Meet Carl

You may know Carl Valentine as a former star player of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer, member of the 1986 FIFA World Cup Canadian team and the list goes on. But today, this English-born Vancouverite’s resume includes more than just soccer. At 62 years old, Carl is a father, a grandfather, and a soon-to-be husband on top of being an ambassador and staff coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps. Carl can’t stress enough how important it is for him to take care of his health and his body so he can maintain his active lifestyle. Like many others, Carl hadn’t thought much about his hearing before. When given the opportunity to get his hearing tested at Connect Hearing North Vancouver, he was excited to see what he might find out about his hearing.

Carl's hearing experience

1. So we hear you recently got your hearing tested for the first time. How was that experience for you? Was it what you expected?
It was actually a wonderful experience! I wasn’t really sure what to expect because getting your hearing tested is not something that comes up in conversation often. When you think about it, people talk about eye glasses and the different lenses and such but when it comes to our hearing it doesn’t really come up a lot so I was a little bit apprehensive about it. I was trying very hard to well in the test, but I realized you’ve just got to relax.
2. What did you learn about your hearing? 

I learned it’s pretty good! I wasn’t sure what the results would be as I’m getting on in age and I wasn’t sure if my hearing had been damaged or not. I was very grateful to hear that the test went well.
3. Our clinics’ priority is making sure our clients feel safe during their appointment. How did you find the clinic environment? 

Of course we’re in difficult and challenging times right now. Everything was very comfortable in the clinic and I felt very safe in the environment. It never really crossed my mind while I was there. Obviously I’m older so safety measures are something that are important to me.  But I just felt very comfortable and calm during my visit at the clinic.
4. Why do you think you had never had your hearing tested before? 

That’s a great question. I don’t know why, but I never really thought about my hearing much before. When I was on my way to the hearing test I thought to myself  “man, I probably should have gone to do this earlier” because I’m not sure what the process is. It’s like anything, if you have some problems or if you’re doing something that’s damaging your health you want to catch it as soon as possible. So to answer your question,  I just simply never thought about going to get my hearing tested before but I’m really glad I did.
5. What you would tell someone who, like you were, has never thought about getting their hearing tested? 

I’d tell them to just get it done. It’s for your peace of mind. It’s a very comfortable experience and it’s like anything in life, if you take care of your body, your body takes care of you. I’m sure there’s many people like me that just never thought about it until something bad happens with their hearing and at that point sometimes it can be too late. Just listening to the people and sounds around us is something we take for granted and you never want to lose that.
6. Have you noticed any change in your hearing as you’ve gotten older? 

I don’t think so, and I think that’s something important to realize. You might not actually notice the change in your hearing at first. I think it’s something that we should be more aware of.
7. What steps are you taking to protect your hearing now? 

Well when I workout at the gym I always listen to music in my ear. As I get older, I’ve definitely started to become more conscious of how something like that could be damaging for my hearing. Now I make sure it’s always at a healthy volume.
8. As a soccer player, how important has your hearing been to you? 

It’s been everything. Soccer is a team sport so you’ve got to be able to communicate when you’re out on the field. You’re playing in front of thousands of fans which is great when they’re on your side but I even found it can be motivating when you go on the road and you hear the roar of the crowd against you.  It’s a motivating thing to do something well that makes them go quiet.
9. And in your everyday life? 

Definitely communicating with my family. Hearing my grandkids speak their first words has meant so much to me. A lot of my family still lives in England and I skype with them every week, so being able to hear is crucial for that. It’s really important to be able to keep in touch with my family I have back in England.
10. When you think of the sounds that matter to you most, what comes to mind? 

I’d say the sound of my grandkids. Also, I’m getting married next year so I’m looking forward to the many sounds of “I love you” and the sounds of “I do”. We’re getting married on Valentine’s day if you can believe that!
11. And just for fun, are they any sounds you wouldn’t mind not hearing anymore? 

Hmm well I don’t get into trouble too much. I would have to say, as a big Manchester United, we haven’t been doing very well over the years so I’d be happy not to hear things like “Manchester United still sucks” anymore.
12. Any last takeaways from your experience at Connect Hearing?

You’re never too old to learn, and if I hadn’t had the opportunity to get my hearing tested now who knows what could have happened in the next 5 or 10 years. But I did get that opportunity and that’s a great peace of mind. Especially for us “more experienced” (I don’t like to say older) people, we’ve got to make sure we do everything we can to take care of our bodies.

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