Nothing’s Impossible | Adriane Alvord
Equestrian, personal trainer, and even a ninja warrior? An active lifestyle is an understatement when it come to Adriane Alvord. What’s even more exciting than her career choices is the enthusiasm and passion she has for what she does. She lives life to the fullest and isn’t afraid to take a chance.
Adriane is a 23 year old professional Dressage trainer (equestrian) that runs her own business in Middleburg Virginia. She also is a personal trainer helping others to live a healthy lifestyle. When she’s not busy training horses or coaching clients, she’s out looking for adventures to push outside of her comfort zone. “I love finding things to test my limits and finding ways to keep pushing when it feels like one more step or breath is impossible. After overcoming an abusive relationship back in 2015 that ended in assault, I dedicate everyday to finding ways to feel alive. That means embracing every aspect of living, both happiness and pain; failure and triumph. I want people to know it doesn’t matter how lost or broken you may have been in your past, if you’re willing to work hard you can live an amazing life,” Adriane says.
Since leaving the abusive situation she was in, Adriane has accomplished more than she could ever imagine. From countless podium finishes in obstacle course racing, qualifying as an Elite Contender for World’s Toughest Mudder, and even competing on American Ninja Warrior, Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, and ESPN’s BattleFrog League Championship, Adriane has proved that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.
“Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if it’s all real life.” -Adriane Alvord
Finding a Start
For someone who is so adventurous and so active, it’s hard to believe Adriane wasn’t like this all of her life. In fact, she even jokes that she was probably the least athletic person in her high school. However, it only took one experience to change her life forever.
“Back in 2014 my mom convinced me to run a spartan race with her. Prior to this the only athletic background I had was riding horses. I told her she was crazy, but somehow I agreed to doing it. And I’m so glad she did! I was blown away by the comradery that obstacle course racing had, and I knew I had found a new passion. From that point on I was hooked and I haven’t looked back since,” Adriane exclaims!
If you are a fan of the popular competition, American Ninja Warrior, then the name Adriana Alvord probably rings a bell. I know I immediately recognized the name, so I couldn’t wait for her to share her experience with me.
“My ninja warrior experience has been nothing short of an epic adventure. Season 8, I was just old enough to finally apply. Prior to that, ANW was never something I imagined possible for me. Although I always admired the show, I never thought it was something I was strong enough to do. Well after leaving my abusive relationship in 2015 I just knew I had to do it. The best way I can describe it was I woke up one day and just told myself “I have to do this, I have to show other women that it doesn’t matter how broken you may have been in your past, not only are you strong enough to leave the situation, but you can be so incredibly strong after the fact.” I had done ZERO training for it, besides my brief start in obstacle course racing, but I just knew I could do it. Well a week before I left for my first ever 24 hour race march of 2016, I received the call I was on the show. At that point it had been months since I had sent the application in, I figured I wasn’t getting on. I was so incredibly excited, I was crying, I couldn’t believe it!! The only problem was I would be competing two weeks after that call, and a week after running over 65 miles with obstacles. When the time came around for my ANW debut I ended up falling on the first obstacle purely to do the fact I was exhausted and unprepared. But I refused to let that stop me and I trained all of 2016 and re applied for season 9. My 2nd go around my only goal was “DON’T FALL ON THE FIRST OBSTACLE.” Well I breezed right through the floating steps that got me out season 8, and every moment after that felt like I was dreaming. I ended up completely shocking myself and qualifying for the City Finals by finishing in the top 5 women in the City qualifier. I was so excited and nervous for round 2, which was the night after the City qualifier (even though on TV they tell you it’s 6 weeks apart) that I didn’t sleep for a minute. When I came back for round 2, the City Finals, I ended up falling on the 2nd obstacle which I had zero issues with in the qualifying round. I just got distracted and hadn’t prepared well enough for the 2nd night like I had the first. although I was super bummed, I couldn’t help but be proud how much better I had done than my first season. My journey has been anything but easy, so one slip up won’t discourage me. If someone has to fall on national prime time television and show it’s OK to make mistakes, then I’m ok with that. I want people to know it doesn’t matter if you fail, or how many times it happens, what matters is how many times you get back up and fight for what you really want. I’ll keep re applying for American Ninja Warrior until I get my chance to try again. If there’s something I’m good at, it’s being stubborn about my goals,” Adriane shares.
All in all, Adriane lives a very fulfilling life. However, it’s the power she has to inspire other people that is the reward for her. “I love inspiring others to step outside their comfort zones and go after the dreams they always thought were unachievable. Thanks to the horses I get to connect with a wide range of people, from young riders, to people well into their 60s/70s. The thing is age really doesn’t matter. What matters is your mindset and it has brought me so much joy to see my clients, friends, and supporters achieving the things they never once thought they could,” Adriane says.
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
To me the most overrated Exercises are anything that isolates only one part of your body. Curls, bench press, Exercises of that sorts. Not that it isn’t necessary to work on isolated areas, but I find it much more beneficial to do full body exercises. Ones that are dynamic and engaged multiple areas of the body. To me the most underrated exercises are burpees, squats and all sorts of variations of a squat (back squat, squat press, overhead), and pull ups. All three of those exercises engage the entire body giving you a lot more bang for your buck and also offer plenty of variations to make it more interesting.
What are you thoughts on dieting?
I’m on the run nearly daily with my work. I’m the kind of person that once I start riding, I can’t stop until the last horse is finished. So sometimes that means really long days without any real food! My life saver is bananas and tailwind nutrition. I’ll put tailwind in my water bottle which offers me some calories that are easy to digest so I don’t feel overly stuffed while in the saddle, then I’ve also taken in enough carbs to hit my workouts hard when I get home! As far as diet I’m a big believer that anything is ok in moderation. During race season my diet is much stricter, and I stick to pretty much only taking in complex carbs and foods that are bland and won’t upset my stomach. I also believe you NEED carbs to be able to perform. Especially if you’re endurance athlete, going Paleo and expecting to be able to go for hours on end off of only fat is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. I stick to Lots of rice, oats, salmon, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chicken, veggie noodles. But I’m also a sucker for pizza and Mac and cheese. So I still sneak that into my diet, especially after a race! I think when people try and cut all “bad foods” out of their diet, that will just make it more likely for you to slip up. Indulge every once in a while! Just do it in moderation.
Who are some other people that others should follow?
Some of my other fellow endurance OCR friends always have fun stuff to follow! Morgan MKay for example is always posting fun and encouraging stuff. She’s one of Yancy’s (my trainer) coaches and we compete at a lot of the same events. She’s always been someone I’ve looked up too and someone who is so easy go get along with.