Andrea shared her wonderfully inspiring journey with us and we wanted to share it all with you. Have a read of all the incredible adventures she has had, and how she has found herself and healed through running.
Growing up on Vancouver Island I spent my days exploring the trails behind our house on my horse. I developed a deep love both for horses and for nature and spending time in the mountains. I competed in show-jumping throughout high-school and college, until I had to decide whether to make horses my livelihood or go to University. University was the logical choice and I took a degree in Geography with a focus on Mapping and Remote sensing. Throughout my 20’s I grew my love of the mountains with many backpacking and hiking trips in the Canadian Rockies, a 7 day trek in Alaska and some hiking in Slovakia, as well as travelling as much of Europe as I could. I also battled chronic pain that was related to injuries from my show jumping days. I was young but burdened with pain every single day. I was not the person on the outside that I was on the inside. Inside I was an athlete. On the outside, I was overweight and often limping around because I was in constant pain.
My husband and hiking partner of 11 years and I started our family in 2013, with the birth of our daughter. Pika is a miracle. She was born by emergency C-section after 28 hours of labor and when she came into this world our hearts stopped and so did hers. For 12 minutes I listened and my husband watched as they tried to restart Pika’s heart. She was rushed off to the NICU before I could even see her, and she was put on a cold bed for 3 days to make her hypothermic and prevent swelling in her brain. This is where my body pain ends and my heart and soul pain begins. Somehow through pregnancy, the chronic pain that had plagued me for years disappeared, but it was replaced by PTSD and Post-partum anxiety due to Pika’s traumatic birth. I spent her first 2 years trying to figure out if she was achieving her milestones. In the first year, no one could tell me if she was going to have permanent brain damage or not. Moose, our number two showed up in 2015 when Pika wasn’t quite 2 years old. He entered the world and immediately peed all over the Dr and me. He’s been the goofball of the family ever since. From day one he has brought us so much joy and laughter. When moose was 6 months old, I received yet another devastating blow to my life.
At that point I started to run. And run. And run some more. I ran to keep sane, I ran to find happiness, I ran to deal with the sadness. I ran to meditate and get away from all the thoughts in my head that told me everything was my fault. It didn’t take long for my body to finally catch up with my inner self. I lost approximately 45lbs and have run myself back to happiness and health. Now I run to meditate and because I love to run on trails. I run to cover ground faster than I could if I tried to hike it. I run because it brings me so much joy to be in the mountains and propelled forward and upward by my own feet.
2017 is where my new journey begins. At the age of 38 I have started ski mountaineer racing, I have registered for several half marathon distance trails runs and some fun trail running camps. My amazing and healthy little family backpacks and skis and hikes and runs together as a team. Join us on this adventure of running, raising kids and getting out to the mountains.