News: The Move

Victoria to Regina.

The Details:

(1)  I autonomously made the decision: 2019 Outdoor season would be my final track season as a member of Vic City Elite in Victoria, BC.

(2) Fall 2019 I am continuing my post-collegiate training, which includes a move back to my hometown roots in Regina, SK.

* For those who don’t know: Yes, I am back living and training in Regina.

The typical response:

–>Most people cringe and respond, Why?

Short Answer:

  • Big Decision to be brave and follow my heart
  • Secondly, because of the SK people
  • I have the privilege to continue training as a high performance athlete in my sport, with my family network, in my hometown

The bigger picture:

Not quite Netflix-level, but below is a brief Season-by-Season Recap of my time in Victoria:

Athletics Canada Western Hub

Year ONE: PC: Arthur Images, PISE Trails – Fall 2015

Athletics Canada Western Hub

Year ONE: PC: Arthur Images – Pre -Vic City Elite practice at Centennial Stadium Fall 2015

Season ONE: 2015- 2016: I graduated from U. Regina, had an awesome year athletically, and was recruited with an offer to come and train post-collegiately, full-time, under Coach Heather Hennigar, in Victoria. With the summer to contemplate, I took the offer and Fall 2015, I made the move to train full-time. Plot twist, not as a sprinter/hurdler, but as a middle distance 800m athlete. Most people were genuinely floored when I said this was what I was doing when I graduated. This year was full of struggle and success, which through perseverance took my 800m from a 2:10 to a 2:06. I was hooked to keep rolling, and people were starting to see why I made this choice to pursue being an Amateur Athlete.

_ART9113.jpg

Year TWO: PC: Arthur Images: Whistler Retreat. October 2016

_ART9920

Year TWO: PC: Arthur Images, Early Morning Shoot with Sarah. October. 2016

NextGen group feb 2017

Year Two: PC: Arthur Images – Some of our Next Gen Teammates// Post- Long Run at Elk Lake. Feb. 2017

 

San Diego Camp Group

Year TWO: Chula Vista Olympic Training Centre – Warm Weather Camp San Diego. Feb. 2017

PISE 2017.jpg

Year TWO: Summer pre-Nationals Prep @ PISE. June 2017

Season TWO: 2016-2017: NextGen Team. A few more members joined our training group, we now had a surfaced track to train on, AC WestHub was booming. This year I really clicked with my training partner Casey, and credit her to holding me accountable for many of my everyday successes , including our first Summer Circuit in Europe. Again my 800m went from 2:06 down to 2:04, I became the SK Outdoor Record Holder. I felt like I had finally received (and earned) some validation, I was on the right path, and training for the Olympics seemed like more of a realistic goal.

 

fullsizeoutput_1882

Year THREE: Grand Canyon – April 2018 AC Altitude Camp

sedona-workout-w-annie

Year THREE: Training in Sedona, AZ. April 2018

20180630_210108.jpg

Year THREE: TLC Fam taking a dance party break at work. June 2018

HJ 2018 1

Year THREE: Harry Jerome International 800m Race. June 2018

Season THREE: 2017-2018: Vic City Elite is officially named and I had the keys to my first, completely on my own place. My “Treetop Home.” I was starting to settle in Victoria, had a social network within the Victoria track community, and also where I worked, with my London Chef Family. My neighbors in this area were also incredible; Victoria was finally starting to feel like home. I could barely believe I was already on year #3 and was relieved to feel like I had some sense of routine. Then came heartbreak, then healing, missed the national final with 9th place, a summer of travel, my best friend’s wedding, and I took my 800m from a 2:04 down to a 2:03. It was an emotional year, but a big learning year for me on and off the track. Financially I was feeling the pressure this year. Yes, I was improving. Yes, I earned a bit more funding each year, and made time to work with training, but it was never enough to cover cost of living and cost of training. I was putting myself into debt for sport, but everything I needed was in Victoria. I was nervous, but went into year #4 with a big piece of humble pie.

fast and female 3

Year FOUR: Fast and Female Event at PISE. October 2018

phoenix

Year FOUR: Phoenix Training Camp. January 2019

phoenix 2019

Year FOUR: Post-Long Run in Scottsdale, AZ January 2019.

Season FOUR: 2018-2019: In my annual reflection, I summarized this Season as my year of the Grinch. Not because I wanted to steal Christmas, but because my heart felt like it was two sizes too small. I went into the year extremely motivated and had a strong, fall base season. Then Christmas rolled around, (I didn’t know it then), but once I left home after the holidays, I was about to become the Grinch.

In January I became an auntie while I was home in Sask for the holidays, and when I came back to Victoria, something was off. (Grinch formation phase one). I disregarded it, kept training, working, and taking action to make my athletic and personal goals reality. There were some glaring setbacks, but as the Grinch in denial, I ignored them… For months… I went to altitude training, and when I came down, something was terribly wrong. I slept 13 hours, had sharp pains, and voiced my concerns of feeling hollow and empty. I proceeded to run my slowest 800m race to date, and knew it was time to figure out what was wrong. I felt isolated, alone, and wasn’t able to get out of bed. After a full week of complete isolation, cancelled races, and time to myself, I braved a letter and realized despite the community I had, Victoria was no longer home, nor where I needed to be.

In May, I made the decision I would move to Regina. I would stay with the VCE Team through to the end of the outdoor season, tell everyone in person of my decision, pack my little car up with four years worth of memories and lessons, and would start a new chapter in Regina Fall 2019. There were many hard goodbye’s in Victoria which made me grateful for the last four years and gave me a knowing I’ll be back to visit. But as soon as I confirmed this move, everything clicked for me. It was right and I felt it through to my core. I won my next race. I ran PB times both in practice and in races consistently. I felt like me again. Once I drove all of my things home to Regina, and spent the next two months living out of a suitcase, I was able to travel and enjoy running again.

Those two months gave me the chance to reflect and enjoy my time as a VCE athlete, and to some extent feel a bit like I was on a final farewell tour now that the move was done. This was an interesting limbo where I did not quite feel like a Victoria athlete nor a Regina Athlete. I was just Adrea, a Canadian, and that was enough. At Nationals this year, I had my Grinch aha! moment, my heart exploded into at least two sizes more while I competed in the National Final. As cliché as it sounds, I made the decision to follow my heart and it was 100% what I needed to do. This summer I took that 2:03 800m down to a 2:02 and cracked top 100 in the IAAF world rankings.

The cherry on the cake to my last few weeks with VCE was the chance to hop in some races in Europe. Teammate Sarah and I were on our own, (until we linked up and made some Canadian and American Oiselle friends) and it turned out great!

 

London

Year FOUR: Sarah and Adrea in London, UK. August 2019

LONDON 1

Year FOUR: London, UK Skyline. August 2019

pacing rovereto

Year FOUR: Pacing the 1500m in Roveretto, Italy. August 2019

 


Season FIVE: 2019-2020

Curious to know what’s next?

Stay Tuned.

BRussels - Adrea

Season FIVE: Homecoming. Fall 2019

Advice for my Younger Self

As part of my athlete community giveback, I volunteer as an ambassador for the Canadian Fast and Female program. This spring, when I helped lead an F&F event, one of the girls asked a really great question to the panel of athletes I was a part of. It was the same question Oiselle founder and athlete Lauren Fleshman has asked, “What advice would you tell your younger self?”

I think everyone on the panel took a deep breath and took a moment to prepare the honest piece of advice they would share. As it turned out, we went down the line and I was grateful to find myself near the end of said line. Mainly because I was able to hear their aha! moments, but secondly it also gave me time to think and consider my own younger-self advice. After hearing the panel’s personal advice to: enjoy the every day moments, embrace setbacks, and know you’re good enough, I realized it was my turn. I suddenly felt nervous to be vulnerable in front of a gym full of girls. I took a deep breath and the answer I gave to the gymnasium that day was, “Dear ten-year-old Adrea, the advice I have for you is be competitive, not comparative.”

FandF Saskatoon1

Photo Credit: Josh Schaeffer, 2019 at Saskatoon Fast and Female Event @GetmyPhotos

What does this mean?

In an individual sport like athletics, it is easy to compare times, rankings, number of wins, races, etc. But that isn’t what winning is. When I first joined my training group in Victoria, I was very privileged to have an amazing training partner who taught me the difference between being comparative and competitive. We learned very early on being comparative was not going to make either of us better. We figured out the respect and benefit of being competitive instead. We are able to see ourselves as equal, we, us, being our best, together. When we were shared a race start line, we were excited and fully motivated because the obvious goal was we are taking #1 and #2 spots. Between us, whoever was #1 in that race, great you ran well! Whoever was #2, equally great. #2 means you have the best training partner possible. It meant we did well. We did our best that day, and every day leading up to the race.

This genuine respect for the other person meant there was no room for comparing. Sure, some days she ran faster times, and other days I ran faster times. We didn’t get mad and wallow as a loser because of it. Nor did we look at the times and start creating comparative narratives where we rationalize who is better. Creating a hierarchy was not conducive to achieving our goals. Instead we became competitive. Which meant we also became supportive, were kind, laughed, cried, travelled, ran, and formed genuine friendship. The days I dragged behind, her lead forced me to stay competitive and do the best I could that day. The day’s I felt great, I knew I could return the favour and pull her through a tough session. But in order for it to work we both trusted the other person to show up and be competitive. Together. Empowering each other to be our best both on and off the track.

Adrea:asey track pcRobD

PC: Rob Denault, Film 2017 Casey, Maddy, Adrea at a PISE Track practice

 

As I shared this lesson learned, I was lucky enough to have her sitting a few chairs down the line on the panel with me. We have always had an unspoken bond, but to give her the recognition she deserves for making me into the athlete I am today was a real privilege. There are many stories and advice I learned both on and off the track with her, but this is by far the most important:

Be Competitive. Not Comparative.

 

Flagstaff 2017.jpg

Casey and Adrea enjoying tempo at altitude 7000′ – Flagstaff, AZ

And don’t forget to have fun! 🙂 

 

Much Love, 

Adrea