While the powerful ideas, principles and stories found within “Fire on Ice: Gospel Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Sports” came to me over a 15-year period, it was during my initial seasons spent training and competing in the fast-paced winter sport of bobsled that I first realized the influence of sport in teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I’m a bobsled pilot, or driver if you will, which means I have learned that life comes at you fast (over 80 miles per hour for us on the ice). Training for a sport like bobsled is physically, mentally and emotionally difficult, and I cannot imagine doing it without the help of our Father in Heaven. It was through the “joy of victory” and the “agony of defeat” on the ice that I came to see just how much the gospel can–and should–influence every aspect of our lives.
It was the lessons that God taught me during training sessions, in the weight room, in the heat of competition and in my everyday life of athletics that inspired me to write “Fire on Ice.” An observation here, and a personal lesson there, all added to the list of bobsled- and Olympic-based gospel teaching tools that ultimately led to my writing the book.
I saw an empty, team-less bobsled as a symbol of our physical bodies when the Spirit departs after mortal death. I saw the need for discipline to succeed as a crucial part of our pursuit for gold medals and a golden celestial glory. I saw conversing with our bobsled coaches as a type of the way we should converse with our Heavenly Coach to receive instruction and encouragement in our efforts to live the gospel. I saw mistakes made on the ice as reminders that mistakes and sins in life can be learned from and overcome and that we can always come back through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I’ve learned that continually looking behind you, in bobsled and in life, can cause you to miss what is right in front of you. I’ve learned that bumps along the bobsled course, and the course of life, are not the end and that you can keep going until you reach your goal of the finish line. I’ve learned that relying on teammates, both mortal and heavenly, can mean the difference between growth and discouragement during the trials of competition or the trials of life.
Most of all I learned that the gospel of Jesus Christ is designed around second chances and that every “competitor” in this world is a beloved child of God. It doesn’t matter if we come in first or last place; He loves us and cheers us on just the same.
“Fire on Ice: Gospel Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Sport” is a reminder that we are all champions in His eyes and that He wants us all to find love, joy, and peace in our pursuit of eternal glory.
Ed. note: “Fire on Ice: Gospel Lessons Learned from a Lifetime of Sport” was released on Jan. 14, 2014, and is available in book stores and from online retailers.
Author, journalist, motivational speaker, graphic designer and avid bob sledder, Jeremy Holm is a man of many talents. A student of World War II history and a connoisseur of books, Jeremy sees his books as old friends. As a motivational speaker he enchants his audience with stories of his academic achievements, athletic adventures and hilarious experiences from the life of a single college student. One of Jeremy’s greatest desires is to help each person find the courage to go after their own dreams, or as he says, their own personal “Olympics” in life.