Jim Gardiner understands dedication.
The director of operations for Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community has applied his relentless dedication to his goals all of his life – whether that includes acting, career development or sport.
Originally from Rhode Island, Gardiner moved to New York City to pursue his acting career. It was in Manhattan where he had a variety of guests spots on Law & Order and some soap operas, along with hosting his one-man show. It is also where he met his wife (and West Coast-er) Jenn.
The duo moved to Los Angeles where, while pursing acting jobs, Gardiner also furthered his career in hospitality and management.
Following the birth of his first daughter, the couple decided to move north – to Vancouver – all the while with Gardiner thinking about one of his first loves: rowing.
“I used to coach rowing a long time ago, and it was a great outlet. I decided I wanted to get back into it after 15 years.”
Following a head coach position for rowing at Simon Fraser University, Gardiner decided it was time for him to get back into competing.
“I completed 80 top-three finishes in the last seven years,” he noted.
Drawing from his love for smaller towns in his childhood – and tired of traffic and the Vancouver commute – he and Jenn moved to the Island.
In the first year of Island life, Gardiner spent most of his training time running indoors and working out on an indoor rowing machine.
He soon bought at boat, and began training on Cameron Lake.
“It was a bit tricky juggling family life (with training), he admitted, but soon went on to race at the Canadian Masters, where he won gold.
Recently, Gardiner competed in the US Nationals in Western, Massachusetts, an area he refers to as his “old stomping ground.”
The competition had extra special meaning for him, as his parents were able to watch him race.
“The last time my parents saw me race was about 25 years ago,” he added with a smile. “When I was a kid, I had asthma, and I was never really great at any sports. My parents were always huge supporters.”
He calls the East Coast competition “a mecca. It was the best of the best, with 2,200 entries. It was a big regatta.”
Gardiner ended up with a gold and silver medal, but admitted to putting a lot of pressure on himself.
He decided he needed a change of pace, and with the dedication he had with rowing, decided to switch gears and focus on triathlon.
But, he decided to go big.
“Next year, I decided I’m going to do an Ironman – April in Texas. I don’t have any experience, but I understand what it takes based on the discipline to be an athlete.”
While the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run is intimidating, Gardiner credits his vegan diet to aid in training.
“I’ve definitely noticed a difference … (the plant-based diet) has had a profound influence on my body. My recovery is off the charts.”
In addition to his position at Crown Isle and his training, Gardiner is also in the works to host a half-hour show on Shaw TV on local athletes and inspiring others.
“I get to sit down with fellow athletes, entrepreneurs, artists and wellness advocates and interview them weekly,” he added.
Follow Gardiner’s Can Ordinary Inspire?/Athletic Mindset for Everyday Life page on Facebook at facebook.com/canordinaryinspire.