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The Stories Behind the Story

Posted on December 30, 2013 by
in Books

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.

You Are Not Broken

Posted on December 02, 2013 by

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.

The Masks We Wear

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.

This past Saturday, October 5, I had the opportunity to attend an anti-bullying event held in Salt Lake City, Utah. As I stood there watching the various attendees come through I spent a portion of the day pondering the bullies I had faced in my own life. From fellow students in school to fellow athletes in sport, I have tasted the bitter results of those who for one reason or another felt the need to force their own pains on another.

This time of meditation led me to think of another bully, one that can inflict true hurt and heartache. I speak of mental illness, a bully that no school Principal or mortal parent can ever put in "time out." No sibling can stand up to this bully on the "playground" of life and no spouse, friend or teammate can fully protect you from. This bully is the first to steal hope, happiness and energy from life.

I have often wondered what my life would be like if I had not been asked to carry this "thorn in the flesh" (2 Corinthians 12:7). Would I be married with a family by now? Would I have a more successful professional career? Would I have done more in my sport of bobsled and gone further? Would I have deeper relationships and friendships? Would I be a better light unto this dark and troubled world? The questions, and possible answers, are infinite and beyond my ability to comprehend. 

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Now Available

Fire on Ice Jeremy C Holm
Racing down an icy track at 80 miles per hour leads you to think of many things. For Jeremy C. Holm, it made him think of God. In Fire and Ice, Holm shares his experiences as a bobsled pilot and coach, presenting a message of faith and personal courage that will inspire you to come closer to Jesus Christ and reach for that ultimate prize of eternal life.

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The Champions Way Jeremy C Holm
How do we achieve gold medal moments in life? How do we find peace and confidence and what truly makes us happy? Discover the answers in Jeremy's new ebook, "The Champion's Way", available now at Amazon.com

Buy Now