily 14. May 2010 11:53

Paradise by definition is a place of extreme beauty, delight or happiness. Puerto Escondido just might be added to that definition one of these days.

I just recently returned home from a trip of a life time.  It was a dream vacation in so many ways, living up to each and every expectation I had.  At the end of every ski season, my goal first and foremost is to find a beach.  A beautiful beach where I can swim and play without a wetsuit, “bronze” beside crashing waves, relax and drink and eat as much and of whatever I want. A place of calm.  A place of rejuvenation. A place just like Casa Rubia.

It has been a dream of mine to bring together my closest friends and family to rekindle friendships, relax on calm soil, reminisce about fond memories and good times, and to simply be surrounded by people that I love who love me back.  I have always said that my career was never a solo adventure; there were many people who gave me the tools, the support and the inspiration to keep trying and keep achieving.  Now was my time to thank them for all that they have done.

So off to Casa Rubia it was.  Casa Rubia is a gem hidden on the beautiful pacific coast in southern Mexico.  It is a quintessential beach getaway.  It’s a place that you only ever see in pictures and a place that I was so happy to call home.  A place where friendships we made tighter, new ones where made and lifelong bonds were established.

Casa Rubia welcomed us with open doors, a wonderful staff and an awe inspiring onyx table that sits 12.  One of the highlights of my trip was the night that we filled 11 of those seats.  I have never eaten so well on a holiday and knowing that the food was fresh each and every day from the market made you really savour the taste and the appreciate luxury of it all.  I arrived late at night so on the first night it was a nice dinner, a couple beers and then off to bed.  The sound of the waves crashing on the beach only meters away was impressive but like the train that rolls through Fernie on a regular basis, the sound became calming and soothing. I slept with my doors open and the fan above my bed made the sleeping conditions ideal. I didn’t have to worry about a lonely bear coming to say hi. I didn’t have to worry that I might get cold in the middle of the night.  I placed my head on the pillow that night and fell into a deep “Zenfull” sleep.

The next 2 weeks were nothing short of amazing.  Almost every day someone was either coming or going, like the tide of the ocean.  Adventures were a daily ritual and open to whoever, whatever, whenever. Surfing was definitely the activity of choice as we were in one of the surf mecca’s of the world but deep sea fishing, beach volleyball, wakeboarding and hiking were also on the list.

I will honestly admit that surfing will never be in my cards as I have yet to figure out the art of patience but it sure was a blast giving it a whirl.  I can credit my ski crashes to helping me crash as gracefully and ably as possible in the waves but having said that I did manage to leave a piece of my front tooth on the beautiful ocean floor. The wakeboarding in the lagoon was an experience never to be forgotten.  The calm waters, the mangroves and the bathtub like temperatures made for an amazing experience.  Once again, my competitive and I am invincible train of thought led me to some spectacular crashes and a mild case of whiplash; one day I will learn that there are other gears apart from 5th! The deep sea fishing was a first for me and I am happy to announce that I did not catch a thing. Yes you read it right.  I was happy to not have to deal with the “catch a fish and kill” idea so the sea safari was a great option.  We saw dolphins, dancing stingray (they get serious vertical out of the water with hilarious flapping “wings”), and many turtles.   We even manage to pet a turtle….not too sure if that it was you would call it, rather patting might be the better verb.  Back on shore we saw a turtle making her nest and laying her eggs which was such a special moment; real life “planet earth”.  The sunset boogie boarding, the pool volleyball and the soccer game with the local builders from next door were also up there on great moments.  The girls bought me a piñata on my “birthday” night which brought back many memories from my young and reckless years; those who saw, know!!!  The nights were often calm though, as we had wasted most of our energy on our day’s activities and by the time the “party” happens in Puerto we were all gazing at the back of our eyelids.

So here I am home safe and sound, feeding off the memories that this amazing vacation created.  Cary Mullen opened his house to me (Casa Rubia) and I will forever be indebted to him for it.  He has a vision for Puerto Escondido and for people who want Mexico to be part of their lives.  This vision is called VivoResorts. Vivo offers great service and lifestyle in the best weather beachfront place that he could find.  It is place that will forever bring families and friends together. It is place to retreat to and get away from our busy lives at home. It is place that wants to showcase authentic Mexico while supporting and maintaining authentic Mexico. It is a place I hope to return to many times in my life.

To my besties (Mommy, Diana, Krista, Michelle, Gen, Jenny, Anna, Anne-Marie, Shona, Larisa and Kristin)  – Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming together on this unique and memorable vacation. I love you all.

 

 

 

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