I consider it my great fortune to have known Laura Kosakoski. Even more grateful to have been able to share time in the mountains with her. Thanks to my long time friend and Arc athlete Adam Campbell, who brought Laura into the Arc’teryx family a few years ago.
Laura – May we all live more in line with the values you embraced and lived by. A list so beautifully articulated by your Hockey Girls who have so graciously let me share this. I share because not only is it bang on but life is too short not to live a little more like Laura. We can all use a few more Kos-mandments in our lives.
Thank You to the Hockey Girls. A group of ladies who bravely stood and bought many of us to simultaneous tears and laughter as they listed a tribute to their team mate and life long friend.
[For those who do not live here in Canada Laura was tragically caught in an avalanche in the Canadian Rockies a few weeks ago while skiing]
When something’s awesome, say “You guys, this is awesome!” If something’s the titties, go ahead and say it’s the titties. Don’t hold back or try to play it cool. Point out the good at every possible opportunity, even if you’ve said it a billion times before. Keep your head up out there and enjoy the view.
Enjoy the finer things in life. Like an ice cold Athlete’s Beer after hockey, or a sneaky social dart outside the bar at 2am. Or an overpriced charcuterie plate. Or a dip in a glacial lake, if you’re into that sort of thing. Splurge on new kicks. Get guac with your nachos because you deserve it.
Whenever something makes you giggle, let it out. It’s okay to be the loudest person in the crowd at the stand-up show. Laugh so hard your abs hurt the next day. Laugh so hard you cry in public. There’s a laugh hiding in just about everything … find it and turn it into an inside joke. Laughter is contagious and encouraging, so make sure everyone in a five mile radius can hear.
The cool thing about the human heart is that it has unlimited room for unlimited best buds. Go out of your way to make everyone you talk to feel like the most important person in the world. Go ahead and connect with a stranger – they might surprise you. And don’t be stingy with the “I love yous”, heart emojis, sloppy wet kisses or tiny-hand forearm squeezes. They don’t cost you anything, but they’re priceless.
Life’s too short to spend all your time working. Work when you have to, so you can get away when you want to. When you do have to work, don’t fuck around – work hard and try to make it fun. And if you get chance to clock out early for a casual 50k ‘~jog” (soft j), don’t hesitate. It’s only work , after all. It’ll be there when you get back.
There’s only one guaranteed way to avoid FOMO, and that’s to do the thing. Go on the trip, to the concert, hiking in Nepal. Shoplift a hot tub. Go out with friends the night before an exam. Don’t ask too many questions. Call in sick or play hooky if you have to… you’ll figure it out later!
Never stop learning new things, trying new sports, running new trails, finding new lines, meeting new people or visiting new places. Don’t put yourself in a box – be a jack of all trades. An enigma. Nobody ever said you can’t be a jock, a doctor, an artist and a secret nerd. Read a good book before bed, or the newspaper in the morning. Ask people questions and be fascinated by their answers.
Lead by example. There’s no need to be a jabroni and remind people that you were valedictorian, or that you podiumed in your first ever ultramarathon, or that you were the first ever female lead in a Ford truck commercial. Be the kind of person who would do those things, and then people won ‘t be surprised when they find out you did.
Celly the success of other people. Don’t be afraid to brag about your friends on their behalf. If someone’s hesitating, give them the little extra chirp they need to push them forward. If someone’s feeling down (like hypothetically speaking when your goalie lets in 6+ goals), give them a tap on the pads and tell them they did awesome anyway. Push people ever so slightly out of their comfort zone, and if they fall flat on their face, take them out for a pint and laugh about it.
No half-assing allowed. Live every day like it’s third period, Saturday night. If you’re gonna do something, you might as well give it every thing. If you’re gonna play hockey, play your heart out, and if you’re gonna be a skier, be an unreal skier. Apres always tastes so much better when you earn it! If you’re gonna be a doctor, be sure to work at least two days a week. And of course, if you should ever find yourself a few vodka sodies deep at the Roxy, leave it all out there on the dance floor. You can do it. Put your ass into it.
We were in the Yukon to shoot a film about Arc athlete (and Laura’s husband) Adam Campbell. A beautiful film about Adam’s road to recovery from a big accident he had a few years ago. The film is called In Constant Motion
Although there was a lot to like about Laura I have few special memories from our few long shoot days in the Tombstones. Her positivity at 3am in sub zero temps, her patience with take after take in the chilling fog, the midnight dinners she prepped in the RV likely as we were bumping down the Dempster Highway, walking hand in hand with Adam into the sunset (oh yes, we have it on film) and her easy to laugh, fun personality.
However, Laura’s secret weapon was her ability to turn from model to chef to driver to doctor to shoe cobbler in a matter of minutes. Adam had put some serious km’s on the running shoes he was wearing that lead to a testing blowout. This left us a little miffed as this was not a duct tape kind of job. He also need to run in them for another few days and we were far from shops or shipping so instead Laura got out her ER Medical kit and sutured the shoe with precision.