For Immediate Release - Tue, May 5, 2020
A clearly emotional Skoufis details his life journey of balancing being a international competitor, business owner and student. The post was touching and very personal. It showed the uncertainty, lose and hardship this pandemic has caused for all of us. A truly unprecedented time. Showing that we are in this together and the power of unity. To displaying his journey as a university student.
The post details:
"These past few weeks have been a scary uncertain time for all of us. The day I was told I had to close my doors was difficult. I never imagined anything like this could happen in my lifetime, thinking this would only last a week or two.
We all have had time to go through many different emotions and filter through what life is really all about. These past few weeks have been difficult for all of us but not just us it was something many countries were going through at the same time. Unprecedented!! We have seen extreme changes in our lifestyle, uncertainty, truly saddening loses and hardships. No one ever thought we would be in line for groceries, something we take for granted.
We have had to quiet that inner voice and tell ourselves everything was going to be alright. I wasn’t too worried about myself but I was now worried about the most vulnerable and my family. This hit home! It was my duty to do the right thing so as to not spread anything to another person.
As Canadians we value freedom and liberty. I pray this does not change! This time has truly shown me what is important in life. This past month has shown the power of community, a community that has come together to saves lives with the selfless acts of many. It has shown our ability to persevere in the face of an overwhelming obstacle, as a city, a province, a country and a globe. We will all come out of this stronger and more united. It has shown us the power of care and support can have a huge impact.
This was my last semester at the University of Guelph and will be graduating in June. I will not be able to attend my convocation!! I will not be able to see my friends!! A very bittersweet feeling but I realize what is going on around me is bigger than this. This will be my final article ever featured as a bachelor student of the University of Guelph!! (I will never forget what year I graduated lol! 2020 wow!!)
Thank you to the University of Guelph for your endless support throughout the years and for this amazing article. Forever a proud gryphon!! 😢
Our experiences and those we are lucky enough to meet shape and develop us into the person we become. Thank you everyone who has had a part in my journey from the very beginning I couldn’t have done any of this without you all. Thank you for the support over the years and continued support, it means the world to me. I have been mentored by many amazing individuals and am so fortunate.
When I started at the university of Guelph, I also opened the doors of Guelph Family Martial Arts with many thinking it would be impossible to balance a business while being a full time student. I was up for the challenge lol! When selecting a university I was accepted into many including Western, U of T, Laurier and more but I couldn’t leave Guelph and I had to make a difficult choice but I loved martial arts. I had to grow up fast, I did not get to experience a “normal” university experience of living in residence, orientation or going to all the parties, I missed out on a lot of this. I by no means have any regrets and would do it all again as I truly love what I do and the opportunity I’ve had to meet many of you and change so many lives.
I learned that the struggles of being a business owner were real being the first one there and the last one to leave. Balancing full time studies, running a business and being an international competitor definitely challenged my time management skills.
Most people are a student first, graduate and then move on to their job, I combined these phases together and loved every second of this. I’ve met so many amazing people that were so positive along the way but I also have met the one or two that did not always have your best intentions in mind and tried to drag me down, which has shown me to never be like this.
This pandemic has made us all self reflect with nothing but time to think and ponder to realize what is essential. This has made me realize martial arts and changing lives is my calling and passion, this is not just a job to me, this is something I love doing. I love seeing my lil guys when they come in for class! To share my experiences and mentor my students to reach their potential and overcome whatever that obstacle might be.
If you have made it to the end of my story thank you for taking the time to read it. Thank you all and stay safe and I will see you all again soon. Take care of each other !! "
A proud Canadian and a proud Gryphon!!
#gfma #guelph #guelphfamilymartialarts
- A letter to Nathan Skoufis from the community follows: -
We thank you! Guelph Thanks you!
We thank you Nathan Skoufis for all you have done and will do for the community. You are a martial arts champion but have effectively empowered and inspired a community. You are such an amazing role model, community champion and icon. You have seen success in many realms but your greatest success has been in making a difference.
Your tireless efforts and work are much appreciated for making this community what it is today. We are proud to have you as our very own. You embody what it is to be Canadian through your empathy, compassion, respect, modesty, perseverance and ambition.
As Canadians we will overcome this, as Canadians we find a way to overcome any obstacle together to not leave a single person behind. As Canadians we don’t just lay down, we fight and battle. We thank you Nathan Skoufis for showing us what is possible through dedication, discipline, focus and indomitable spirit. For carrying yourself in such a way that we as a community can be so proud of.
We have all seen you grow up through the years to international success. We have seen you grow up in-front of our eyes. You’re a special person. Thank you for taking us along on the journey and we look forward to what is to come.
All the best Nathan Skoufis and stay safe! ❤️
Everyone stay safe!
- 30 -