"I sat down to write an acceptance speech for my induction into Canadas sports hall of fame and found myself with writers block.

 

What does one say in this briefest of forays upon the stage. Do i speak to the grandiose or simply stick with gratitude, is there a concise way to express both, to touch on the acknowledgement of achievement through dedication, opportunity, and luck while at the same time conveying the deep appreciation one feels towards the people in our life who make us better, the contributors and primary influencers, many of whom are here today.

Do i use this short window with the microphone in hand to convey thoughts on life lessons learned through sport, universal meanings gleaned from specific incidence. Do I press forward with thoughts on morality, our shared responsibility to coexist through constructive defiance, or do I pander to national pride, to empathize and in a sense justify common values and shared belief's; in truth I struggle with nationalism, I dont believe in us and them, we're all in this together, isolation breeds discontent and betrays the advantages inherit in true diversity. The best of us, is all of us, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I considered giving this moment to observation, my thoughts on performance decision making. I would focus on simplicity as the greatest sophistication and a vivid imagination being the mother of all reality; our greatest attitbute as humans is the gift of fiction, our ability to play how'bout (and imagine if), write and read fiction, in order to think on the grandest scale, learn to be still with your breath and at all costs retain self authority of your attention span, for what we pay attention to makes us human.

 

Eventually I overcame writers block by sitting and staring at the blank page before striking at the space with pen in hand until the words flowed, and when they stalled again, which they inevitably did, I simply sat a little longer, for this is my gift, through daily ritual I have taught myself to focus my mental landscape, to maintain propriety of my breath throughout, and be intensely persistent.

 

If for nothing else, with my children here, my daughters who's wide eyes, open hearts and ability to be perpetually present remind me daily what it means to be the best of ourselves, the innocence of youth, the gift of childhood, I lean forward and say, throughout your life "Live into your values", be kind and compassionate, be content, humble, forgiving, honest, principled and dedicated to the service of others by working to create safe space in which others can prosper, have the courage to step forward and believe in yourself, always ask why, express your gifts and forever, and I mean forever continue to play "how'bout".

 

Thank you"