No Guts, No Glory

An iceberg represents success

The quote above really resonated with me today, as I have finally reached the point in my life where I realize the value of hard work. I have learned that sometimes you need to venture out and try something new to be motivated to work hard. I find that I get complacent when I do the same thing over and over again, so recently I decided it was time for a change. I wanted to get away from the competitive world of my sports career which revolves around actual competition. I have always been a competitive person, but recently I have been exploring my creative side through dance and movement. This has been a key transition in my life because I am starting to realize that I was not cultivating creativity for a long time.

As soon as I started to tap into my creative energy, I noticed that I have been meeting some pretty interesting people and eventually have done some pretty interesting things. These life changes led me to working in Collingwood and eventually meeting Hella Sandberg, a beautiful and classy woman with years of image management experience. An immigrant to Canada yet long time resident, Hella welcomed me to Collingwood by encouraging me to try out for a local theatre production. Because of her belief in me, I am happy to announce to the people of the internet that I believe that I have transcended my role in society as a sports person and have finally dipped my toes in the world of the arts!

The video above is a Sony digital camera account of my very first theatre performance is part of the Our Sporting Heritage tour. The project is the brainchild of Arlene Noble, the sophisticated and serene producer and artistic director of Collingwood’s Gaslight Community Theatre.

The Gaslight Tour amateur theatre production is part two of four wonderful performances with a central theme of the production being the history of sport in Collingwood, Ontario. The entire production is run by enthusiastic and talented volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours to making it happen. The event has gained so much attention in the past few years that it sold out of 700 tickets within three days!

Our role as cast and crew was to depict a caricature of the typical ski racing family from the Niagara Escarpment.  Our story is a dramatization of the Clausens, a fictional but successful ski racing family from Collingwood.

Written by personal life coach Karen Hood-Caddy, No Guts, No Glory is a short, sweet yet deep tale that is focused on the lives of the Clausen family, a fictional ski racing family from Collingwood.

Two teenagers, Tom and Kaylee Clausen, have experienced the tragic loss of their mother. It was two years ago, and she passed just before their competition season. They have continued to compete despite the pain and sorrow, but problems in both of their mental and physical health have surfaced. Erik, their father, grieves over his wife but remains headstrong and true to his Norwegian stoic roots, only casually m

entioning his late wife with a slight tear in his eye.

Kaylee, a successful but nervous teenage skier, has qualified for the Whistler Cup. She struggles to overcome her fears of failure, which are amplified by the pressure her father is putting on her to succeed. Her older brother Tom is injured from a skiing accident and is disenchanted from the sport. He is supportive of his distraught sister as he can relate to her anxiety. Sadly, all of this support is being crushed by the iron fist of their domineering yet heartbroken father, Erik. Hardened by his failure to make the national team and the death of his soulmate, he is masking his pain by living vicariously through his children. Kaylee is expected to win the Whistler Cup, a prestigious race which hosts intense international competition. She is trying to ger ready to race, but isn’t sure if she should.

A real photo of the Whistler Cup race run. Kaylee was heading to the race when she had a breakdown. This was a catalyst for change in the her life as well as the lives of her family.

A real photo of the Whistler Cup race run. Kaylee was heading to the race when she had a breakdown. This was a catalyst for change in the her life as well as the lives of her family.

A real-life example of No Guts, No Glory is personified by Daisy Taylor, a Collingwood native. Daisy won the 2015 Whistler Cup trophy at the age of 13. She is beside her passionate coach, Larry Legear, who is relentless at ensuring his athletes are successful. Daisy is extremely talented and although this story is not based on her life, it is important to know that Collingwood is home to skiers of top caliber.

A real-life example of  a skier of Kaylee’s caliber is personified by Daisy Taylor, a Collingwood native. Daisy won the 2015 Whistler Cup trophy at the age of 13. She stands beside her passionate coach, Larry Legear, who, like Erik, is relentless at ensuring that his athletes are successful. Daisy is extremely talented and although this story is not based specifically on her life, it is important to keep in mind that Collingwood is home to many young ski racers of top caliber.

Directed by Wasaga Beach’s Al Davidson, long time actor, producer and theatre enthusiast, the performance ran smoothly despite numerous logistical challenges. With his patience, kindness and amazing coaching skills, Al was a great mentor for all of us during this challenging performance.

With the stage managed and organized by the Irish-born Cristin Mc Intyre, a Gaslight Theatre veteran and accomplished schoolteacher, No Guts No Glory came to life at Collingwood’s Mountain Fitness.

Imants Hausmanis, engineer and “go-to” guy from Wasaga Beach played the role of Erik, my father. He ended up being the “dad” in other ways too. Not only did he and his wife provide their wonderful home for our rehearsals, he set the tone of each performance with his attention to detail and incredible ability to memorize his lines to the T.

Kieran McKee, a Jean Vanier student from Nottawa played Tom, my brother. It was a strange coincidence that my real brother is also named Kieran. Coincidences aside, Kieran is witty, dependable and mature; it is hard to believe he is only sixteen! Always there to make me laugh with his excellent vocal warm-ups, not only did Kieran end up being my big brother in the performance, he helped me calm down. Watch out world, Kieran is going to be one of those people who takes it over!

A special mention goes out to Stephanie McCarthy and Hella Sandberg, who took great care of me with Hair and Makeup.They really helped me stay confident despite the nerves I was battling! Hella was the reason I volunteered for Gaslight in the first place, and I am grateful for her open-mindedness and faith in me.

Karen did not write the story about me specifically, but when I first read the script it was so familiar that I didn’t even have to act. This helped tremendously as I have never been on stage before!

Being a ski racer for ten years and moving into coaching was what got me to Collingwood, and because of Gaslight I got to share my experiences as a coach and athlete with the community that I live in.

I hope you enjoy No Guts, No Glory as much as I did; thanks for watching!


In closing, here is a photo of the slopes of the Toronto Ski Club (TSC).  A prominent racing stronghold at Blue Mountain, TSC is the home hill of the aforementioned Daisy Taylor and has been a training ground and competition venue for multiple world class athletes. A few notable members of TSC who achieved world class alpine recognition include (but are certainly not limited to): Todd Brooker, Richard Bertram, Kellie Casey, Kelby Halbert, Jeff MacInnis and Rob Crossan. The Escarpment is the home hill to hundreds of top-level ski racers, and continues to remain a powerhouse in the ski racing world.

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