I do apologize for my lack of updates over the past couple of months. I have been juggling various committments, most time-consuming of the many roles I take on are my full-time job at an elite athlete and my part-time gig as a budding scholar.
As of about 10minutes ago I submitted my last paper of the semester. This week has been pretty hectic indeed as I scrambled to complete two 20-page papers for two upper-level courses I am in and also get the final edits in on my Honours Thesis project. The past couple months have pushed me to really grow as a student and writer and it has been a great experience! I have really enjoyed the entire process, even though I had have to remind myself of this passion at some low points throughout the year. Who knew travelling to Sweden, Japan, the US, and the Olympic Games could put a damper on my scholarly pursuits?
In case you are curious my Honours Thesis project was on examining the experiences of elite Canadian female wrestlers during this transformative time in the sport. It was an awesome undertaking to hear their stories and connect these insights in a sociologically relevant way which I believe is particuarly poignant in the face of increasing gender equity in the sport.
My choice to continue my academics can be a burden sometimes but juggling school and sport is a natural endeavour for me and it is equally challenging and rewarding. I encourage all athletes to do what makes them happy beyond their fields of play and for me I guess that's being a nerd.
That being said, I am SO EXCITED FOR SUMMER!!!! In my case, that will mean a fully realized priority on my sporting competitions but also an opportunity to read more books of my choosing! Last summer I was enraptured by the work of Guy Gavriel Kay who is a Toronto based historical fiction writer and so this summer I am up for any suggestions!!! At this point I am planning re-read the entire Game of Thrones series and possibly delve into Divergent. Why not eh?
What's next for me you ask... where will my summer travels take me! Well... my destiny gets decided on May 3rd where I will compete at the World Team Trials in Calgary, AB! This will dictate what events I will compete in over the summer and I am intent on returning to the World Championships in September with my eyes narrowly focused on the prize.
Yesterday I had the honour of participating in my first Fast & Female event!!! Empowering women in sport has become a passion of mine and this organization's vision and values line up quite nicely with exactly what I am all about.
The organization was developed by Olympic Champ, Chandra Crawford who is based out of Canmore and they have promoted a slew of events targetted at inspiring young, female athletes to dream big and keep rocking it.
I was lucky to spend a couple hours with the Calgary Rangers Soccer Club staff and their U13-U16 Women's teams. We did a little boot-camp, had a Q&A session with myself and speedskating rockstar Brittany Schussler and filled out a DreamBig worksheet. It was really powerful to see the girls writing down their dreams and taking the first steps towards that vision.
I know for me, I always had BIG DREAMS...but only recently have I been able to really visualize all the steps it takes to make it become my reality. It has taken a new sense of maturity and more than anything, a new sense of self-love. I always return to the famous Marianne Williamson quote, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?... Actually, who are you not to be? ....Your playing small does not serve the world."
I don't think it could be any truer... It can certainly be scary to verbalize your dreams and perhaps even scarier to really visualize yourself achieving it. But why the heck not!
The young, women I met yesterday were all uniquely awesome and I hope they each come to understand their own strengths and weaknesses and pursue full-on what their big dream is. I know I am.
Here is the Fast & Female website for more information: http://www.fastandfemale.com/default.asp
Follow them on twitter too: @fastandfemale
I am experiencing some inner confusion about identifying as fast and female... it really works for the cross country ski crew but not necessarily for the wrestlers! BUT alas, I'll make it work and maybe it's a good indicator about my future post-retir
Erica Wiebe is a Canadian freestyle wrestler and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Calgary. Her passion for wrestling and writing combine in the words of this blog, sprinkled with a strong opinion on certain matters and a hint of feminist thrown in for good measure.