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My Journey to a Press Conference

What a game 7 for the Raptors!! Kahwi shot was out of this world. I am still in shock.

But, let me talk about a game that happened a while back. Game 5.

As game 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers and our beloved Raptors ended with a huge victory from the local team, we headed down to the press conference location. The media people were lining up in front of the elevator and the length of the line was one of those I had never seen. We had to wait for the elevator to go down and back up at least three times before we could get in.

By the time we finally got in the elevator, the TV monitor inside the elevator was showing Serge Ibaka’ s press conference. Shoot, we were running late.

We finally got down, and as we were rushing to the conference room, I bumped into Toronto FC soccer superstar Jozy Altidore. He said hi to me and I said hi back. It was surreal. Then, in front of me, I saw this huge guy with tattoos all over his body. I didn’t know who he was, but he caught my attention. As it turned out, he was Drake’s bodyguard. Drake was right there in front of me.

I did not pay much attention as I had to get to the media room before Ibaka ended his media availability. I got into the room just in time for French questions for Serge. I asked for the microphone and I had time for just one question.

By the time Ibaka finished responding to my question, a friend texted me and asked, "Is that you that I just heard on TV?" I texted back, "Yes, that was me."

 I did not realize it was live on national TV both in Canada, the US and all over the world.
All of those things happened in just less than ten minutes. Meeting with Altidore, seeing Drake a few feet away from me and being live to a worldwide audience on TV… please don’t pinch me. I don’t want to wake up.

The next day, as I was at my six-year-old daughter’s school to pick her up, I mentioned to her that I saw Drake the day before. She is a huge Drake fan. She looked at me and asked, "Dad, are you joking, or is it for real?" When I told her that I saw Drake for real, she broke into tears. “That’s not fair", she said. “How come you saw Drake and I was not there…”

I did not have much time to explain to her that, part of my job is to meet superstars, legends and childhood idols haha

But, her remarks stuck with me: that’s not fair.

To tell the truth, what is happening to me is simply out of this world. It may not be a big deal for many people, but to me, it is. I know where I came from. I know that this was not supposed to happen, and I know that I have nothing to do with this. It is simply God’s grace.

Just two days ago, I was sharing this with a good friend of mine. He then reminded me that, it was less than five years ago, I was sleeping in a church basement because I was homeless. “Look at you now”, he said.

Suddenly, I had a response to my daughter’s complaint: Yes, it is fair! Haha

So, my friend. If you are reading this, I would like to tell you that, if you are going through some tough times, things can change rapidly for you and so fast that your friends will think that it is unfair. But, deep down inside you will acknowledge that it is God’s grace that you are there and that you also paid a price.

Moral of the story? Do you want to meet superstars? Just keep reading my blogs and you will meet Drake and his bodyguard.

Always a pleasure

The Journeyman

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  1. Patrick, I was watching Serge Ibaka's press conference after Game 4 against the Bucks and saw you asking him a question in French. As a Francophone from Toronto, I was interested in learning more about you and stumbled upon this blog post, and I'm really happy that I did. It's amazing to see that you have elevated yourself from a difficult place in your life to a point where you are happy. This resonates a lot with me as a 26-year old who is only a few years into their career. I often have doubts about my future, trying to figure out what it is I want to do for a living, with the goal of being happy with my career.

    But your story reminds me that we can always control our perseverance and our dedication to improving, whether it is from a career perspective or just being a better person in general. Hopefully, in due time, I will look back on my journey fondly and experience a similar kind of happiness that you have in this moment. Maybe you didn't expect anybody to comment or read your blog post, but this made my day! And you deserve to know it. It's incredible how stories, the Internet, and the French language can connect people.

    En tous cas, vous devrez être très fier de votre parcours. CHOQ-FM est très chanceux de vous avoir en tant que journaliste, et j'espère de vous voir bientôt à la télé à une conférence de presse. Merci, et bravo!

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