Well, the BIG NEWS is here!!! I am on my way to London for the 2012 Olympics in one week.
Here is the back story of my trip.....grab a cuppa java, this may be long...
2012 has been a life changing year for me so far and we have just gotten over the half way point!!! The year started off with me leaving my part-time job of 6 years and a decade of event planning and administrative type work. I took this as a pause and to re-evaluate what is my next chapter in life.
On January 1, I wrote down goals for the first-time in a decade. I had forgotten that when one actually puts down goals, the universe opens its doors to make things happen. (Mike Dooley, from www.tut.com, taught me not to worry about the "cursed hows" and let the universe do the work.). After some soul searching, I realized what my main goal would be: London Olympics 2012, be there. (that is it period). I knew I didn't want to be a spectator but to knock off one of my bucket list goals - to take part in a major event.
Of course, just stating a goal isn't going to get you there, you need to take the small steps to make it happen. So I started to contact people that I had been associated with through volleyball or work to ask the question, how does one get to help out at the Games. In February I applied as a volunteer for Canada House through the Canadian Olympic Association (being a 2-time Olympian with event planning credentials I figure I had a good shot at being accepted). So now in the meantime, I started more steps - how can I get a flight over, who do I know that may know someone in London that wants to rent out a room. After 5 weeks, the decision had come that I had been short-listed than another 2 weeks to find out that I had been selected. WhooWhoo!!! Great book my ticket through Aeroplan and secure accommodations.
So now that the work slate was wide open for me, I had to think about what do I know best and what can I do about it. Well, I like to paint (check out what I have been doing when volleyball was not a mainstay www.josiesjoys.com) and I was very good at volleyball. For the first time in 12 years, I did volleyball. I conducted a high school practice, did a clinic with fellow Olympian Mark Heese, watched CIS National Championships in Hamilton with old teammates, spent the May long weekend at Direct Energy Center watching Canadian Open Championships and reacquainted myself with many former teammates, both national team, club team and from working the Pro Beach tour. Then to top it all off, I helped coordinate a 30year reunion in Ottawa (where the above pic was taken) as Team Canada teammates gathered to help induct one of our coaches, Dr. Lorne Sawula, in the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame in June. Hence, this website that you are now following and my venture back into teaching my volleyball skills to a younger generation have transpired. Remember this was not on the radar on Dec 31, 2011!!!
I cannot go on until I let you know the most significant event so far this year. Everything I have mentioned above and all the reasons I have been away from volleyball for so long was that I had been caring for my mother who had battled Alzheimer's for the past 15 years. I had traveled the world with volleyball for a long time in the 80's & 90's, now with my home life needing my attention, I changed my focus and devoted myself to taking care of my mother along with my siblings. I knew this would not last forever and having made that decision I have no regrets when she passed away on May 31 of this year. In her illness over the past 10 years, I have learned so much more about life and myself.
Well, you would think by this time I would be all gungho about London!!! The other significant event that I had to celebrate was my 50th birthday on July 14, so I hosted a wonderful party with my family and friends. I have learned to be present and make the moment's count. This will help when I spend the time at the Olympics, making each moment, each minute, each day count.
Many have expressed interest in following my adventures in London. So I will blog here as often as possible and will also post pictures on my Facebook page, Diane Ratnik - Volleyball, so be sure to go LIKE me there. I will try to reply to any questions as often as I can. So far I do not know my schedule or role at Canada House. I know that the building is at Trafalgar Square, not far from the beach volleyball venue at the Horse's Palace Guard (don't forget to cheer on our 2 beach volleyball teams, Lessard/Martin and the men Binstock/Reader). and down the road from Buckingham Palace, who knows maybe the Queen or one of the Princes will stop in for a brew!!!