Most athletes do not find out their true passion for a sport into their 30’s. Cory Bush of Grand Rapids, however, is an exception. At 36 years old, this 2015 Meijer Winter State Games Female Athlete of the Year found her love for speed skating only four years ago. “It all started with a dare by a co-worker. I work in a hospital, ICU, and miracles happen every day… So why not?” Bush went on to explain, “It was the Summer Olympics, 2011, and my co-workers bet me to go for the next Winter Olympics since I was enjoying the Summer Olympics so much!”
The question was not whether Bush would accept the dare, but rather, what sport would she participate in? Bush and her co-workers picked out three sports and put them into a hat. The sports included were Luge, Speed Skating, and Down Hill Skiing. As one can guess, Bush drew speed skating. Bush described the exact moment accordingly, “You can imagine my uncontrollable laugh when my friend read the lucky sport! So the very next day I was on the phone with a local Speed Skating Team owner!”
Bush stayed true to her commitment to pursue speed skating and in the process, found out she was more fit for the sport than she originally thought. Over the course of two years, Bush broke several speed records for her age group and became a 2-time National Champion (and hoping for a third this year.) Originally, Bush grew up with a goal of being an Olympian at some point in her life, but that never happened. Falling short of a major life goal, Bush explained that she came out the real winner. “For some people, I ‘failed’. I didn’t make the final goal a reality. But oh my dear friends… I won so much more in the process! I was able to coach a team in Kalamazoo… and so much more!”
The positive optimism of Bush is well displayed in other areas of her life, including Bush’s ability to maintain a healthy living. “Some people find it very hard to maintain a healthy living with kids… I think it’s all about positive attitude and then following through with what goals you set!” As an example, Bush enlightened, “If you want to lose 10 pounds, do it! Set a goal and let nothing get in your way!” In fact, Bush actually runs a Cory Bush-Health and Happiness Facebook page to connect with others searching for a healthy life style while sharing inspiring stories along the way.
Bush’s positive way of thinking also enables her to be display an incredible amount of sportsmanship. Bush credits her mother to be the main teacher of positive attitude in her life. “When my biggest fan, my mom, had a heart attack, I realized that she didn’t need me to be worried. She needed my positive attitude. When I see how powerful a positive attitude can be I try to utilize that power to the best of my abilities.” That positive attitude Bush speaks of allows her to keep her head up despite the responsibility of being an ICU nurse in addition to a full-time parent, responsibilities that Bush noted as two of her biggest passions in life.
Bush was nominated for the Meijer Winter State Games Female Athlete of the Year by Dan Frazier, from the West Michigan Speed skating Club in Kalamazoo, the same club that Cory coaches. Throughout his nomination, Dan described Cory as the “The kind of person who is always helping others.” Dan also noted that all the work Cory does with the club is volunteer, not paid, only adding to the volume of generosity she has for others. Furthermore, Frazier praised Bush on her overall athletic ability, not just limited to speed skating. “Cory is a great coach and an exceptional athlete,” Frazier explained. “Many people know that she was a Meijer State Winter Games Champion in Speed skating, but they do not know that she was also a Meijer State Summer Games Champion in Track and Field, where she was also ranked top ten in the USA."
Cory Bush is not only the definition of a natural athlete, but one that wins the right way through positive sportsmanship. Put that together with her on the field success in addition to her optimistic attitude, and you are looking at your 2015 Meijer Winter State Games of Michigan Female Athlete of the Year.
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.