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Pebbles to Boulders: Inspiration

Tuesday, 9 November 2010 - Posted by Mort Cooper

Motivation is found with various types of inspiration. I am inspired in many ways. I mainly find inspiration with the people around me, and the things that happen to me.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my high school, Tillsonburg Glendale High School, celebrated its 50th Anniversary. As part of the celebration, as you can imagine, five decades of class reunions were held. I had the chance to meet up with many friends from days past. One friend, whom I shared, curling team and basketball ties, stood out. For as we spoke of the good ‘ol days and families, we discovered that we now only live 20 minutes apart from one another. Now the reason why I mention Cheryl Ann and why she has inspired me is that even as a fifty plus year old woman, she remarkably looks very much like she did back in high school. She is amazingly physically fit from years of proper diet and exercise. She has inspired me to become more physically fit.

Little Rockers

Still with the health theme, Victoria is another friend, who with her husband and my wife, we curl mixed together on the Thursday nights. We are not a great team, but we have few laughs, have some fun and enjoy the fellowship of our opponents. Victoria did something over the summer to lose some weight. She looks amazing. Our curling season has just begun, and in the first two games, she played very well. She too, has inspired me to become more health conscience and physically fit. If I do this, I might become a better curler like she has done. In my case, I can only hope.

I do not know many who did not enjoy the Winter Olympics from Vancouver last season. In my mind, there was no better entertainment anywhere. My family was glued to the television from first thing in the morning to the last thing at night (except for going the work and school) I have many memories from last February. One amazing moment was the class exhibited by Cheryl Bernard and her Team Canada women’s curling team as she accepted the silver medal after having such a great chance of winning the gold. With all of Canada looking on, Cheryl handled her difficult situation with such dignity and grace; she made me proud to be Canadian. That pride has inspired me to be a better person.

While watching Kevin Martin and his Team Canada men’s curling team, who could not have been stunned by the crowd bursting in song with the singing of O Canada while Marc Kennedy was in the hack to throw a rock against Great Britain in an important round robin game. What a spontaneous moment in Canadian curling history. This brought me to tears, as I was overwhelmed with joy. This act again made me proud to be Canadian and inspired me to continue my efforts to advance curling at all the levels that I am involved.

Little Rockers

During Little Rocks at the club, I come in contact with many people over the day. It is very rewarding to have parents and even grandparents come to me expressing their gratitude for the fine job we are doing to operate the program. The mere fact that anyone would come forward at anytime to say ‘thank you’, inspires me to show up the next week.

While it is great to have thanks expressed by parents, there is nothing more special when a Little Rocker comes up to you special to say thanks. Now you know that there are times when the parents have coached their children to say thank you. But you just know when it happens, that a young curler steps up without being prompted and they tell you what great time they have had. Like the time when a six year old boy came off the ice right up to me, gave me a big hug and kiss, and said that was the best day of curling he has had. It still brings me to tears thinking about it. What better motivator could anyone have, than the acceptance of a child? I have been inspired by the kids and with their development, and their smiling faces each week.

Little Rockers

It is hard to understand at times what a strong tool you have as being an example to others. You may never know who is watching you and the powerful image you project as a role model.

As well, taking the time to say a simple ‘thank you’ can send a strong message of acceptance. When you have the time, it would be nice to explain why you thanked people; it provides feedback that is so important for program evaluation.

Each and every one of us can motivate and inspire, it only takes an instant to leave a lasting impression that can shape a persons life.


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About Mort Cooper
Mort Cooper has been a curling administrator for over 25 years, beginning with 10 years as the Executive / Technical Director for the Ontario Curling Federation. He spent 3 years as the Curling Professional at Brantford Golf and Country followed by 10 years as Club Manager / Ice maker at the Brant Curling Club and one year as the General Manager of Guelph Curling Club. Presently, he is working on a semi-retirement career with a few outdoor pursuits, one of which is a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol System with Snow Valley Ski Resort in Barrie. In a volunteer curling capacity, Mort's career is highlighted with 10 years service as the Technical Advisor with the Uniroyal Goodrich World Junior Curling Championships, and along with his wife Donna, are major contributors to the Tim Hortons Little Rock Resource Guide. Mort acts as a resource on Little Rocks and is a Business of Curling Facilitator with the Canadian Curling Association.

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