From: Darren D. MacDonald, thenorthbaybay.ca staff
NORTH BAY – There is nothing more sacred in the world than athletes. We look up to them, and literally put them on pedestals. For Olympic athletes it’s more sacrifice than reward: training for years, dedicating the best years of their lives for a chance to compete on a worldwide stage. To know the world is watching.
That reality might just be coming true for a North Bay local.
With the 2020 Summer Olympics less than a year away, things have been heating up for local athlete Tad Wilson.
“I always considered myself an athlete, even since I was a kid,” says Wilson. “I played tee ball, I participated in Track and Field day in Grade 8, and I got the mandatory Grade 9 physical education credit in high school, so I was pretty active.”
“Then I took a short 25 year break from being physically active, but my athletic life was kick started again when I found out that the Olympics were one year away. It was like a calling.”
To prepare, Tad wakes up at dawn to get up, go for a pee, and then go back to bed for a 10 am alarm. At 10 am sharp he reawakens, eats a full breakfast of Diamond Shreddies and generic store brand orange juice. He then plans out a 10k run around the town. After 4 minutes of running, he takes a break at the Twiggs downtown and turns back home. He has an 8-hour cool off period before he partakes in his family’s trade secret to building body mass: deadlifting bags of cats.
“The cats aren’t dead,” clarifies Wilson. “If that settles any uneasy thoughts you’ve had. I own 2 cats, so I bought those little bags that rich people walk around with their small dogs in, and I lift the cats in those. A lot of times they don’t want to go in the bag, so I’ve bought some weighted cat stuffies to put in there. It’s not as good as the real thing, but you gotta do what you gotta do.”
We reached out to a local Olympic Trainer to see if Tad has what it takes. We sat down with Tom Forrest and showed him Tad.
“Okay, so let’s get this straight,” frowns Forrest. “We have a 40 year old, out of shape, 300 pound man who works out for 10 minutes a day and lives off of coffee, and decades old Shreddies. What sport is he even trying out for?”
Forrest rubs the bridge of his nose.
“You know what? It doesn’t matter. Sure, why not? We live in a generation of positivity. Keep at’er Tad. You’ll either make it or you won’t, and either way you tried. Keep living the life you want to live, be the best person you can, and apologise to no one.”
As tryout dates loom, Tad is admittedly nervous. Upcoming months will see the list of Canadian Summer Olympic athletes released, and all of North Bay will hold its breath to see if its own Tad Wilson will be representing the city on a global stage.
“I don’t even know what sport I’ll pick,” says Wilson. “I always loved fencing. I’ve never fenced before, but imagine the hype! Canadian fencing prodigy wins gold medal!”
Wilson waves around an imaginary sword.
“So, how do you find out if you’re in the Olympics? Do they call you or something?”