Pulling Together

Once the embodiment of an aggressive athlete, Jason Dorland used to identify himself according to the results of his competitions―winner or loser. The elite rower was raised with an “in-it-to-win-it” attitude and trained to think of every competitor as an enemy. It took a devastating loss at the 1988 Olympic Games to shatter this destructive way of thinking, and it took the advice of Olympic middle-distance runner Robyn Meagher (who would later become Dorland’s wife) to help re-shape his views on what it truly means to win―both in sport and in life.

When he retired from competition and became an elite rowing coach, Dorland knew he had to produce results but vowed to adopt a more process-based approach to competition than the one he was taught. It was a radical shift not always welcomed by the sporting community. However, the outcomes were nothing short of extraordinary. Dorland found that by creating an emotionally safe environment for his athletes, they felt free to fail yet ultimately achieved success beyond their wildest dreams. Pulling Together reflects on Dorland’s coaching philosophy, the lessons his sport has taught him, and how those lessons apply on and off the playing field.

“Jason has done a masterful job of weaving a compelling narrative about the team he coached and the athletes on it, and using that story as the platform for outlining his coaching philosophy. This book should be required reading for coaches at all levels, both for its focus on the positive, overarching life lessons that competition and training must provide for the pursuit of excellence to be sustainable, and also for Jason’s candid articulation of the dark side of elite sport—the one he lived as an athlete.

This would make a great thank you gift for your kid’s coach (especially one who needs to read it!”

—Dean S, Amazon Review

Ike: the dog who saved a human

Based on true-life events, "IKE: the dog who saved a human," follows the transformative journey of author Jason Dorland, a Canadian national team rower left bitter, ashamed, and lost after his crew finished last in their final at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Dorland retires from rowing and, as a way to cope, adopts a golden retriever puppy named Ike, who is destined to be guide dog for the blind.

While Dorland struggles to redefine himself and find a new purpose in his life, Ike takes on a new role. Removed from the guide dog program at nine months for health reasons, Ike becomes Jason's own guide dog—his teacher. Through many adventures together, Dorland eventually discovers that love is not something you chase but, instead, something you give away.

“Everyone needs to read this book—the world needs Ike!

When I read Ike, I was hooked from the first page. It was such a warming journey of the heart that captured me entirely. I felt as though Ike was with me, sitting at my feet, bringing me more alive with every page. Jason and Ike went on a profound journey together and reading about their journey is a true inspiration at a soul level. It awakens something deep within and connects us back to life’s purest nourishment: love. Thank you Jason for writing this beautiful book and sharing Ike’s spirit for our world.”

—Tom St. John, Amazon Review

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