Andrew Schnell

Pan Am Games Gold Medalist, Current Canadian #1, WR#70, MSc Kinesiology, #fasterhigherstronger

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And here we are, at the end of 2017, back to the place where it all makes sense. Perhaps as much the result of habit as of conscious decision, I always find myself on a squash court during times of reflection, celebration, elation, and even melancholy. I love this sport - it has been my life’s greatest teacher. Somehow the phrases “hard work pays off” and “life isn’t always fair” are whispered simultaneously amongst the echoes of the walls, while “be gracious and thankful” is chanted more rhythmically than straight drives during a solo sesh. And the thing is, I am thankful. I’m thankful for the opportunities this sport has offered me, from travelling around the world to competing on behalf of Team Canada. I’m thankful for being able to push each day toward something greater than myself, and for developing a platform on which to build my education. I’m thankful for my team - those behind-the-scenes sponsors, coaches, trainers, sports psychologists, dietitians, family members, and loved ones - for having my back even when times get tough (as they do often do). And mostly, I’m thankful for God, that He loves me regardless of it all. Happy New Year everyone. #fasterhigherstronger

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I cannot express how important it is to watch this video. As most of you know, I am in my first year of an MSc program focusing on LGBTQI2S inclusion in Canadian Sport. One of the primary focuses of this topic includes the way sport reinforces what many refer to as "the mask of masculinity." That is, because sport manifests and reproduces unrealistic expectations of 'toughness' and 'strength,' athletes often feel trapped by the need to conform and are thus unable to express themselves fully. This applies to many areas, including personality, sexuality, and mental health. Mike Babcock ABSOLUTELY nails it on the head by saying that there is no relationship between mental toughness and mental illness, and that the only real way we can generate awareness and dialogue that can lead to meaningful change is to sit down and talk with people - to connect with them on a deeper level. To paraphrase Brene Brown, vulnerability is not weakness, but courage. #fasterhigherstronger

BellLetsTalk #MentalHealth #Awareness #Inclusion #LGBTQI2S #NHL #MikeBabcock #TeamCanada #AthletesCAN Squash CanadaSquash Alberta www.cbc.ca/news/thenation⁠…