Being champion for me is gratification. The realisation that I am the best. Overall, I like being a leader, setting a good example. I like being part of the solution and not the problem. I hope people think that I’m representing #1 properly. I just got to keep improving because the only person who will beat me is myself.
I still feel like five years old every time I step on the court. It’s my sanctuary…I want to maintain the fun at all times.
I know that it’s not all about me. It’s about the sport. I never want to be bigger than racquetball. I just want to get up in the morning, have my coffee, turn on ESPN or TSN and see racquetball.
Learning was never structured for me. I started playing when I was two. I would go to the gym with my dad who played regularly. I ‘d get on the court and play when he would go for a drink of water or something. When I was four they shaved down the grip on a racquet so I could hold it. I can’t even tell you why I loved being on the court, I just knew I enjoyed it. It was always about sports for me.
There are a lot of good racquetball players out there, but playing the game and knowing the game are two different things. Because I had no direction, I had to feel the game.
I’m not being used to create the trickle down effect in racquetball, unlike Tiger Woods being used to create such effect in golf. If you go to the IRT website, you don’t know that I’m champion. I mean you’ll see my image but you’ll not know what I’ve done in the sport. Although, me being Canadian makes it difficult for them to embrace me as champion. I don’t know, it feels like we take 10 steps forward and 8 back in racquetball.
Racquetball was always number one but when our first child was born things I thought I cherished weren’t as important. You put yourself in a position to win, but now you’re extra careful. Because I never wanted my kids to see me losing. I wanted them to remember me winning…thought that would be cool.
I argued for years to have the Canadian anthem played at the US Open Racquetball Championship and on the 11th year, I got it. I teared up a bit when I heard the anthem. It was a highlight of my career, better than some of my wins.
No matter what I do I’ll always be Canadian. What happened with me being banned was not about the sport of racquetball, but about the organisation. Why am I going to allow people who are irrelevant to sway me? I’ll never turn my back on Canada. I’m proud to be Canadian.
Hockey is still my favourite sport. I think that might be part of what makes me successful. I don’t live or die by racquetball, so I can detach from it when needed. I’m all about all sports.