CEO's Message - It's Not the Size of the Dog in the Fight, It's the Size of the Fight in the Dog

August 3, 2018

A couple of weeks have passed and I am still committed to exercise for the body and mind, not that it hasn’t been without its challenges. Last weekend I completed a 10Km run at 8am and was on my mountain bike at noon in Bragg Creek making my way to Tombstone which is a 40Km return trip. It took my longer than expected and I finished my workout at 5pm.  The challenge?  In addition to being a demanding physical day to begin with, my bike broke half way through the course and I had to walk for just over an hour before a fellow biker helped me fix my bike and I could make it back to my truck.


At Hope Conference Nathan Dempsey talked a lot about the challenges he faced in order to make it to the NHL.  His size being one of the biggest obstacles he had to overcome. He did it though, he turned negative comments from scouts, peers, et cetera into motivation.  It reminds me of the Mark Twain quote, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”


I guess that’s life isn’t it.  Facing challenges is not necessarily about size and strength, but rather determination, motivation and attitude.   Every day presents us all with a new set of challenges, some small, some huge.  For me on that day tired from my run and going almost 17Km before my bike broke then having to walk over hills and rock filled trails, slipping and sliding about I was facing not only a challenge but some pretty negative thoughts (like some bear eating me, getting lost, the possibility of getting seriously hurt).  I had a choice to make continue down the path of negativity or face the challenge.  Yes I would have a long walk to the parking lot but I reminded myself where I was…beautiful surroundings, fresh clean air, the sound of the wind in the trees.  I knew I could make it, but how I completed it was up to me.


While I’m not equating my broken bike experience to life with Parkinson disease; I am in this case using it as a metaphor.  In your journey with Parkinson’s it may seem like something is always breaking or not working as it once was.  The similarities I’m drawing here is in how we choose to address daily challenges.


As Nathan explained he knew what he had to do to get to the NHL, size wasn’t going to be the determining factor of his career nor was Parkinson’s diagnosis afterwards.  He addressed his challenges, made adjustments to his training and his life to ensure he did what he could to obtain what he wanted.  He turned negatives into motivation and positive outcomes.  It was about his own measure of success and enjoying the journey. Hard work, commitment, dedication and the inner strength to move forward regardless of what he was facing.  SUCCESS.  It can be in all of us, we just have to choose to try.


Until next time...


John Petryshen, CEO
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