A man who has been through many ups and downs, struggles and success has made it through to the other end — and helps others do the same.
Theo Fleury, whom many might know as a former professional hockey player and Olympic gold-medal winner, author and motivational speaker, is today plying his trade as a country music singer.
From a small town in Saskatchewan, Fleury will be in Sidney this Saturday, March 12, to debut his latest album, I Am Who I Am, which will give the audience a raw look into his struggles and his life experience.
Fleury told the PNR that country music, and music in general, has always been a big part of his life.
“My grandfather was a fiddle player, my dad was an entertainer, my uncle was an entertainer and so music and country music was and always has been a huge part of my life,” he said.
From writing about his life in songs and in books, Fleury said he discovered that his experience, which he felt at the time was uncommon, is actually the most common experience people have in life.
“And so by me writing about it or singing about it, I know that I’m telling other people’s stories,” he said.
So how did Fleury get through the hard times?
“Well I would say in the beginning I gravitated to the dark side like everybody else. And a lot of us who have experienced childhood trauma are left with a lot of emotional pain and scars from that experience … so we use alcohol and drugs and all these things to cope with the emotional pain and scars that are left behind,” he said.
But that slowly began to shift and something he is most proud of is his sobriety.
“I’ve been sober for 10-and-a-half years and each day my life gets better and better … so I just have this incredible life.”
That life today, he explained, has nothing to do with hockey.
“For so many years I was identified by hockey, and now that’s totally shifting into a whole new direction and a whole new life and I think that’s what’s really cool.”
For Fleury, one of his earliest memories involved music.
“Sitting beside my grandfather, listening to him play the fiddle, was one of my earliest and fondest memories I have.
“And I’m a Metis person,” he added. “And if you know anything about Metis people, music is part of our DNA.”
It was in 2009 when he published his memoir that he really decided to focus on music and share his story.
“I’ve had over 500,000 people since 2009 say ‘me too’ to me, either indirectly or directly. So that’s where the inspiration comes from, is from other people,” he said.
Fleury is touring with the Death Valley Rebels. He said he met one of the band members back in his drinking and partying days.
After his tour, he will continue playing music along with taking part in his many speaking engagements on leadership, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, trauma, the list goes on.
For information on tickets for this Saturday’s show, call The Mary Winspear Centre at 250-656-0275.