“I want to be world-class at something,” Mike said to me one day, many years ago. He was a cycling fanatic but knew early on that he didn’t have the athletic ability to be a racer but had plenty of will and determination. Becoming a world-class level judge (or commissaire, to use the correct terminology) might just be the ticket. That is exactly what he ended up doing. Not to mention, a mountain bike racing judge has a much longer (and safer) career than a racer has.
In this interview, we follow Mike’s journey from his early fascination of the new sport of mountain biking right up to his reaching the pinnacle of his chosen field. What started as a mere curiosity for an ambitious young man turned into a rich and rewarding second career for a successful business executive. He is now a seasoned veteran in the sport, having participated in several World Cup events and two Olympic Mountain Bike Racing events.
We will see an example of someone who followed his ambitions and passions to reach the highest level of his sport. We will also attempt to answer the question, “does your passion define your purpose, or does your purpose define your passion?”
His career as Mountain Bike Racing judge began almost by accident. It was a slow progression from an early fascination with a new sport, to a chance meeting with a race organizer in the early days of Mountain Bike Racing, right up to learning a new discipline and eventually mastering it over several years of practice and study. After thirty years of practicing his discipline, and reaching its summits of excellence, you can say he has become a master in his field and has reached his goal of becoming “world-class at something.”
During the interview, we also take a little side trip into the early days of Bromont, Mike’s adopted hometown. It’s a small village in the south of the predominantly French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec. At the same time, we take a birds eye view of urban development and planning. We also look at his early roots and development in to a worldly and sophisticated gentleman.
Mike will also give you some great examples of negotiating with people, including negotiating a work contract that is satisfactory to both the employer and employee. Listening to him explain the innerworkings of organizing a race, we learn some important lessons of managing resources, managing people, and the basics of logistics.
He is an expert at balancing a demanding career and a demanding side hustle. Not to mention, he is also involved in RVing, motorcycle riding, and playing in a band. Judging mountain bike races is a labour of love for him, even if it doesn’t pay very much. Mike is man with many layers and many interests.
We also learn what makes an event great…and what makes an event not so great. We often learn more from our failures than from our successes. In the end, we learn how a strong work ethic, long hours of dedication, and teamwork combine to make these intricate events successful.
To watch the entire interview, please click the link below:
To view Part 2 of this interview, please click on the link below: