Flight delay turns out to be a good thing…sort of.February 29th, 2012 | Posted by in Uncategorized
Sorry all for the delay in the posts (for those that actually read my blog)….It’s been a busy time for my wife and I. We have been working hard job hunting and although I have not been successful as of yet, she has. She will be moving up to Petawawa for 4 months and I will be heading back to Chatham….and continuing to look for work. However we keep looking for those jobs that will help us finally settle down in one place for a long time. Job hunting for me has been tough to say the least but I have been on the mission to re-invent myself and to help become a great advocate and consultant in Para-athletics.
This leads to my adventure this past weekend. I was recently asked by the Executive Director of OBSA (Ontario Blind Sports Assoc.) to travel with him to Sudbury to deliver a talk to families of blind/VI children.
Needless to say, I jumped on the opportunity and was quite excited. I had never met Kyle (Pelly) before and was eager to make that connection.
For those that do not know, OBSA is an organization that helps fund currently six parasports (athletics, judo, powerlifting, swimming, goalball & wrestling), however they are very open to promoting any other sports that help blind/VI persons. Their goal, which matches greatly with my own, is to help everyone become active and lead a healthy lifestyle. While they are focused on developing high level para-athletes, they still believe in the proper and effective long term development of the athlete and their skills. My personal experience with OBSA has been brief, as in 2011 they helped me obtain Ontario Carding status for “athletics” (running) which allowed me to receive a grant under the “Quest for Gold” program fun by the Ministry of Sport. I once again in 2012 have received this grant, thanks to OBSA’s belief that my running ability is worth investing in and developing.
This past weekend myself and Mindy traveled down to Toronto where bright and early Sunday morning Kyle and I were to fly out to Sudbury. To make a very long story short, he and I ended up with some flight “issues” which led to a six hour sitdown in Pearson Airport.
Boring? -Not at all…. As I mentioned, I had never met Kyle in person and had only spoken to him on the phone a couple times. Using this six hour flight delay to get to know Kyle better and to have him get to know me, it was great!
Kyle is newer to the E.D. position in OBSA and is a bit younger then some would expect, however his vision and passion for what he is doing was infectious. I very much enjoyed listening to Kyle talk about the mission of the OBSA, the direction they are taking, the goals he has and his overall outlook on the blind/VI community and sport. One of our conversations during the day led to LTAD (Long term athletic development), a very important part of athletic development but also development of an active and healthy person. Some may find the topic a bit drab when you dive into it, however Kyle and I found that we both greatly enjoyed the topic and it’s intricate aspects. It was so great to have a technical discussion with somebody who had as much passion and interest in the topic as me. Kyle, although sighted, definately has a great respect and growing knowledge of the blind/VI population. He is keen, he is passionate and he is definatley somebody I hope to work with a lot in the near future.
For me I think the best part of the day was letting Kyle get to know me. For those that know me, they are aware that i am a firm believer that “your name is all that you have”. This is something my father taught me and is something I strive to protect. If you ruin your name or your reputation, it may never be repaired. When people hear my name, I want them to think of integrity, honesty, passion, stubborness and a generally empathetic and thoughtful person. It was a great pleasure to be able to engage in lengthy conversations on many topics such as my upbringing, my journey as a blind guy, my thoughts and theories on life and sport, as well as my goals for the future–both in an employment sense and an athletic sense.
I am confident that the six hour flight delay was a blessing in disguise as it allowed us to sit down and really chat. I am a passionate advocate about inclusion and respect of all persons, regardless of ability and disability. I feel that passion and enthusiasm shone through and I learned lots more about a wonderful organization (OBSA) run by a very dedicated Executive (Kyle Pelly).
Having somebody who is willing to try something new, take a look at things from a different angle and gather feedback from those around them, is surely destined for a great future. Great stuff Kyle.
To learn more about the OBSA, or if you know of anybody who could benefit from their service, check out their website www.blindsports.on.ca
Sometimes a seemingly frustrating situation can turn into an opportunity….you just never know! Thanks for a fun six hours Kyle.