Winning an Olympic medal for Canada was one of my proudest moments. But the podium was just a pathway for changing children’s lives.
When you accomplish a goal or a dream you have poured your life into, there are reminders of the lessons you have learned along the way.
Probably the most surprising lesson? Is understanding the responsibilities that Olympic medal brings.
It was never meant to be put into a glass case and admired. It was always meant to be shared to inspire someone to reach his or her potential in life. To motivate a high school athlete to give just a little more.
To instill work ethic.
To show a different path to youth involved in drugs.
To inspire someone to reach a little higher. To speak for those that needs a voice. To give hope to a child fighting cancer.
You play your entire career for the chance to compete at the Olympics, and then you get that chance and think: “What in the heck have I gotten myself into?”
It’s something we don’t think about – we think about winning – but we never think about what our responsibilities are AFTER the win.
We don’t realize who we may have inspired; who we may motivate.
You don’t realize that you can now lend your name and make a difference?
With winning comes responsibility (or at least I think it does) and on June 16th I will begin an incredible journey to climb 19,500 feet to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain – Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – to make a difference.
The vision for this climb is to help end girls living in crisis –which includes both child labor and trafficking in all its forms.
Summiting Kilimanjaro will take every ounce of the determination I had at the Vancouver games, but it will all be worth it knowing that we will be helping girls escape slavery and exploitation.
To donate & check out perks: www.worldvision.ca/kili
Hashtag to follow our journey on social media: #kiliclimb4kids
Follow me on twitter @TeamBernard
Thank you to our sponsors:
SoLo Bars (nutrition partner)
GoodLife (training partner)
Kenya Airways (travel partner)
Charity Challenge (tour partner)
Heartland Printing and Graphics (printing partner)
Sierra Sil (muscle partner)