Victoria to Regina.
(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?
- 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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
Season FIVE: 2019-2020
Curious to know what’s next?