I don’t know about you, but growing up my parents were not into sports so they never would have thought to encourage me to work towards competing in the Olympics – hence my fascination with anyone who pursues (or has pursued) this dream. Recently I was at an Influence Publishing marketing meeting for authors and noticed someone new across the table from me. While we didn’t get to connect that day as I was late, I was intrigued to learn she was a Olympic medallist for Canada in rowing and that she was in the process of completing her first book.

Always intrigued by unique journeys, I quickly reached out to her through Facebook and asked her to be a part of this column. Who is she? What was her journey to the Olympics like? What is it like to actually train for the Olympics and to be selected to represent your country? And lastly,
how does it feel to stand on that podium? All these questions were racing through my mind as lets face it – I love hearing unique journeys.

Rest assured, my sights are aimed on a longer in depth interview in the future to answer all these questions, but for now, here is a glimpse into her life after the Olympics and what the future holds.

8Q Spotlight Krista Guloien

What is your current career(s) – paid and unpaid?

I am a former athlete continuing to pursue a career in the world of sport, but in a different way. I lead 4-spin classes a week at Cadence Vancouver where I get to motivate and inspire people to get a solid 45-minute workout. I am also the BC Program Coordinator for a not-for-profit called Fast & Female. Here, I am working to organize fun and inspiring sport events for young women.

Additionally, in August I am launching my book, “Beyond the Finish Line: What Happens When the Endorphins Fade”. I will be talking about my journey in sport, but also my journey and challenges beyond. I am dedicated to making my passions my work!

Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?

I have had many ups and downs in my confidence over my life, but more recently in my time beyond my sport career. Rowing gave me confidence and moving away from that identity left me feeling lost. What I have learned is that my inner Olympian and rower will never be lost. My identity has grown and shifted, but I use the tools I developed over my time as a full-time athlete every day!

What would you like people to know about you to give them a sense of who you really are?

I come across as strong and confident. This is a good thing, but I am not always feeling this way. On the inside I can be shy and self-conscious. I wish more people knew how hard I am working on the inside to show up like the person I want to be. I think everyone would be shocked if they knew what was going on inside! It can be chaos sometimes, but it is relatable! We all have these moments.

Highest moment so far?

Accomplishing the dream of attending the Olympic Games and winning a silver medal. Looking up in to the stands to see our family and friends cheering my crew and our country was such a special and proud moment.

What are you working on right now? In the next 6 months?

I have just recently handed in the first draft copy of my book, “Beyond the Finish Line: What Happens When the Endorphins Fade”. In the next few months, there will be a lot of editing and shaping the finished product. From what I have heard, the content is only 20% of the work. So I will be working on the next 80% in the coming months. I am excited to see what comes and for the finished product in August 2016!

Who and/or what inspires you?

People who think big inspire me. Sometimes I can get bogged down with limiting factors. To stay inspired, I surround myself with people that remind me to live in a world filled with possibility. I work to be that person for others, but I have many people who are that person for me when I need it. No one can be ON all of the time. My team inspired me. I was exponentially stronger with them, than I was alone.

How do you personally define success?

I think success can come in different forms and should ultimately be defined by you. I feel most successful when I do one of two things. Firstly, when I set my sights on a goal, like winning a medal at the Olympics. When I achieve what I dream, I feel successful. Secondly, when I overcome a challenge or break down a barrier. I have been working on my ability to speak to a group of people over that past few weeks. I have pushed my limits and come out of my shell and for that I feel successful.

Do you have a favourite quote?

“Sports do not build character, they reveal it.” To me, this quote is empowering. Sports, as well as other big life pursuits, help to define and reveal the character we have within. We all have an inner Olympian just waiting to be reveal. I feel really blessed that the school of sport revealed and taught me all of the lessons it did. Like how to be gutsy and go for what you want, even if you are scared out of your mind. Don’t over think it, just go for it.

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