I guess you’re wondering… who am I?

It wouldn’t really help if I told you that I’m wondering that as well. If you ask my brother, he would just laugh. If you ask my fiancé, she’ll tell you I’m the one who sometimes unpacks the dishwasher. If you ask my son, he’ll tell you I’m the one who he does ‘adventure running’ with which usually results in an ice cream. If you ask my good friend James, he’ll tell you I’m the guy he is mentoring about this whole blog thing. Hopefully he’ll say other nice things as well. He may also mention that he is trying to restrict the amount of times I say ‘fuck’ on my blog page. We got through the first paragraph and I only said it once. I wonder if it matters that it was in context? I’m Australian so surely he’ll let me get away with saying it once.

So yeah back to this whole ‘who I am’ thing. I’m many things. First and foremost I’m a dad. That is a title I won’t joke about it. Everyday I’m proud to be a dad to my son William. I’m sure I’ll mention him many times in future blogs. However for now you should know that he is 4 1/2 years old and he loves adventure running aka trail running to you and I. I much prefer his name for it, who would ever say no to an ‘Adventure run’? I know I wouldn’t. Every run I count my lucky stars that he loves running, it’s very special knowing I get to share it with him. I’m also a runner. Not a jogger, walker or a sprinter. I’m a runner. Ok I’ll admit it, sometimes my running style looks like that of a walker, but it’s my version of running. To me that’s important as I like to do things my way. Not because I’m stubborn (though I am), however because I’ve lived and experienced enough to have learnt many valuable lessons in life. One of those is that my running style sometimes looks like walking, but it’s actually me running. This running style has got me through many marathons and ultra marathons (that’s me trying to show off), however much more importantly it has got me through some of the darkest days. Running helps my mental health and process my anxiety. I love running and I also hate it. I’m in the ‘I hate running’ phase right now, but I know it is the best thing for me. Though I’ll still complain about the 1.2km run I managed due to not yet recovered from a recent event.

So who am I? What kind of question is that anyway? At the start line of a race I’ve never turned to someone and said ‘who are you?’. I’ve at least asked their name first and wished them a good race. Conversations usually evolve into past running stories about donuts, ultra marathons, bacon and my love of The Ridgeway. My four favourite hobbies in life. Combine them all and you have me – Chubs2ridgewaylife. That’s my Instagram page which usually has me posting selfies and annoying people. My brain processes things differently and I have the ability to overthink things which is why I guess I can’t just tell you who I am. In fact I don’t even like that question. I’m more than my name of ‘Andy’ (say it in a corny Australian accent). I say that yet I chose my sons name which is William Francis Vandenberg because it sounded like a strong name. Yet he is very shy and gentle. We are more than our name however it’s ok to also take pride in the name we have been given.

Right it’s been a while since I’ve said fuck (that one was for you James) and I haven’t told you who I am yet. So here goes…

The basics about me are that I’m 32, not ’32 years young’. Pfft. I’m feeling every year I’ve lived! I live with my fiancé Mel, my son William aka The King, stays with us 1/3 of the time. I sometimes enjoy running, most of the time I enjoy eating. Anxiety likes to play games with my head from time to time, so I have that to manage as well. I have a long history of battling my weight. I’ve previously lost nearly 100lbs, then gained most of it all back. Oops. I seem to yoyo with my weight. Right now I’m between these two versions of me. The goals right now are to lose some chubs, get back to a nice routine, go on all the running adventures and learn a lot along the way. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

So this whole blog thing is going to be a regular space for my ramblings of life as a runner with chubs, being a dad, sometimes a race report and talking about how I’ve learnt some of the lessons that I have learnt. For far to long we say ‘I’ve learnt x y and z’, but few times do we actually talk about how we learnt them in life. I used to battle anxiety stupidly bad, but now it’s not too bad. So I’ll explain how all of that happened. I do hope that makes sense. Along with this I’ll share the various routes I run, what my goals are, the gear I use and just a mixture of everything. Either way, it will be fun. It might even be therapeutic for us both. Who knows really? Oh yeah I forgot to answer the question. So who am I? My name is Andy and I wish you a good race.


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