A Dream Built On Ice
My wife of 15 years, Debbie, grew up on the ice in and around Madison, Wis. She wasn’t a hockey player, figure skater, ice dancer, speed skater or ice fisherman. Instead, she was (and still is) a curler. You know, that sport that gets many people excited when they see it on television during the Olympics.
She developed her passion for it at a young age and got her start competing at the junior-national level. Her first world competition was in Scotland and she has two silver and two bronze medals to show for her time in juniors.
As she continued to develop as a curler, she received opportunities to represent the United States in several competitions, including the Winter Olympics. In fact, our trip to Sochi, Russia in February marked her fourth appearance in the Winter Games. She also competed in Nagano, Japan (1998), Salt Lake City (2002) and Vancouver (2010) and was the skip (captain) on the only U.S. women’s curling team to ever win the world championship back in 2003.
As an agent for American Family Insurance, I spend a lot of time talking to customers about their dreams and the chase that goes with them, whether it’s building a house, protecting your family with life insurance or buying the boat you’ve always wanted. Dreams never come easy, but they’re always worth the chase.
I’ve taken great satisfaction in helping protect my customer’s dreams, but it’s also neat to live my wife’s dream with her.
When I look at Debbie, I see someone who has become an accomplished, four-time Olympian and one of the best female curlers in our nation’s history.
And she’s built on her successes in other ways. She’s an owner of a business that sells curling supplies. She has her own retail store and even started a mobile pro shop where she’ll take her products to the curling clubs as opposed to the clubs coming to her.
That was her dream, and she’s made it happen. And she’s done so with limited resources. Many of the athletes Debbie competes against are fully funded and paid to play the sport of curling by their sports’ governing body or their governments.
In the United States, there is no funding that comes from our government and very little that comes from our United State Olympic committee for curling. The entire women’s team is comprised by people with regular, full-time jobs and families, people like you and me.
Debbie’s journey as a curler often reminds me of the value of dreams. So many of us get wrapped up in our day-to-day duties and responsibilities, and we should, because what we do at American Family is very important. But we should also leave enough time to chase our dreams.
For Debbie and I, that means long weekends traveling away from home, but it’s easy to justify when we’re doing something we love. And it’s been great for me as far as being able to travel with her and see parts of the world I never thought I would.
Heck, if it wasn’t for Debbie’s dream, I probably wouldn’t have been able to propose to her during the 1998 Winter Games in Japan because we probably wouldn’t have been there. That’s a moment we’ll never forget. And it’s a moment that happened because of her dream -- our dream.
I hope you take time to chase yours.