Tomb Raider, Casino Royale and The Avengers. Three reasons why I packed up as much stuff as I could squeeze into my little Toyota Yaris (minus the one suitcase my friend brought with him as he accompanied me on this quest), and drove out to Vancouver to pursue my dream of being a stunt double in the film industry. My name is Andrea and this is my blog. It’s about following life’s passions, constantly growing as an athlete and as a person and having way too much while doing it. I’ll be taking you on my journey through my strenuous and exciting training, my setbacks and milestones and as much of the uncensored adventures my loving father can handle reading.
Back home I had an awesome job running a gymnastics centre at a member’s-only recreation and fitness centre, I owned a tiny condo right by the river that fuelled my independence and I had a circle of supportive and loving friends whom I consider my family. So why did I leave that all behind at 31 years old? I have my boss, mentor and friend to thank for that. Her and I were enjoying a beer a few months ago, catching up on each other’s busy lives. After I got through describing the horrifyingly entertaining series of dates I had just been on (sidenote: online dating is an excellent way to entertain yourself…just saying), we were discussing jobs that we are good at and jobs that we are passionate about. We agreed that my current position was indeed something I was good at and not something that I was entirely passionate about. When I nervously shared that being a stunt double is a job that I would regret never pursuing, she replied with a simple, “then that’s what you need to do”. And that was it, the wheels were set in motion and I began to figure out how the heck I was going to give this dream a legitimate shot.
Over the course of a few months, pieces began to fall in place: I found a place to stay in Vancouver, my condo was going to be occupied for a few months, finances were in order and my boss assisted me greatly with a temporary leave of absence. Three weeks before I was to make my move, things fell apart in a true test of my determination. My cousin’s training camp was cancelled so his bachelor apartment was no longer available and hiring a supervisor for the summer programming at my work proved nearly impossible. I began to panic which led me to binge eat a lot of cookies and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The anxiety was temporary though. For the first time ever, I was way more excited than nervous and I was going to make this work no matter what. And it did. Of course it did. If it had not worked out, this would be a very short blog.
I said my goodbyes, some were much harder than others, packed only the essentials into my little car and hit the road with my parkour buddy. The essentials, for a habitual over packer, included but were not limited to:
- 1 bag of circus essentials (Aerial silks, Aerial straps, Diablo)
- 3 kendo swords and a tennis racquet (the golf clubs didn’t make the cut)
- 1 bag of climbing, swimming, and camping gear
- 4 bags of clothes, shoes and 1 case of bathroom necessities
- A sewing machine, a laptop, 2 cameras plus all of the accessories
- A cooler, a box of survival snacks from Costco and my Magic Bullet blender
- 1 massive dream collage that I had constructed at the beginning of 2014
We attached our bikes on the back and watched as my car got very low to the ground. I was quite uncertain whether my Kobe (that’s the name of my car) would actually make it up the mountains. We left Calgary, bound for a pit stop in Penticton where one of my closest friends now resides. I was not thrilled about doing all of the driving and my travel buddy could not operate a standard transmission, so I decided to remedy the situation. No better place to learn how to drive stick than on the highway through the mountains.
He picked it up pretty quickly, albeit with the usual handful of stalls, screeches and puttering through town intersections. He almost broke out into a cold sweat in Penticton as we were trying to find our lodgings for the night. After stalling three consecutive times at a green light, only to successfully engage the clutch after the light turned red, we managed to collect our nerves after coming to an abrupt halt half way down a one way street… going the wrong way. It was smooth sailing after that (I did the rest of the driving for the trip) and we rolled up to Vancouver with a feeling of excitement and wonderment. It felt like we were at the gates of Disneyland and had no idea which rides we were going to go first.
I have arrived – let the adventure begin!
*A very special thanks to all of the wonderful people who have followed, supported and nudged me in the direction of my dreams and my passions. There are no words for the power of your strength and love. I promised you all that you would never be bored and I believe I continue to deliver. Sincere thanks!