Here is a glimpse into what has shaped my path to the present. I organized my story into three main areas, academics, athletics, and I may add a tidbits section later; even though they do cross paths.
My formal education started at St. Joseph’s Elementary school where I attended senior kindergarten through grade 8. It was about grade six that I started considering the world of computers as a career path, though it wasn’t until my first computer science class in grade 10 that I knew I wanted to study computer science in university. I took any higher level computer course I could in high school which consisted of computer science courses where I was able to work through the course at my pace and led to me finishing the course about half way through so I got to take on problems assigned to me as extra learning, which I loved. I also took networking which started off as Cisco (CCNA) certification courses; however, the principle decided we didn’t need that so the last two courses got combined into one.
More to come here.
I have always been an athletic individual, though I have not always been as active as I should be. As a kid it seemed like I was always partaking in sports, whether it was pick-up games, organized leagues, or school athletics. I’m not sure what the first sport I ever played was, but I believe I started skiing before the age of 5, which would make it my first sport. The other key sports I participated in over the years are hockey, t-ball, fastball, basketball, karate, golf, and tennis.
I learned how to ski by my dad taking me to this path around the corner from where I grew up which started at the top of a hill. I would ski down the hill, learning as I went, and once to the bottom dad would carry or pull me up the hill so that I could go down again. Now that’s dedication (on his part). I skied for many years and have many a fond memories. As a family we took a couple trips to Banff, AB and skied in the mountains at Sunshine Village… those were great adventures and a great learning opportunity as we’d have lessons every morning. I stopped skiing sometime in high school, speaking of which I worked as a ‘liftee’ at the Dryden Ski Club throughout my high school years and since I had access to the rental equipment I tried snowboarding a few times, which I really enjoyed and picked up extremely quick. I never did buy new skis once I grew out of my old ones, and likely would have gotten a snowboard had I decided to continue the winter hobby, but I just didn’t find it feasible at the time since I was heading off to university.
I first learned how to skate when I was 3 or 4 through figure skating. One of the stories that has stuck in my mind is that on the big day, oh can’t remember the name of the skating recitals, I didn’t have my skate guards on and they grown-ups let me walk all over with my skates which dulled the blades. When I took to the ice I was falling all over the place, dad recording and wondering what was going on, because my skates were dull. At the age of 5 I started playing hockey, mighty might’s. I loved the game and as most young players in their early years I tried all the positions. I gravitated towards being a defence men and eventually became a goalie, which is when I found my true calling and remained. I remember attending goalie school in the summers and playing pick-up hockey at milestone, as people were always looking for a goalie, it was a lot of fun, and it meant more practice. I played hockey until the end of grade 8, and for whatever reason I decided it was time for a change and started Karate in grade 9.
I took Ishin Ryu under Brent Ledoux all throughout my high school years and was preparing for my brown belt when I stopped because I was heading off to university. Over the four years I had a lot of fun partaking in tournaments and working my way through the ranks. Years later I did try my hand at Tae Kwon Do when a local club (to Thunder Bay) was offering classes at Lakehead University in the evenings. I was enjoying that but I guess the interest wasn’t high enough as they stopped and I didn’t continue to pursue the art at their off campus site.
I had my summer sports too as a kid. One was soccer, but that didn’t last long as head butting the ball never failed to give me a headache so I stuck to t-ball which grew into fastball as I got older. My position of choice was catcher. I also played a lot of 2nd base and outfield at the coaches request because I could catch really well and could through the ball a respectable distance. I got a rush out of throwing people out at 2nd or chasing people down that thought they could steal second. I seemed to have a knack for knowing where the ball was going on a wild pitch (giving the fall sense of security to an opponent wanting to steal). When in Barrie for my co-op I played softball for the first time in a mixed league which was fun, but it took some adjusting with the ball just getting lobbed in and no stealing bases.
In Barrie is where I truly discovered my love of tennis. I hit the ball around here and there but never fully took up the sport until I joined the Barrie Tennis Club. I was playing three or four times a week, sometimes back to back if I was scheduled in one of the earlier groups and a later group was short players. Since leaving Barrie I haven’t been in a place where a club existed such that I could partake and continue my level of play. Based on my understanding so far there is no tennis club in Kenora (except for perhaps one on this island you need a water craft to get to) so I’m not sure where my tennis game is going to end up. As an addition, racquet sports for me started with racquetball which I played for many years with my dad, on a ladder for a bit, and even one the Jr.’s tournament at the Dryden Recreation Center in what I believe was its first year. I still have my racquet but it seems squash is the only thing people play these days, which I have only tried a handful of times.
In school I played a fair bit of basketball. I played on the St. Joseph’s Bull Dogs in grades seven and eight. I seem to recall us being a great team. I later tried out for the high school basketball team, the DHS Eagles, which I played on for both grade 9 & 10. We were not so great, lol. I chose to focus on my academics in grade 11 and 12 so I didn’t try out for the senior team, though the couch encouraged me to.
I love to golf. It has to be one of my favourite summer pastimes, though I haven’t been able to play all that much these last couple years. The last time I had a golf membership was when I was in high school and played a lot with my best friend Johlen. I have gotten out for a couple games in the summers trying courses in both Barrie and Thunder Bay, outside of my home turf of Dryden. Now that I am in Kenora I plan to get a card (not sure I’ll get a membership as don’t know how often I’ll be able to make it out) to try out a golf course here in Kenora in Summer 2015 since I never made it out in 2014.
This season (2014-2015) my winter sport is curling. I have done some fun-spiels over the years but I have never truly curled, that is for a season. I decided to join the mixed league at the Keewatin Curling Club and so far I am enjoying myself. I knew I needed some activity to get me out and about as it’d make for a long winter cooped up in my apartment all the time.