News and Events

Point #23 in Elliotte Friedman’s piece in Sportsnet dated February 7, 2018

23. Downloaded Downhills Don’t Come Free, written by Jerry Holl. It’s a fun read about the author, a husband and father who quit his job in May 2012 to cycle from Alaska to Mexico. At the time, son Justin was 20, a Blackhawks’ draftee finishing his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota. Last week, almost six years after the life-changing experience, Jerry watched Justin score in the latter’s first and second NHL games.

Holl, an emergency call-up, went back to AHL Toronto when the Maple Leafs got healthy, but graciously answered a couple of texted questions about his father’s experience through a team spokesman. First, how much did Jerry’s decision to quit his job and live a dream influence your own route?

“It definitely had an impact on me,” he wrote. “Mostly just the general theme of you can do way more than you think, and if you want to do something, just go out and do it.”

I followed by asking what his favourite part of his father’s journey was, and he referred to a bike crash late in the story. “Again, it’s the theme of no matter how strong you are, how well-prepared you are, things always have the potential to go wrong, but you have to ask yourself is it a big thing or a little thing? Overall, most of the problems you have in life are little things.” Great advice, and a highly recommended read.