Open Doors

I admire the young people that take Kung fu. They have such an advantage in the world. When embraced and used properly, the tools that Kung fu give us, transfer over to tremendous opportunities in the world. I speak from my own experience.

I had a job interview with Kicking Horse coffee last week. I was very relaxed and felt confident. I had a pretty good idea it was going to be easy to answer their questions. I had a lot of experience in a variety of areas. Plus, I had done a lot of interviews myself, so I knew the main idea of what they would want to know.

First question. “What do you like to do in your spare time?”  As soon as I mentioned Kung fu, there were all kinds of questions. What is the difference between Kung fu and other martial arts?  How long have you been doing Kung fu?  What belt level are you?  This leads to more questions and a simple non interview discussion. It’s a great conversation piece to ease everyone in the room and make them more comfortable in the presence of each other.  What do you do on a daily basis to stay physically healthy and look after yourself?  Easy peasy.  What do you do on a daily basis to improve yourself?  I almost laughed out loud at this one. After they finished explaining what having an eye for detail meant, thinking I had no idea....What experience do you have with having an eye for detail?  Any experience with leadership skills?  With working as a team?  Really!?  🤔😄. The interview was so easy.  Following it was a tour of the production area. Two days later, a phone call. Hay!  We at Kicking Horse think you are awesome, and would like it if you would accept an offer to join our team. I start next week.

It was great news. I have been working at the bakery for just over a month, but not getting full time hours. I had been talking to KH since the summer, and had hoped to join their team. My position is called “Packaging ninja!”  For real.  They have crazy names for all their positions. Part of the reason I like the company. They are a funny and friendly bunch. Then today, a talk from the couple that owns the bakery where I work. First from the wife, then from the husband. They are so thrilled with my work ethic and are sad to see me leave.  They commented on my skills with interacting with others, taking it upon myself to coach the new girl and make her feel comfortable there.  They love my people skills with the customers, and my confidence.   There have had some issues with other staff members being rude and making the work place uncomfortable. To me, it has been border line bullying. I spoke up, and was told that I was the bravest one there for doing so.  Changes are being made. Which is why today they offered me a position as assistant manager, with a $3 per hour raise, should I change my mind and stay, plus full time hours. That was a really tough decision, as I enjoy my work at the bakery and the new owners are so wonderful. The wife told me today that she enjoys being able to be herself and talk to me about anything, and that she trusts me. At the bakery, I get to meet all kinds of people. I talk to and interact with toddlers, young kids, teens, parents and grandparents. It’s a popular bakery so I meet lots of locals but also people from all over the world; Germany, the States, Australia, Switzerland and TONS of Albertans.  It is a friendly small town atmosphere.

I made the decision today to keep with my momentum towards KH. It’s a great company to work for, and with 100% benefits, bonuses, and extra perks, it seems to be the right place for me to be. The hours, 2 to 10 pm don’t impress me, but there’s always opportunities to move around in the company. Plus it’s monday to Friday, with all holidays off.  They were rated the number one company to work for in Canada in 2018.  Can’t be that bad of a place.  Plus they have 100% organic products, the company started here in a garage in Invermere, they belong to the free trade, and they promote outdoor activities. That impresses me and shows me what kind of people are running the company. They shut down on snow days so the employees can go skiing, and they provide $500 per year for buying outdoor gear, gym memberships, etc.  I told the bakery owners tonight what my decision was. They were very supported, and said their door will remain open, should KH not work out.

My point in all of this is that my Kung fu has opened up so many doors for me. It has given me numerous opportunities in a variety of areas. It gave me the confidence.  It gave me the tools and opportunities to hone in on my leadership skills, my people skills, my desire to improve myself, and to be the best healthiest person I could be. It taught me how to rise to my potential.  “Didn’t some of your best TEACHERS, coaches, parents, expect more from you?”  Kung fu expected more from me, and that has been extremely beneficial.  I started Kung fu when I was 35. I often wonder what it would have been like to start when I was in my teens, or my 20’s. No matter. I’ve gained so much in the last 20 years that have gotten me to where I am today. I’ve said it before. Kung fu has given me a way of life. A healthy, wholesome, positive, and rewarding way to live. Thank you to all my instructors and the instructors before them.

Brenda Stoddart