Welcome(ing myself) to Whistler 

click to enlarge SPIRIT OF AMERICA / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

My name is Braden and I'm from Saskatchewan.

Nice to meet you. How are... things?

I'm sorry, it's just such an odd thing, to write about yourself. I'm not sure if it's universally hated among writers, but it's something I know I'm not alone in dreading — the introductory blurb.

I'm never quite sure where to start or what to include, or how I'm going to come across to readers.

But at least I'm fortunate enough to have had a few weeks to settle in before having to pour my heart out to Pique's readership.

According to Pique sports reporter Eric MacKenzie, he was tasked with writing his first Whistler column about two weeks after starting at the Question a few years back.

We pulled it out of the archives the other day so I could see what I was up against, and it was remarkably similar to what I might have written if I hadn't seen it first — prairie boy moves to Whistler, likes it. I briefly considered cutting and pasting it into a Word document and switching his byline for mine.

But no, that wouldn't do.

So here I am, typing out my thoughts in a somewhat-aimless introduction that I sincerely hope you're all enjoying.

Or at the very least, still reading.

This painful exercise has reminded me of my first awkward attempt at introducing myself to strangers through widely distributed print. It was back in 2011, in an upscale living magazine full of subliminal advertising — the kind of glossy publication you ignore in doctor's offices or hotel lobbies.

I don't remember now exactly what I wrote, but seeing as it was my first paid gig, there was likely a distinct lack of substance. They also needed my "headshot," so just imagine me trying to look distinguished in a bedroom selfie if you'd like to complete the image.

After that ill-advised foray into non-journalism, I spent time freelancing for weekly newspapers in Saskatchewan before somehow landing a job with the Prince Albert Daily Herald in 2012. I didn't have any formal training in journalism at that point, but by the time I left I was a cynical jerk with the best of them, and my introductory blurbs were slightly more substantial by the time I took the next step — finishing my degree at the School of Journalism at the University of Regina. After two years and two more internships, I did just that.

So how did I end up in beautiful Whistler, of all places?

It's a bit of a long story, but you're in luck — I've still got a lot of space to fill.

I had just finished my last semester of journalism school, and had little in the way of job prospects. A few months prior I had applied at the Prince George Citizen, but after not hearing anything on that front for some time I forgot about it.

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