Kristina Priddle // @pr1ddle
An Alberta native with a contagious zest for life. Kristina is a loving mother with a taste for mountain adventure. We took some time to ask Kristina a few questions about the challenges of adventure with little Nolan and what adventure means to her.
How did hiking/adventuring become a part of your life?
I would like to say hiking has always been a part of my life, but it hasn’t - definitely not to the extent that it is today.
My love for being active and outdoors has always been an essential part of my life and that started from an early age. In my early childhood, we would be at my Great Grandparents house in Banff, playing all sorts of games in the forest, running down to the falls, and relentlessly exploring and running into all kinds of obstacles.
"I will forever be grateful for my Grandparents and Great Grandparents for sharing their love of the outdoors with us."
Eventually, our time in the mountains came to a pause. My parents had split up and my 3 brothers and I grew up with my father.
My Father has been a huge inspiration in my life for keeping active. Not just physically, but mentally – go to school, read books, don’t let your mind stall, travel, explore, do things for you. He always said we had to be in an activity and if we didn’t pick one, he would pick one for us. I’ll never forget that.
How has your son changed your perspective on adventures and the outdoors?
When Nolan was born, our routine was to go to the gym in the morning, where he would be in the daycare, and then we would come home and go for a 2 hour walk around the community we lived in. I wanted more, wanted to go further and see more. Staying at home was hard.
In 2015, I purchased a carrier from MEC that would allow for a much more relaxed ride for my growing sidekick, and more comfort for me carrying him and our gear. This was the year it all took off for us.
"For me, it isn’t about getting up the mountain the fastest, or having a high summit count, or going with the biggest group of people. Heck, I barely have a summit count, it takes us FOREVER to get up a mountain sometimes, and we often go alone."
Nolan has really helped me to slow down with my adventuring - in my mind, and life in general. To stop and look at what you have, where you are, and stop trying to rush to get to where you want to go.
You will get there in due time. Enjoy the ride, and the experience, and the people with you along the way. I hope for him to be able to take that away at an early age instead of figuring it out so late like most of us. “Life isn’t about the destination, but the journey that gets us there”.
What kind of challenges do you overcome as a family?
As a family it’s been a rough go, as our family is no longer a whole. In April, 2015, my husband and I split up. I never thought this is where my life would be. I thought I would be married by 25, have all my kids before I was 30, and be raising our children as an active, happy, loving family.
Nolan was just shy of a year when we had split up, and is now 2 and a half. He is a thriving little boy, full of so much love, energy and a huge personality. Even though we are no longer together, Nolan knows his parents as very happy, supportive, and beyond loving people he will always have.
"There have been countless times that I have reached a destination with Nolan, whether it is the top or just a specific spot we wanted to reach, and I have just broken down and full on cried. From exhaustion, from hard times I am going through, from overcoming what I thought I wouldn’t be able to do, and most of all – just being so, beyond words happy that I was able to share and experience it all with him."
As an individual, it’s been a lot of self-learning, answering questions I had, up’s and downs, highs and lows, beating myself up, trying to accept that this is how it is now, and trying so hard to move on. I cannot allow myself to stay stuck in the past, in what has happened anymore. The future - I am sure - holds great things for me, as long as I can accept the past and move on.
I remember starting a hike early one morning, and it was probably our first big one, and he was so heavy, with our water pack, extra layers in case of rain, and food. I was ready to turn around after walking though the parking lot, but I didn’t. As we continued on people kept commenting on how good of a job we were doing. How amazing they thought it was that I was doing this and how I was inspiring or motivating them. That meant so much to me, that I was able to motivate and inspire someone, and has always been something to this day that keeps me going.
With all he [Nolan] has taught and continues to teach me, I will keep it all close and safe to me and give it all back to him as he continues to grow each day. We will continue to learn and grow together as a mother and her boy, and a boy and his mother.