We met Kara for the first time in Costa Rica and were completely inspired by this young woman’s dreams and passions for getting out there and living large. We are stoked to have her on the team…
Hello, I’m Kara! Originally from Calgary, Canada, I now live in Hokkaido, Japan after selling nearly all of my belongs to pursue some of my craziest dreams. This past year has brought about some of the wildest adventures and I couldn’t be more happy and excited for more to come. I became apart of the Run Like a Girl right from the beginning and have loved seeing the community grow as I have been on my own journey of self-growth and discovery.
Running came into my life at an incredibly early age as my dad’s passion and love for the sport quickly became my own. I was consistently running by the age of 11 and spent a lot of my past time hitting the trails and hiking with my dad, racing and developing a deeper love for endurance sports, nutrition, fuelling my body and getting outdoors as much as possible.
Running has taught me so much about myself. It has opened me to new life experiences, allowed me to meet amazing people, and to further explore parts of this world and myself. However, in high school, running also brought upon some major challenges as I became obsessed and began overexercising and running at all costs. This lead to a serious eating disorder tied to unhealthy habits of running.
At this time, it became increasingly difficult to navigate through the noise and understand the role running played in my life. I ‘needed’ it to fuel my unhealthy habits from my eating disorder, but at the same time, running was also a huge source of meditation, therapy and healing. Taking a break from racing, I gave myself time to focus on what I wanted out of running and made sure I was doing it for the enjoyment of it, rather then focussing on racing performance and time, distances run and calories burnt. This was the best thing I could have done for myself, as I came to love running again and began the challenging but incredibly rewarding path towards recovery.
Running also lead me to discover other passions as well. After high school I moved away from home to attend university to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership. I don’t think I could have managed my way through university without running. During my degree, I relied heavily on running for stress relief, staying active and healthy and ultimately because it made me feel good. Even when I would sometimes be reluctant to get out the door, running has always given me so much clarity and peace of mind. My ecotourism and outdoor degree also became another huge catalyst for my desire to pursue a life of travel, health and various adventures that makes me so full of joy.
Though I haven’t ran consistently this past year due to other adventures, I truly believe running has shaped a large part of who I am and will always remain one of my greatest passions. In the last few years, I’ve had an incredible drive for more endurance adventures and new outdoor expeditions. These desires lead me to travel to Norway for an Ecotourism & Outdoor Field School, complete a solo thru hike across Iceland, meet the Run Like a Girl crew in Costa Rica, and most recently, complete a 10,500 km cycle tour with my partner from our home in Calgary, through northern Canada, Alaska, eastern Russia, Mongolia and China to reach Japan.
With each of these experiences I continue to discover more of who I am and who I want to become. They have lead me to discover a life for myself that incorporates adventure travel, active outdoor pursuits, a holistic approach to health and wellness, meditation and gratitude, living sustainably and a zest to continue exploring where all of these passions and different avenues will lead me in life.
As I currently reside in Japan for the winter, I am so happy to continue opening myself up to these new opportunities and adventures. Being a Run Like a Girl Ambassador is one of those opportunities that I couldn’t be more excited about. For me, Run Like a Girl has always been about having a strong community to encourage one another in all adventures and to create a life that sets your soul on fire; it’s a place to actively pursue your passions and lead a healthy, happy and thriving life. So as this journey continues, I am so grateful to be apart of this community and continue to share, adventure and discover together.