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15566 Helga Grodzinski: Rookie getting ready for the 202km journey along the Rideau

15566 Helga Grodzinski: Rookie getting ready for the 202km journey along the Rideau

By: 27182 Officer Cadet (IV) Carmen Kiltz

Major Helga Grodzinski will take part in her first-ever voyageur paddle trip with la Chasse-Galerie along the Rideau from Ottawa to Kingston this September.

Along with fourteen other crew members, the combined objective this year is to add $150,000 to the Danny McLeod Athletics Fund, which supports excellence in athletics at RMC.

Helga, the only crew member who is currently serving as RMC staff, is doing her part to help reach this goal. In addition to helping organize the trip, she is also sponsoring 27639 Andréanne Tremblay (RMCSJ), a fellow crew member.

What’s more, the Course Development and Delivery Support Manager in the Division of Continuing Studies volunteers to help promote the event via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

MORE…

“Government funding can only do so much,” Helga notes. She says that supporting the athletics fund makes it possible for the military colleges to have athletic facilities which offer a place to release stress and become leaders. This is necessary for a “more rounded experience” and better officers.

Thank you, RMC!

The former six and seven squadron member credits her athletic experience at the College as having positively impacted her entire career.

In the Physical Education classes which were part of the curriculum, the then OCdt. Grodzinski enjoyed being introduced to different sports.

“You got to try every sport at least once,” she said. This, in her opinion, was very good exposure.

As a varsity athlete on the Women’s Fencing Team for all four years of her time at RMC, Helga learned several important lessons.

“It has been useful on many levels, not just fitness,” the ’86 grad points out, “the skills we learned on the [fencing] piste have stayed with me as an Army LOG officer.” These skills include channelled aggression, tactics, and thinking on the spot.

The Army LOG officer was in the reserves for twenty years. For ten years, Maj. Grodzinski worked part-time in Calgary and Halifax, and for the next ten years she worked full time at the Army Staff College and the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA).

In 2011, the reservist transferred to the Regular Force and was posted to Ottawa. In 2015, she came to work at RMC.

“I was shifting gears in my form of service,” Helga reflected. This was the best path in order to give her the flexibility to put “family first.”

“Family has been, and will always be, first,” she said. One of her sons who had attended RMCC recently graduated in 2015.

Getting ready to give back…

Helga believes it is very important to pay it forward by participating in events that support athletics (such as La Chasse-Galerie!).

The former Second Class Senior not only supports athletics but is an active individual herself.

“Being active is my bliss,” she says, “it is an integral part of my life.”

On a daily basis Maj. Grodzinski enjoys walking and emphasizes that cycling is her favourite. She showed me her bike and mentioned that she and her husband avoid using the car if at all possible.

Helga has had some paddling experience on a canoe trip from Jones Falls to Kingston over three days with her husband, however in order to better prepare for the big event, the former CSL of Wolfe Squadron is working on extra upper-body training and yoga for strength.

“I want to be fit as a fiddle,” she laughed. Her next challenge is to “toughen” her hands so they don’t get cramped or strewn with blisters on the trip.

Good luck Helga and thank you for your contribution!

***

15566 Helga Grodzinski  is one of fifteen Ex-Cadets who will raise money for the Danny McLeod Athletic Endowment Fund by paddling a voyageur canoe from Ottawa to Kingston this September, 2016. You can make a pledge or donation atwww.rmcclubfoundation.ca.

Our aim at e-Veritas is to conduct one-on-one interviews with all 15 participants (in no particular order) over the next few months of e-Veritas Issues. eight down; seven to go!

5893 Dr. Tom Gee ‘63

8684 Peter Holt ‘71

8788 Geoff Bennett ‘71

8725 Fergus McLaughlin ‘71

8833 John Leggat ‘71

8836 Clark Little ‘71

8926 Ray Hook ‘71

9143 Bruce McAlpine ‘72

12192 Tom Lawson ‘79

M0288 Roxanne Rees ‘83

8710 Chuck Lemieux ‘71

15566 Helga Grodzinski ‘86

22461 Claire Bramma ‘02

27173 William Carpentier (RMCC) ‘18

27369 Andréanne Tremblay (RMCSJ) ‘20