What is resilience made of? Failure. Optimism. Love. And, sometimes, clean sheets and a tenderly executed shave. Ultimately, we can’t know what alchemy pushes anyone to thrive against all odds. We can, however, watch and learn from these five extraordinary humans who have bounced rather than broken — and subsequently put remarkable words to their stories of overcoming. The treasure herein deserves a five-part series — alas, for now we’ve rolled these candid, funny, heartbreaking conversations into one unforgettable episode.
As well, here we give you five juicy little extras with the authors plus a timestamp for the entire episode so you can navigate each story with ease.
Cathrin Bradbury (0:01:55)
Editor, journalist, Senior News Director at CBC, and author of the new memoir The Bright Side, Bradbury is all sharp intelligence and soft heart. She shares with us the incredible story of how her brother — “whose insides were full of holes” — convinced her (and, likewise, us) that, with the right combination of ingredients, miracles are possible. Here, she shares yet another opportunity for resilience-building that came when her house turned on her.
Kaleb Dahlgren (0:18:44)
A tough diagnosis at the age of four gave this former Humboldt Bronco an early taste of adversity. He’s been building resilience ever since. The horrific 2018 bus crash left him with a head injury that, remarkably, he sees as a “gift” that fuels his drive to help others. He shares what fueled him to write Crossroads: My Story of Tragedy and Resilience as a Humboldt Bronco (currently No. 1 on the Canadian non-fiction list) and, here, tells us how Hayley Wickenheiser (and her book) inspires him.
Kim Echlin (0:35:18)
Her novel Speak, Silence is as powerful a story of resilience as has ever been told, with war, sisterhood, and love at its core. Her bounce-back story for us focuses on the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna — and what might be the very first written drinking/hangover story. She also tells us here how travel and privilege have shaped how she sees the world and tells its stories.
Darrel J. McLeod (0:55:04)
“Don’t cry” and “I love you” were oft-repeated phrases that resonated with this GG-award winning Cree author throughout his childhood. Certainly, the loved ones who uttered those words contributed to McLeod’s remarkable, multiple bounce-backs from unspeakable events — events the author does indeed speak, and, in his new memoir Peyakow, write about, with strength and courage. He tells us when he did break rather than bounce and also, with his trademark humour, shares how he bounced back from bureaucracy.
Jillian Horton (1:17:10)
Internist, mother, writer and (to even her own surprise) master of the bounce-back no matter how disappointing the failure, Jillian Horton began writing We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing while attending burn-out rehab for doctors. Who knew that becoming a published author would be even harder than completing med school? Well, fairly soon into the process, Horton did — but the prospect of not writing a book was even harder.