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Blog: Beginning the road to 2010

By Regan Lauscher, www.CTVOlympics.ca
Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009 10:27 AM ET

As a luger (that's actually my sport - not some witty play on words!) entering my third Olympic season, I have probably answered every possible question there is about what it's like to be me, an Olympian.

Holding strong at the top of the charts is still old-time favorite "Are you gonna win gold at the Olympics?" - and I'll answer that one right now - I'm gonna do my best. My personal favorite came from a 3rd grader who, after more closely inspecting my 'made to fit very snug' speed-suit, inquired if I was "much smaller then?"!! Other popular questions include "How fast do you go", "What do you eat" and "Does it hurt when I crash?"

Ironically, by answering the colorful array of stranger's most candid and enlightened questions, I have found answers and meaning and clarity to my athletic journey I wasn't aware I was searching for.

Like some divine intervention, some greater force leading me to my own metaphorical reflecting pond.

Sometimes in the flurry of travel and competition, and winning and losing, the bigger picture becomes foggy.

Sometimes you need a tiny little voice, with a skinny little arm raised in the air at the back of the classroom to ask you "Is it fun?" to remember that it really is.

Maybe being asked what my shoulder surgeries have taught me is necessary to know that this Olympic journey is just as much about what sport has done for me as what I have done in sport.

To truly appreciate it. It's been a gift, and I, the recipient.

In sixteen years, two Olympic Games, two surgeries, a handful of medals, scores of losses, hundreds of interviews and countless speeches, there is one thing I am proud to say I now have an abundance of - perspective.

I've learned to try and embrace the uniqueness of life's fluidity, both on and off the track, instead of cursing its persistence to stand in my way! And although I am still fiercely driven to be my best I can finally see beyond ice and edges and fractions of a second.

When I reflect on my humble beginning to this sport, a suggestion of my 7th grade band teacher on a snowy day at the toboggan hill in my hometown of Red Deer, I never would have dreamed I would be where I am, training to represent Canada for a third time at the Olympic Games.

For nearly two decades I have swallowed failure and tasted success, fought through adversity and embraced opportunity. I've wanted to win and wanted to quit. If Lance Armstrong's book is "Not About the Bike", then mine is "Not about the sled".

Armed with a degree in journalism, this blog, this online diary of my thoughts and feelings in this final journey to the 2010 Olympic Games, is my way to let people into my world.

To share my fears, joys, frustrations and realities as I race on the world stage. To let you know who I am - a girl who loves motorcycles and white cupcakes with pink icing and who hates touching armrests and is terrified of dogs.

It's my personal invitation to be a part of the incredible, yet oftentimes tumultuous, adventure we athletes are lucky to experience first hand.

And, in the end, regardless of where I win medals at and where I struggle to finish, in the days between now and February 2010, the experiences, lessons and friendships I will take away, will be etched in my heart far beyond the moment the Olympic Flame is extinguished.

Regan Lauscher will be a regular contributor on CTVOlympics.ca. Follow her throughout the World Cup season and her preparations for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. For more on Regan, check out her personal webpage at www.reganlauscher.com.