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S3 E1 – Mindset Matters & Overcoming Obstacles with Grace Dafoe and Alysia Rissling

JP August 10, 2021 1

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In this week’s episode, we’re joined by national team athlete and Olympic hopeful Grace Dafoe, and Olympian Alysia Rissling to talk about mindset, finding calm, gratitude journaling and more.

S03E01 – Overcoming Obstacles w_ Grace Dafoe and Alysia Riss…

Thu, 9/2 11:01PM • 1:09:33


season, alicia, bobsled, sled, year, point, sport, bit, race, grace, dojo, competition, athletes, skeleton, team, calgary, podcast, weeks, national, moment


Voiceover, Grace Dafoe, Alysia Rissling, JP Gaston, Seth Anderson

Voiceover  00:01

This episode is powered by Airdrie DQ grill and chill owned and operated by local entrepreneurs check out one of their three Airdrie locations today and pick up a blizzard ice cream cake or Dilly bar. The Biz Dojo is also brought to you by beyond a beaten path. If you’re on the lookout for a personalized gift, had to be on the beaten path.ca and get started on your custom creation, beyond the beaten path, personalize it, because everything else is boring.

Seth Anderson  00:30

So what have you been up to for the last nine weeks?

JP Gaston  00:33

Oh, you know, not podcasting. Which is a lie, because we’ve actually been doing a fair bit of work for the podcast. But I’ve been doing a lot.

Seth Anderson  00:44

Not a lot of actual podcasting, though. No, we’ve

JP Gaston  00:48

done we’ve done a few little recordings and touch points and whatnot here and there. And most of the work we’ve done is kind of in the back end, and

Seth Anderson  00:57

we have lunch twice, twice.

JP Gaston  01:04

Yes, time lunch eater. Time, world champ.

Seth Anderson  01:09

What else? Well, that’s what I do. Man, I

JP Gaston  01:12

spent some time with my family, as I mean, that’s part of what the nine weeks is about. Making sure that we had time for family and friends and that we didn’t get consumed by this rapidly expanding podcast turned coaching company turned everything business that we’ve landed into. So I was very excited about that. Got to spend some time, you know, in the pool and avoiding smoke. There’s a lot of smoke. That was a thing that a lot of May. I saw. I saw blue skies today. And like there was almost a tear.

Seth Anderson  01:46

So happy father mountains for the first time today. And I mean, other than when I went to the mountains at one point, it’s the first time I’ve seen them in weeks.

JP Gaston  01:55

Yeah. So it was it was a marvelous day today with the with the blue sky and whatnot.

Seth Anderson  02:00

I was doing some rough math, as I do. I did. I made a quick list. Getting my list scratching back on here. Scratching. Yeah, that’s word. I actually saw nine of our guests face to face in the last nine weeks. I didn’t plan on that. It’s just that’s that’s how it worked out.

JP Gaston  02:24

Wow. I saw one.

Seth Anderson  02:26

Oh, you and I saw Vanessa

JP Gaston  02:28

we went to preserved and got some delicious items.

Seth Anderson  02:33

Yes, some gems and some

JP Gaston  02:36

ketchups and my jalapeno herbs bread. Oh, man.

Seth Anderson  02:40

That’s that’s really good. I really liked the banana peppers or the candied peppers, whatever they were called.

JP Gaston  02:47

Yeah, that the jalapeno herb spread. Just you know, side note for listeners here. Go pick it up. Grab some cream cheese. Mix it together and throw it into a piece of chicken in a piece of chicken.

Seth Anderson  02:58

Say onto a bagel But

JP Gaston  03:01

no, no cut open a piece of chicken, throw it in there and bake it off.

Seth Anderson  03:04

So good. Sounds delightful. And quickly, I’ll just go through the list also got a chance to see Xavier moon

JP Gaston  03:13

game. I forgot he went to a game in Edmonton went to a game.

Seth Anderson  03:16

Oh, that reminds me Actually we also saw Brian Bettis, who was on a chopping and upsets 10 guests in nine weeks. Went to the game with Brian and got to see Xavier do his thing. And man that was a special man that man can ball. Let me tell you,

JP Gaston  03:32

they ended the season like 13 and one didn’t they? 13 and one. Yes. And that was a

Seth Anderson  03:38

close one. Oh, they could have very easily had a perfect season. And you know I’m sure there’ll be no want to don’t want to jinx anything but I got to think they’ll be playing for the championship in the championship weekend coming up in two weeks up in Edmonton for the Canadian elite Basketball League. So also got a chance to catch up with hawks Moxley we had on the show. Another season one guest went up to Wainwright and at the same time saw Parker MCI. Wyatt and Derek are our correspondents in the field, and Connor McLennan so there was like one event where I saw like half the people that have been on our shows. But that was a ton of fun. It was great to go back up to Wainwright and spend a bit of time up there and go back to the hockey rink and take London with me and I’m sure we’ll get into that at some point. But that was a really good time. I also had a chance to catch up with Lauren and had a tarot card reading. Nice. So a follow up to my first tarot card reading which was which is really cool. And then our new friend Connor from local laundry countercurrent we went for a walk the other morning, which was

JP Gaston  04:51

even for a couple bucks. Now I haven’t

Seth Anderson  04:53

wasn’t for a few walks in my life. But I mean in this case, no Connor and I went for a walk. We were gonna go for coffee. But that was like he was all right. Right, right. Yeah. He’s like, you want to go for a walk? I’m like, Yeah, I want to go for a walk. So

JP Gaston  05:07

else yeah,

Seth Anderson  05:09

that’s what I’ve been up to, for the last nine weeks is meeting all of our guests.

JP Gaston  05:12

I feel I feel like I took the time to like, sit back and just chill and you took the time to like, step out and do some stuff, very, very opposite experiences. I did actually spend some time and we talked about this before the show, learning about cryptocurrencies and better better understanding that I’m not I’m not the investor in cryptocurrencies, but I’m learning a lot about it. It’s an interesting it’s an interesting thing.

Seth Anderson  05:41

I know nothing about it really. But it does seem like a thing that it would be

JP Gaston  05:45

spent weeks reading and I know nothing.

Seth Anderson  05:49

That’s cool. That could be a new hobby or potentially, you know, you could become a crypto advisor via The Biz Dojo another

JP Gaston  05:57

we have a crypto advisory

Seth Anderson  05:59

another value prop.

JP Gaston  06:01

I don’t know that I wide so the markets so volatile, I don’t know that I would want to but man, one one bitcoins worth like $57,000.

Seth Anderson  06:09

We do like we do a dojo coin. Is that a thing?

JP Gaston  06:13

I mean? Sure, it would take some effort, but I feel I feel like our time would be better spent smoothing out a few rough edges on some other.

Seth Anderson  06:27

Yeah, that’s probably true.

JP Gaston  06:29

But we we ended those nine weeks, we had a great conversation with two national athletes,

Seth Anderson  06:37

our first Olympian on the show. We had an almost Olympian last season, Mr. Jason Kraus, who was amazing, and had an unbelievable story. But you know, this this season, we’re able to hop in the dojo with Alicia rustling, who was a 2018 Olympian on the in the bobsled game, as it were. And also along with her is her co host on face first podcast as well as fellow kidsport. Ambassador, grace to phone.

JP Gaston  07:10

Yeah, interesting that we’ve got so many Bob’s letters or Bob’s our wraps like contingent on this show is catching up to our basketball contingent on the show on

Seth Anderson  07:19

Alicia, also a former basketball player University UVA, I believe,

JP Gaston  07:24

yeah. If you read Alicia’s bio, it, it reads like just a list of sports. Yeah. Like if you went to Wikipedia and looked up sports, it would be the same list that’s under her sports. She’s flick,

Seth Anderson  07:38

but she’s also. So just looking at her bio here. She made history in February 2015, during a North American cup race, in Park City, Utah, when she became the first ever pilot of an all female format, bobsled, and an internationally sanctioned race. I’ll get my words back here. So not not just an athlete, but a world class, very impressive athlete. So

JP Gaston  08:05

who’s helping to break barriers? Like that’s incredible,

Seth Anderson  08:08

breaking down barriers. And you know, I think if I got anything so much out of this conversation, but in her part, in particular, was just her perseverance and the sort of never say, no attitude with better that’d be the best way to put it. I think I got

JP Gaston  08:22

that from from both of them. Fair. I feel I feel like that’s, I feel like that’s a thing that you need in bobsled, which I don’t know, before talking to people who do bobsled, I thought, your run, you jump in a missile that’s on ice. And I like I’ve been to the lose track over at CRP. And I’ve watched I’ve actually watched an event there was years ago, but I watched an event there. And you used to be able to stand where there’s a turn, there’s like a center section that used to be able to stand in and you can get really close to the track there. And so actually, I’ve got some pictures or I tried to get some pictures. They were going so fast that it just it elongated, the luge to the point where it looked like it was 30 feet long, and the people’s heads were eight feet each and but man they get they get going pretty darn fast. Things You know, one of the things we’ve talked about that we want to focus in on this season is helping people with, you know, practical tips and tricks, you know, from from these amazing people and amazing leaders across all industries that you can apply to your day to day life. And,

Seth Anderson  09:28

you know, what I really loved about grace is the conversation with grace. We got into talking about breathing. And I’m a big fan of breathing.

JP Gaston  09:41

I am I’m pro breathing.

Seth Anderson  09:44

I’m on the bandwagon for breathing and all things related to it. I think like the crazy thing is like how effective reading can be just in our day to day life, obviously but like like taking a step back taking you know 3d bras, as she said, because I don’t know of any, in any circumstance in my day to day life where I’m hopping into an ice missile, as you called it, and going 100 and some odd miles an hour down, down a hill. And if it works for her, you know, to be able to take a step back, take those three deep breaths and then get in her ice missile. I’m pretty sure you know, it can work for getting into a big meeting or, you know, whatever going to your purely hockey game, I don’t know what situation where you know, where you might be having a little bit of anxiety, you might be, you know, feeling feeling that like, Oh, I need to take a step back. And I got to think if it works for you know, Olympians and future Olympic athletes that that simple mechanism, step, I don’t know what the word that I wanted to technique, there you go. If that if that works for them, I got to think that’s, that’s something to pay attention to in your own life.

JP Gaston  10:54

It’s definitely something that I’ve started to pay attention to. As I’ve gone through some of the coaching programs to become a coach, it’s pretty prevalent there to help teach people how to step back and take that breath. And I think we do it subconsciously, when we do have a big dislike, I think the best example of this, and we’ve kind of talked about it before, I’m not sure if it made it to the show, but I know we’ve recorded about it, but you know what you’re driving in, you turn down your radio, because you’re looking for the edge

Seth Anderson  11:27

of the thing, which is

JP Gaston  11:28

like the craziest thing, but it’s just like just taking that moment to quiet the noise and concentrate on the thing that you’re trying to do. It’s just so I mean, I do use it for beer league hockey. I don’t know how many times when there’s like three minutes left and it’s you know, I haven’t let in a goal yet. My brain goes to who you’re about to get a shout out and then immediately goes to you’re not supposed to think that. You think that it’s gonna ruin Okay, take a breath, everything’s gonna be fine. Oh, here they come down the ice. You better take a breath. Okay. Ready?

Seth Anderson  11:57

Ladies and gentlemen, we just got a glimpse into the mind of JP the goalie. I’ve been dabbling and we talked about it a little bit in this episode, and I think we might talk about it in every episode of the season, and guided meditation. Again, big fan of that and breathing. So thought maybe to head into this episode, for those of you who are, are open to it or willing, let’s just take a moment. Let’s take three deep breaths, and then we’ll dive into it here. Welcome to The Biz Dojo with Seth and JP. This week, we’re joined by Alicia wrestling and grace Defoe. We’re going to talk about mindset and in particular, overcoming challenges. But first grace and Alicia, welcome to the dojo really excited and happy to have you guys on the show. Thanks so much for having us. I think the place we were actually going to start today is you guys are fellow podcast hosts. So that’s that’s very cool. What? What inspired you to get into podcast?

Grace Dafoe  13:33

Ah, well, I’m not gonna lie. So it was through kidsport Calgary, which we’re both ambassadors for, and this opportunity came up I saw my email. I actually thought I was going to be a guest on it and not the host. Yeah, sounds great. I’d love to do it. And then we got an email a couple weeks later from kidsport I’m Rob curry. It’s like yeah, so posting the podcast like here’s what we’re gonna do. And I was like, Well wait, what? By that anyways, it’s been awesome ever since it just came as a little bit of a surprise. But I love that part of the story.

Seth Anderson  14:08

When opportunity knocks I guess he just

Alysia Rissling  14:12

Yeah, I was a little bit the opposite. I actually knew that we’d be hosting same email though for her for kids for it but I actually was like, I’ve been on a guest on so many and and podcasting is a great way for me to start building my resume towards what I wanted to in my future after sports. So I was definitely looking get into it. And that was just to give an opportunity to pass up.

Seth Anderson  14:35

Very cool. And I skipped right past intro. So I was doing a little research prior to this. And I noticed you guys were a few different hats. So I thought maybe I’d let you guys Introduce yourself. Like what’s your what’s your 32nd elevator pitch on on what you do in the world.

Alysia Rissling  14:53

My name is Alicia rustling I am born and raised in Edmonton call myself a Calgary and now for the last decade I moved here to person See the sport of bobsled. I am a pilot. I am one of the first people in the world to pilot all three slides. So that means I usually drive my to man I competed and then 2018 Olympics. In a two man bobsled with my partner Heather Moyse became sixth. And I have driven the mana bar, which is a brand new sled that is going to be debuting at the 2022 Olympic Games here in February. And I also was the first female to pilot a four man sled with a crew of all women in international race when we were originally trying to get the format to be our second event. If you watch the Olympics, you see that the man competing the two men in the format and the women was just two men until this year. I’m an avid sports fan. And, and it’s all about me.

Seth Anderson  15:52

Awesome. How about yourself? Grace? Yeah, so

Grace Dafoe  15:54

my name is Grace. I’m born and raised in Calgary, I was a figure skater for pretty much most of my life growing up, and then I fell into the twists and turns of skeleton. And I’ve been on the national team for the last two years and just training to hopefully go to my first Olympic Games. And yeah, I went to Mount Royal University and Bachelor of health and physical education. And that kind of was led me working. Now I worked for the nonprofit classroom champions on the side of all my on the side of all my training and yeah, we’re kids. We’re at Calgary, ambassadors, and obviously the face first podcast, co host with Alicia,

JP Gaston  16:29

unintentional podcaster, it’s a great time to put on my LinkedIn, like that. Awesome. So you’ve likely come up through a lot of challenges. And that’s one of the things that that we want to talk about today is some of the challenges that you’ve faced and how you overcame them. So maybe we start with the question of what’s one of the biggest challenges that you’ve that you’ve ever faced, and we can use that as a jumping off point. So maybe start with you guys.

Grace Dafoe  16:56

Yeah, so I was training for I’ve been trading for skeleton for nine, just over nine seasons now. I started when I was in university, and it kind of seems like I have a very linear progression. No start at the provincial team and then started getting international competitions, kind of on track to make the national team I was in my in the national prospect pool before you make the national team in around 20 1617 season. And that’s how I was in a in a car accident. And I had an ankle injury and that kind of derailed, I would say my offseason quite a bit. And then that season after I was kind of like D selected out of the prospect pool for the national team, which is kind of like my first major setback, I would say in the sport when you just like, you know, you keep getting better and better. You’re like, Oh, this is great. My next step is the national team. And then suddenly, it was kind of like the rug was pulled out from underneath me. I didn’t get any races that year after you know, I won two North America’s Cup races, which is our development level races. And placed second and third overall on that circuit. It was kind of a little bit of a shock. And I really had to evaluate whether I was going to keep doing skeleton and or just like or just move on with my life and retire and I weighed each pretty heavily. But I decided that I had unfinished business with skeleton. So I went kind of all in and you know, my strength coach, Carla was the first person I went to. And I’m like, Okay, this is where I want to be, this is where I am. How do we close that gap? To be like, no, the most honest of all the gaps I have physically mentally, we like made a plan. I was like, hey, if you know go all in for one offseason that doesn’t work. It’s not meant to be I’ll never be on the national team. And lo and behold, I ended up running our sprint standard, which you have to make to kind of put yourself in the running to make the national team to kind of be moved over to that talent pool that I was in kind of before. And then we went through the selection process and I was actually selected to my first national team. I’m not as easy as necessarily I make it sound I actually ended up my grandmother passed away the day I got to Whistler for our national team trials. But I chose to stay out there ultimately made made the team but um, yeah, I was just really just like, being D selected and like everything you’ve worked for for like, four or five years. And then you’re like, Oh, is it is it is it over? And I kind of took a chance that it wasn’t and it’s worked out so far, I guess. But that was a really big struggle and like a big year where I really had to be honest with myself, like what I wanted. And if I if I had the like if I had the physical ability and mental ability to get better and and you know, really take it to the next level.

Seth Anderson  19:47

It’s very inspiring. Grace, how would you describe your mindset through that process?

Grace Dafoe  19:53

You know, it was almost so calm. My mindset was like I won a prize. I had goal set like small, small goals as well as like, obviously larger goals with kind of each of my integrated support team. So, you know, with my sports psychologists, we were very heavily working on the mental prep for not only like the on a season, but for like showing up to our testing camp. And so yeah, it was just kind of like, it was almost cerebral, because you were just like, Okay, this is the next step, this is the next step. And everything just kept going really well, which came as a shock, but it was, obviously after a lot of preparation and stress. And, you know, things not going well. So it kind of, is hard to describe, but it’s like that moment of flow as, as an athlete or a person that know things just feel like, this is how it’s supposed to be. But that didn’t come without struggle, obviously, before so it didn’t just happen, I worked really hard for that preparation to make that happen. You kind of felt your mindset flip, and you felt like okay, now,

JP Gaston  21:01

I’ve thought about leaving, I’ve thought about continuing this is I’ve decided, this is my moment, I have decided I’m going to continue and I’m all in

Grace Dafoe  21:10

um, yeah, it was I was actually told that by a few friends and through word of mouth, from a past staff member, above the kind of skeleton that my straight coach and I shouldn’t keep working together, she was chosen in the duet formations to inexperienced, a whole load of stuff. And they’re like, here’s your two other options. And for the record, you don’t get sound like a sport where you get assigned, like, you have this person, they’re paid for, like, I pay for my ISDS, Alicia does as well. But it flips on my mind that I was like, No, you don’t get to tell us that you don’t have to tell me that. Let’s prove them wrong. A lot of my career is actually based on like, let’s prove them wrong, um, a little bit. And sometimes it’s proving myself wrong, sometimes it’s proving other people wrong. But the switch went off, and I was like, we’re going to come back and we’re gonna be great. And I came out and ran our national team standard in camp, but six months later, and that that was a little bit I left that camp and I was like, I’m gonna do this like this is it just put this like, put my motivation on all time high, which that I built my confidence up to match my motivation. And from then on, I just felt like a little bit self unstoppable a little bit.

JP Gaston  22:32

How important was the was the sports psychologist, like we’ve had a few conversations on the show about having that sports psychologist and, and having that person to kind of bounce ideas off of and move you to that next level. We’ve talked about it, I mean, as well, for business, how important is that sport psychologist for, for moving into that next level?

Grace Dafoe  22:53

Yeah, she’s been a part of my team for about three or four years now. Um, it’s absolutely crucial that it’s not only for like, giving me the tools in my toolbox to like, you know, be able to handle stress or handle stress on Testing Day or be adaptable or something like that. It’s also just like, the time to vent and the time to like, get all your frustrations out with like, what’s going on, and whether it’s, you know, crappy training week or something that is going awry, I’m liking COVID in the last year, obviously, our plans changed quite quite frequently and traveling quarantine all this stuff, it was just someone I knew I could rely on that was like, she’s at an arm’s length from the sport so she doesn’t really start involved with it. So she doesn’t have to be accountable to like you don’t tell anyone and so it’s a safe space. So to me that’s like what matters the most and it’s just it’s helped me ease a lot of the competition anxieties of you know, the pressure that I put like internally on myself and like me helped she helped me recognize that like I was putting too much pressure on myself internally and like to live some of that but also how to like ground myself and prepare for whether it be office testing or honest competition or training. It’s very much just been it’s been integral I honestly don’t think that my comeback have a small amount what would be possible without the mental prep side because it just it actually was quite a weak point for me and I really had to work on it. But now I feel like I’m one of the stronger mental preparation people on our team our head coaches also always super impressed with like the amount of mental prep I have to put on, put off the ice in order to like transfer it on on ice. It’s not necessarily as as easy and fluid as some people but um, I really just have to work and make sure that yeah, that I’m ready to slide at the track 130 kilometers an hour. And as we both know, mistakes can happen but you really have to be able to adapt and just stay calm. Even when Sometimes things are going well sideways,

JP Gaston  25:01

I can barely handle driving in a car with wheels firmly on the ground. 130. So, that’s impressive.

Seth Anderson  25:08

I’m fascinated with this this topic, Grace. And I’m just wondering, are there one or two tips or I guess, tools that you could share on how you get grounded and what specifically you do to mentally prep for an event?

Grace Dafoe  25:24

Yeah, um, I have a few in my toolbox one is, is breathing, the box round is one of one of my most utilized tools. So it’s in for three, hold for three out for three holes for three. I’m pretty much doing that on the start line, most times because that’s when I tend to get really amped up and I’m like, okay, like, I just need to bring it down a notch. Or do you like don’t want to pay attention necessarily to who’s sliding down the tracks, that’s a really heavily utilized one for me. Um, music sometimes depending on Edit, it depends what music and what I need, if I need to be brought up or brought down I know what music to pick up my playlist. Grounding is a big one as well with my feet. So between when I take my to my warm up when I take my shoes off and then like inside day ready to put my spikes on for competition, I take a moment to like feel my feet on the ground and really think about it and swaying side to side supposedly helps calm and brain as well according to my sports psychologist, so that’s one as well. I used to pace a lot but I’ve kind of kind of thrown that one out the door because I started to be known for for pacing around the start house. But those those few are really important for me. And then just the as I said, the preparation side is just imperative. For me, I started treat with like a track plan. We talked over with our head coach and to me building that through helps me be confident and not second guess myself on the ice. So that is actually one of the most key pieces in my mental PrEP is just knowing that I can handle it. And I know what the plan is, and I don’t have to show up to training and second guess myself.

Seth Anderson  27:05

Like I got a good infographic there. JP crazy.

JP Gaston  27:08

Yeah. I feel like there may be a few great infographics from this episode.

Seth Anderson  27:14

I love the point I’m breathing. I think that’s it’s such a simple thing. A quick aside a couple weeks ago, I took my kids and we did the tea house hike and Lake Louise, which was probably a bit much for foreign nine year old but we did it. And on the way down, we came the back way. Have you guys done that hike before? I don’t know. And you come down the staircase. And then it’s like kind of like a goat trail on a little cliff. And anyway, we got to that point and my son, he just kind of clued in like holy shit, if I fall down that it’s not gonna be good. And he started crying. And, you know, just like one step at a time and breathe and we get through it in my daughter. She’s only four. And I’m like really scared when we were going through that. And she’s like, No, I just took a couple deep breaths. And I was good. And I was like girl that is very good little four year old that’s already figuring out the power of taking a couple deep breaths. I guess pivoting over Alicia the same same question to you, you know, is there a significant challenge that really stands out and when you look back at your career that you’ve overcome to this point,

Alysia Rissling  28:25

I was taking all the time that grace was talking about to figure out which one I should talk about because there’s been so many, but I think the one to speak to is turning Bob side to win a race you need three things, you need the fastest push possible. You need the smoothest drive, and you need the best equipment. skeleton is actually very similar. But in bobsled if you if you don’t have the best equipment, you you don’t have a chance. And so this would be 20 1617 season was coming up. It was the summer leading into it. And I knew that the next year I had come off a pretty good year the year before. And I was going to be going full time to the World Cup circuit. So until this point, it’s still being considered national development and this year I was giving them the one who’s going to start on the North America’s Cup which is the development tour. I’d be doing the full World Cup tour and racing it’s the best athletes in the world. And they say when you I was winning races on the North America’s Cup pretty consistently. So I was proving that I could drive a sled because I and I could perform under you know stress it’s still even though your development level it’s still high level of competition still international races, different tracks. But I had won the overall the year before and and most of my races and I could drive that I had driven the forehand side. So I’ve proven that can drive this slide. I’ve proven that I could push a slide I was one of the faster pushing athletes in the world at the Time. And we got a meeting one month or two months sorry, before season started. It was in August and our team was getting four new bobsleds, we’re getting four new two months. And so for to the split between the men and the women, but everybody needs their own sled when you go on tour, it’s just the men and women, we train at the same times, often, even though we’re race at different times. So we go into her, and everybody has their own sled. And I was the candidate to pilot at the time, or the women’s side. And so we go to this meeting, and I’m thinking, you know, no one and two men are going to get one of these slides and the Canada one and two women are going to get one of these slides. And our coach came in a little bit confused, and, and seemed like they didn’t really have a plan when they came in. And he goes, you know, we’ve kind of decided that we’re going to give three of these slides, the men side, and only one to the women’s side. And I asked why that was. And they said, because the third rank, male had had more points than than I did in in points you accumulate based on your position, and where are you finishing each race from the year before? And I go minimum? No, I have more points. And they go, pretty sure. And I’m like, yeah, I’m sure. So we actually had to pull it up, which was hilarious, because we couldn’t get it up because the website was crashed at the time. So this meeting was supposed to be a 15 minute meeting. And we were already in there for over an hour waiting for this website to pull up all so we could prove that I had more points turned off as soon as we get it up, I think they ended up like just emailing into Switzerland to try and get the gist, the rough sheet because the website was crashed and came back and I had 10 more points, the coaches left the room. And, and keep in mind, I’m really good friends with my men’s team, this is never a fight. But with these women team because I want to see them do as well as we can do. It’s not. So it kind of is ruthless to be on a team like this, because we love each other and we want to support each other. But we’re also in competition for with the women, I’m in direct competition with them every single day. And with the men’s team. Like I’m in competition for equipment with them, there’s only limited resources will come equipment and and funding. So they come back in the room and they said sorry, Alicia, we’re still getting this led to the men’s program. And I was like, why? Like how can you justify this? And they said, We think that our men’s program has more chance of success than than our women’s program. And, you know, it’s one of those moments where you’re like, I didn’t want to like, I’m not fighting with the third rank, man, but I was just like, how could you guys do this to me, and I’ve never been so mad before in my entire life. Like, I didn’t actually flip the table. But like I was like, like squeezing it. Like, I was like, that was my plan. I was like, I’m gonna flip this table on the way up. And I basically said, screw you guys. I’m getting my own side and just like stormed out, like meeting was over for me. I was out. I got in the car. And I was like, like, kind of hyperventilating a little bit. And I drove right to my job, which was at the time I was serving at a breakfast restaurant. And I quit, I walked into the dorms like I quit, I have to figure this out. And I can’t do it. Like my, my, my schedule was I would serve during the mornings. And then I go train in the afternoons. And it was getting me by but I wasn’t gonna come up with 60 grand in that time. And I took a couple days to track down a regular that I had had, because this gentleman that I had served all the time he he was really well connected here with the oil and gas industry in Calgary. But he was currently unemployed because oil was in the tank at the time. But he kind of had mentioned to me because when I had served him every day he and he was just like, well, how much does a bobsled cost. And I was like $60,000. And he’s like, sorry, I just have to get 10 and my friends are thanks to my friends to give you 10 grand and I was like, well when you have put it that way. But I hadn’t seen him in forever. And I didn’t know where he had been. And I didn’t have his contact information. So I think I told every girl at that restaurant. I was like, if this guy comes in, like I need to make sure he has my number like please like I’m like desperate to find him. I know he lives in the neighborhood. I lived in the neighborhood. And like I’m going to find him. But yeah, so moral of the story is he I ended up getting connected with him. And he got me meetings with decision makers of companies because he helped me skip the cold call part of the sales pitch. He got me meetings with decision makers and companies that he knew were employed, who knew they were busy and knew they had, you know, cash flow coming in that they they would potentially be interested. And in the meantime, I started doing my side of the work which was Working with one of my coaches who was not in on that meeting to figure out how I was going to get one of these sleds that my teammates just got. Now I like just to clarify this, the sled that my team was going to give me was the same slide I was in last year, which was equivalent to a Ford and the sled that the my teammates were getting, that I was going to be racing, as most athletes on the World Cup circuit was a Ferrari. So it didn’t matter how fast I could push and it didn’t matter how good how great my drive was like if I’m in a Ford and they’re all driving Ferrari’s I don’t have a chance. And, yeah, so I had studied sciences in university, and I had no idea how to deal with, with businesses, I didn’t know anything, I spent two weeks on a computer, basically googling how to produce a business proposal. Right, a couple of things about sales pitches, and created this, this I don’t know like slide deck about what I was going to do to kind of convince these people to give me money and a lot of money so that I could buy this sled and how I how I could help their company and what that looked like. So I got it in. Two months later, I had enough for the down payment. And my sled showed up a little bit late for my season start. And I started my season and the old sled and our candidate, one girl beat me by three seconds. And the next time we raced again and I had my new sled she only beat me by point five, five. That was how much of a difference that hadn’t been that new sled made and went on to have a great season on the World Cup that actually ended with a silver medal on the Olympic test event at the end of the season. So that’s just goes to show how important that equipment was. But in that moment, I kind of just rolled over and just taken the old slide and gone and season but I wouldn’t have actually realized what my true potential was had I not gotten that slide and the slide I’m driving and it’s now the slide and trying to get rid of to get a new one for this year. But it that that moment and what I did that year and and actually I didn’t get a Ferrari I got what I like to call them McLaren of of sleds, I got a different one than all my sleds. But then all my teammates got and to be honest, I like it a lot better. So I was really happy that I did.

JP Gaston  37:26

So if any listeners are looking for a sled for sale, yeah, email, a special price for you.

Seth Anderson  37:35

Oh, you should just love that story. super inspiring. What’s the biggest thing you learned about yourself through that process?

Alysia Rissling  37:42

You know, there is one thing about me that I think I’ve known for a long time I was the university basketball player. And I’ve always been known as kind of the hardest worker in the room. And that just doesn’t really come just does. That doesn’t mean just on the field of play. That means like, I’ll go above and beyond what I have to do outside of sport to to get what I need to do to be to be where I want to be. Like a couple years ago, I had another story but it just it my nickname became relentless rez, My nickname is Rizzo. So yeah, and that that was the one thing that kind of solidified it that I was like, You know what, I literally can make anything happen. If I want it bad enough.

Seth Anderson  38:26

those are those are great stories really, really appreciate both of those. I think maybe pivoting a little bit. We were gonna try a segment. So my mom had given me feedback that we needed to include listener questions this year. And yesterday, I posted asking for some listener questions. And then I texted her and said You better ask a question. Sure idea. Yeah. So question from Mama Seth, as it were, how do you deal with anxiety before competition? And what are some of the methods you use to calm yourself? I know grace, you kind of got into this a little bit already. But Alicia, do you have any tips or tricks or things that you do?

Alysia Rissling  39:05

Yeah, I mean, it’s funny because that most of my anxiety for my sport I get completely away from the competition competition is my favorite part. And that’s the part that I find the easiest for me because I like to practice the way I race or I can race through a practice. And I always know that usually when I get to the line on race day that I’ve my thought processes, you know what I’ve done everything that I needed to do, and I make sure that I’ve done everything I need to leading into part that’s the part that helps alleviate that anxiety, and whatever maybe will be. Don’t get me wrong, there are some races that are a little bit crazy. Like for instance, when Whistler is minus 10 and sunny out and you know you’re gonna go 150 close to 150 kilometers an hour. That’s that’s a completely different type of anxiety. And that one is again with grace talking about that those breathwork I mean Another one for me is just managing my stress levels. Outside of in that competition. I like being amped up in competition. I love the butterflies, I know that that means I’m ready. So for me though, if you can’t live that life the whole time, I tried to do it prior to the last Olympic season, and just being amped all the time. And that lead to severe burnout syndrome. For me, overtraining syndrome, I got really, really sick, hair falling out sick. And I’ve had to learn tips and tricks to manage my stress levels, outside of my sport, so that basically just reserving them for being in that spreading moment. A big one for me that grace didn’t mention, because I do the ones that she does as well, is I like to practice gratitude. So I have my cheeky little book here that I’m not gonna read it out loud for your listeners, but it’s as mindful as F. And just practicing everyday things that I am grateful for. And if I don’t write it down, I usually try and just say it in my brain before I go to bed, and just live a happier life, I guess, just be happy for what I have. And suddenly, all my problems don’t see so big.

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