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Growing up in Oklahoma, America’s Midwest, I saw firsthand the results of Mother Nature’s terrible might when tornadoes touched down. Entire neighborhoods were leveled, swathes of landscape flattened and lives were upended. Even as a child, while I lived in fear of these awesome and powerful monstrosities, I could appreciate the way their power was formed…by air.
Because, when you think about it, what are tornadoes but collections of air that rushes forth?
Over the past few months I have listened to dear friends tell me of the tornadoes in their lives. These tornadoes have leveled their confidence, flattened their joys and upended their hearts. But these tornadoes have not been like those I saw in Oklahoma; no, the tornadoes they spoke of were the words and actions of those around them who used the air that rushed forth from their mouths to hurt, to judge, to criticize, to gossip and to belittle.
Someday “Just friends” Will be “Best Friends”
Someday “I think highly of you” Will be “I can’t stop thinking about you”
Someday “I have to go” Will be “I don’t want you to ever leave”
Someday “I’m glad you’re in my life” Will be “I can’t imagine life without you”
Someday “We’re going in different directions" Will be “Where can we go together?”
Someday “I’m here for you” Will be “I’d give my life for you”
Someday “You’re pretty great” Will be “You’re my everything”
Someday “I admire your life” Will be “Let’s build a life together”
-Jeremy C. Holm
"How can we help you today, sir?"
"I don't know....I'm just not sure I want to live anymore."
When the ER nurse asked what I was there for that day in my past, I hardly knew what to say. I didn't want to die; I just didn't want to live. This life can be fleeting and with our technology-focused modern society, every day seems to fly by even faster. But when you are contemplating ending your life, well...time enters weird flux of state.
It's a place in life that many understand through experience and others try to tearfully understand when their loved ones take their lives. I can't describe it; those who have been that low before will nod when they read this because they know exactly what I mean. It is an extremely dark, lonely, and painful place to be. What people don't understand is that the thought of dying is no longer scary at that point: you look forward to because it means an end to the suffering.
I've had a lot of time to think about that period of my life. As you can imagine, it sticks with you. Everyday you wake up is a day you almost didn't have, whether that day be good or bad. There are those who see me as broken, flawed or weak because of my struggles. In my attempt to embrace a second chance at life, they see fit to prove this precious time I almost didn't have is a waste.
With the Sochi, Russia XXII Olympic Winter Games, or the 22nd Winter Olympics, upon us, the world is eagerly anticipating watching their favorite sports and over 2,800 athletes compete on the global stage as they strive to win gold in 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines.
But why should they have all the fun?
The Games remind us of all the good that we can do in this world when we follow our dreams. I think the Olympics are so loved because they speak to the inner child we all carry in our hearts, that part of ourselves that still believes, still hopes and still dreams. And the Games, along with the inspirational example of our athletes, invite us to let our inner child go play, go dream, go hope and go live an amazing life without fear, insecurities or regrets.
To that end, I put together this 2014 Olympics Bingo card so you and your friends and family can have fun as you watch, laugh, cry, sigh, gasp and cheer! Just right-click on the image below and print to enjoy!
Alternatively, you can download a PDF version of the Olympic Bingo card HERE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bobsled veteran and coach releases LDS faith-promoting book
1/14/14—Springville, Utah—Sandy, Utah-based author and American bobsled pilot and coach Jeremy Holm has released his second book, “Fire on Ice: Gospel Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Sport.”
“Fire on Ice” is a journey into the exciting and fast-paced world of bobsled and is the ideal book for sports enthusiasts, especially fans of the Olympics, and who want to deepen their faith.
Written for readers age 16 and older, Holm shares his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the lens of sport throughout the book. Using lessons learned from over a decade on the ice, the author interweaves personal experiences, insights, scriptural accounts and doctrine to teach the principles of the Gospel.
At a deeply candid level, Holm also addresses his personal struggles with depression, anxiety and suicide and discusses how sport, hope, faith and goals helped him overcome these struggles and helped him draw closer to God.
“I wrote ‘Fire on Ice’ to share the two things that mean the most to me in this world: bobsled and the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Holm. “I organized the book to be a mixture of doctrine, testimony, real-life adventures and deeply spiritual experiences that will help the reader discover powerful ways to live as a champion of the Lord.”
“Fire on Ice: Gospel Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Sport” is available through the following bookstores and online retailers:
About the Author:
Jeremy C. Holm is a renowned writer, motivational speaker, bobsled athlete and coach, journalist, graphic designer and advertising consultant. Born in Phoenixville, Penn., Holm began in the exciting winter sport of bobsled in January of 1997 on the Park City, Utah, 2002 Winter Olympic track. After that fateful ride down the course, he went on to train and race in both two- and four-man bobsled. In 2009, he was asked to coach the United States Adaptive Bobsled Team, thus allowing him to develop and coach a program that contained some of the first Paralympic bobsled athletes in the world. Holm is now the Team Captain of Team Phoenix Bobsled, a group of athletes that use bobsled to help others find second chances in life.
For more information about “Fire on Ice,” contact:
Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
Marketing Support Specialist
A recent encounter with a bump in the road (aka "adversity") in the pursuit of one of my goals, for some reason my mind turned to Peter the apostle in the Bible's New Testament. Now, even if you aren't Christian, keep reading because I realized that one of Peter's experiences in his life can teach us quite a bit about setting, keeping and working for goals.
The story in question is found in St. Mathew chapter 14 (or St. Mark 6 and St. John 6). The story tells us that Jesus Christ's disciples, of which Peter was one, were out on a small fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee on their way to Capernaum. We read that it was late at night, during the "fourth watch" which according to the Roman's method of keeping time was "quarta vigilia noctis", or just before dawn, which tells us that the disciples had been rowing and fighting the storm throughout the night.
Now storms on the Sea of Galilee can be quite violent due to the cold air coming down from the hills around the sea where it meets the warmer air around the Galilee due to the lower elevation. So there the disciples were; it was late, it was violently stormy, the wind was roaring, the waves were crashing over the tiny boat's sides and the rain was coming down in sheets. It was at this point that Jesus appeared, walking across the thrashing water. While the disciples feard it was spirit at first, Jesus said "Be of good acheer; it is I; be not afraid." Peter, upon seeing his master, cries out, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." to which Jesus simply responds, "Come." This is where it gets interesting.
After spending half a lifetime surrounded by some of the best athletes in the world, I've learned quite a bit about setting effective resolutions for life. From Olympic gold medalists to world champions, these competitors continually set the bar high in pursuit of athletic, personal, work and educational goals.
Over the years as an athlete, then a coach, now an athlete again I have taken the lessons I have learned from these champions and applied them in my own life, in addition to my own insights and methods, and have discovered that there is truth to the saying that "you can do anything you set your mind to." The caveat is that it takes careful planning and hard work, so here are five gold-medal tips to help you set and keep those New Year's Resolutions!
1. Discover the Why
So often I encounter people who set great New Year's Resolutions, but fail to achieve them because they set them to impress or appease others.Any goal or objective that we set because of some outside social pressure is bound to fail. Why do you want to go to the gym more in 2014? Is it to improve your health and feel more fit? Or is it because you feel that you need to because society demands it? Why do you want to get a better job in 2014? Is it to feel satisfaction through a better use of your time and abilities? Or is it to tell others you have a fancy title and therefore feel (falsely) important? New Year's Resolutions that last are ones that are set because WE want to set and achieve them. So ask yourself: WHY do you want to set and achieve X, Y, and Z resolutions? Is it for yourself, or for others?
After gathering up questions from social media outlets, we sat down with him to get answers about bobsled and his latest book, “Fire on Ice: Gospel Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Sport”
“Where did the ideas for your book come from?”
The basic concept came back in 1998 when I had some powerful spiritual experiences on the ice. Over the years, and during my mission, I started to write down what I had learned about Gospel principles through bobsled. It was a scribble here, a thought there, but eventually I had a long list of topics and relating stories or experiences that I began to flesh out in book format during 2005-2006. The book sat for years until I felt a very strong impression and desire to get it published, so in 2012 I began to rework the manuscript until I felt satisfied and then submitted it to Cedar Fort, Inc. in 2013.
“Why did you write your book?”
I’ve always liked writing. I remember taking a creative writing class way back in like 1991 and the instructors were really impressed with my work. I have had several published writers throughout the years compliment my natural writing abilities and tell me I should pursue it. I used to write these short stories and put my friends in as different characters which they got a kick out of. But it wasn’t until I got back from my mission that I really began to toy around with the idea of becoming a “writer.” The more the ideas came for “Fire on Ice” the more serious I took the possibility that I could do this. I just felt like this book needed to be written. It needed to be written to help share more about my sport, to help others strengthen their testimonies, to help those who may be struggling not feel alone and most of all I felt like it needed to be written to help my fellow singles/midsingles find hope on the path.
“How did your journey to bobsledding begin?”
Salt Lake City was officially awarded the 2002 Olympic Winter Games on June 16, 1995, so to prepare for the Games Utah quickly began constructing the bobsled track in Park City. Our sport’s national governing body, the U.S. Bobsled and Skeleton Federation, sent a coach to Utah to begin building bobsled and skeleton programs here. One thing led to another and my dad’s company got involved as a sponsor for the upcoming 1998 U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team. Through the sponsorship Dad was offered a free four-man bobsled ride and he invited me to go with him. I took that first ride on January 25, 1997 and haven’t looked back since.
“How would you describe a bobsled ride?”
Basically if you take your favorite roller coaster and mash it with an F-22 Raptor flight, plus throw in what the astronauts feel on take-off, that is a bobsled ride. It is a thrilling, beautiful, eye-opening experience. It’s hard to describe the rush from the acceleration itself, but as a sled pilot there is nothing like guiding a sled down the track at full speed, feeling the turns whip you around as you transition smoothly from one point to the next.
“Do you have a nickname for your bobsled?”
Actually we do, our current sled is nicknamed The Phoenix after the mythical bird that rose from the ashes. We chose this name because as a team we are committed to spreading hope and showing others that you can always rise from the ashes of failure and defeat.
Several years ago while sitting with a trusted friend we began to reminisce about high school. As I talked about the good and bad that comes with that "joyous" time of life, I thought back to my younger self's battles for identity and the additional silent wars fought against anxiety and depression. Imagine trying to define yourself while dealing with those particular ghosts in the closet?
My friend immediately noticed the quiet change that came over my face. "You ok?"
"I feel sorry for him," I said quietly. And I did. When I thought back to all that my 15-18 year old self had to deal with, I silently wanted to applaud the fact that I had survived. Depression sucks at any age, let alone to a barely-able-to-drive kid who thought his world revolved around bobsled, girls, good grades and my faith. I didn't know words like "cope", "share", "vent", "heal" and "support." All I knew was that I was supposed to keep it together, put the big smile on my face and make it through. Like many guys, I would be damned before I admitted I needed a helping hand.
Recently I had the opportunity to participate in a charity masquerade dance/event to raise money for a young boy suffering from a costly medical condition. It was a real joy to help provide some surprise relief for this boy’s family as the holiday season (and medical bills) approached.
During the event I observed some fascinating social behaviors displayed by the attendees, 99% of whom were single and fell within the 25-50 age range. I noticed these same mannerisms at several Halloween functions I went to which piqued my curiosity even further.
I’m a people watcher, an “observer”. While I often find myself the center of attention as a speaker or visiting athlete or host, I am perfectly content just sitting with a small group of friends and talking the night away. However, more often than not I do not have the luxury of doing this, so over the years I have learned to quickly evaluate the personalities, mindsets, habits, attitudes, desires and motivations of the crowd, group or person(s) I find myself associating with for whatever event I am at.
As I watched the people at the masquerade and Halloween parties, I noticed that many were willing to give up their uniqueness in a good-intentioned attempt to be unique. Confused? Let me put it another way: I saw people put on the “important” and “required” social and fashion “masks” in order to fit in when they really desired to stand out.