Monday, November 2, 2009


Tennis has played a huge role in my life. It's given me some of my closest friends, paid for my university, given me work not to mention so many memories.....and most importantly it gave me Megan. My favorite childhood memories are of summers spent at the Lethbridge Tennis Club- a small 6 court facility that was right down the alley from my house. The club was set across from Henderson Lake and in behind the baseball stadium that was the home of our LA (Lethbridge Alberta)Dodgers....beautiful setting. I'd get there early in the morning to play with the seniors, about 7am- and be there sometimes past midnight playing late night games under the lights with the club pro and his friends. I did that from the age of 10 till I moved to Vancouver at much freedom. I can remember my mother screaming at me from across the park leading up to the courts to come home for lunch ...or bed depending on the time of day. When I arrived in Vancouver it wasn't long before I began to pal around with the other guys in my age group playing the local junior circuit. A group of us became close friends and travelled to all the tournaments together terrorizing the streets from here to Montreal. We all went on to get scholarships to play in the states. We stay in touch but everyone is spread out around the world Jesse in Louisiana, James C in Montreal, James G in New York, Justin in Australia. I'm really proud of these guys and miss not having them around.

University was a whole new experience and I savored every moment of it. I'd taken a year off after high school to write my SAT's and apply to universities. There are so many in the states and I was down to talking to two or three so I looked on the map and picked the furthest one from home where I knew it would be warm. This is where the dislike for tennis began - somewhere in that year off I'd lost my confidence on the court and it didn't help that the coach I had signed with quit a week before school started. I wasn't happy with my on court performance through out college but I loved practicing out in the sun and we had a blast travelling all over the southern states. I certainly enjoyed the benefits of being a student athlete in the states and exploited it to the maximum. I have many close friends from university and have reunited with team mates over the years although most now live back in there native lands. We had guys from Sweden, Argentina, France, Holland and two Canadians. My friend Jesse joined me at university my second year and it was really cool to have a close friend share that experience and he really helped me to stay on track with tennis and school. Jesse ended up staying down there to do his masters and married a sweet southern belle - they now have two beautiful girls.

Since being diagnosed tennis helped bring me back to life and made me feel like a better person. I began taking coaching more seriously and was the 2003/2004 U18 BC Indoor Nationals squad coach. I took our team to Toronto to compete both those years. It was strange only 10 years earlier I was one of those kids. They were far better behaved than our group and at least waited till they were out of the tournament before hitting up the beers....little bastards.

It wasn't easy to find work that would be forgiving to my situation but the tennis community has been great to me and it worked out well. I left the NSWC (north shore winter club) which was a difficult decision. I have a special relationship with the staff/members at the NSWC. I was working there when I was diagnosed and the support they gave me was overwhelming. I'm forever indebted to them and go back there often. I had landed a job as High Performance Director up at Hollyburn where I spent the past five years. My boss Rufus who quickly became my close friend took me on and we never looked back. We had such a good time and the staff welcomed me in and have become my good friends. As my health deteriorated over the years Rufus would change my role to make it work. I'm so grateful to the management, the members and most of all Rufus for working with me all those years. Despite my condition I was getting to the point where I was dissatisfied with where I was in life...I needed more. The management gave me an opportunity as Racquet's Coordinator but my health was plummeting so quickly I couldn't do what I wanted to do and decided to leave last October. The hardest part of this whole experience is the frustration I have with trying to establish a career while fighting this. My mind wants to do so much but my body won't take me there!

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of tennis, I loved when my brother brought home his hot tennis friends, hehe

    Love you Chad

    Rachel xoxox