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Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman writes columns on a wide range of topics, including town council information, upcoming events, important budgetary issues, and local attractions. His blogs can be found here, and published in the Lakeside Leader the Wednesday after it appears online.  If you have a comment for Mayor Warman on his blogs please reach out and fill out the Give Feedback form found here.

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Feb 09

Relationships, and Teamwork: Lessons learned from a Dad's Weekend

Posted on February 9, 2017 at 3:04 PM by Christopher Brown

One of my passions and hobbies in life is skidooing. It’s a great time, and gives me an excuse to enjoy the winter weather. I will confess that it can be hard to get off my phone, so its one of the few times I have the chance to “check out”. This gives me a great opportunity to also spend time with friends and my family.

Everyone has an annual tradition that they look forward too, and mine is my trip to the mountains. The trip is a Dads’ weekend away, where we get to jump on the winter machines and try to find the deepest snow drifts.

To me it can be extremely therapeutic!

I just recently returned from my annual trip, where a group of us went to our neighboring province of British Columbia. As much fun as it is to get away and have some “guy time” like any vacation or quick get away things don’t always go as planned!

We stayed in a cabin with no running water (which I hate)…but thank god for baby wipes. We had to haul in all our gear, cook our own meals and to be honest, while there was no running water, the over all trip was amazing. Every morning we made the trek to the top of the mountain, and spent the day playing in some deep snow.

Everyone in the group fell into a typical dad role for the weekend, Bruce Allarie was the best guide possible and can be best described as the Dad that tells us what we can and can’t do. John Pukanich has to be the most over prepared dad that I have every met, he brings a tool for every possible scenario. Sean Hynes is the no fear dad, he has the most energy of any 50 year old that I have ever met. The electronic dad for the weekend was Troy Smith who brought a cell phone booster which allowed me to stay connected to the world and Terry Tonsi can be described as the chief dad, Terry makes a great pot of chili.

Then there is that one person in the group that who can be described as any accident prone dad. A dad who will hit the hammer on his thumb every time. This year Jordan Tonsi came with us, and had a special skill of hitting almost every tree out there.

After watching some of his dad’s go pro videos, I can see where Jordan gets his accident proneness from.

Then there’s me, while being a good cook and can usually bring the laughs, I will confess that I’m the dad that thinks he’s a better driver than he actually is. Where in reality I’m the novice of the group.

The first two days were great, hitting the drifts and just enjoying the outdoors. But it was on our last day, Day three of the trip that I started to get tired and was ready to go home.

On the last day of the trip, our riders were out enjoying the last day of the mountain terrains, and one of our riders decided to climb a small hill. It was steep and what should have been a great end too a great annual vaction turned into something much more.

The rider fell of his machine as the hill that he was skidooing up was steeper than anticipated. He fell off, and the skidoo came back towards him, and in an effort to kick it away, he ended up with a broken ankle and leg.

So now what?

Like many situations in life things don’t always go as planned and adversity rears its ugly head. As daunting as the task seemed preparation is key. We had access to splints and duck tape, multiple people with first aid, and most of the guys on the vacation had experience dealing with something situations like this.

As much as we like to check out, communication and safety is important. So we used our satellite technology to communicate with people we knew in town who organized a helicopter.

The group communicated with one of the men’s wives to make sure that they were all informed and had one source of information.

We examined the break, immobilized the broken ankle and leg and applied splints. We had thermal blankets and wrapped him up to avoid hypothermia. A helicopter pad had to be prepped, trees cut down, snow packed down and used a bottle of red Gatorade to mark an “X”.

After some hard work we ended up with the best helicopter pad the pilot had ever seen, and some hospital staff impressed with our triage.

The adventure wasn’t over yet getting the sled and equipment down, once injured was safe, was an adventure in itself.

Like any dad after a few moments there were a few laughs and jokes at others expense and it made for some memories I will always cherish.

Now if you are still reading this you are probably wondering why any of this is important and why this is in a blog.

Life presents you with adversity, and if everything is going according to plan you probably are not living enough.

These moments in our life sometimes leaves us feeling like things are too much. What we need to remember is that we have all kinds of people around us that have all kinds of experiences, and they all want to see us succeed.

Often we forget to ask for advice, to ask for help and we forget that team work helps us accomplish so much more than we can ever do on our own. These moments of adversity make our friendships and our relationships stronger.

SO, in conclusion, do as much as you can in life to prepare, surround yourself with good people, remember to ask for help and recognize being part of a team makes a lot of things possible.
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