Monday, March 15, 2010

Patagonian Expedition Race Part 1: "Pregnancy, Patagonia and Perspective"

Team Member Chelsey Reporting:

Exactly a month ago today, my teammates and I were standing on a beach in Tierra De Fuego. We were lined up with 52 other athletes, all of whom had gone through much to be there, at the start of the Patagonian Adventure Race. I looked around, still shocked that we’d made it here as well. As the YogaSlackers, we’ve been known to forget passports before international travel, of having our gear “lost” in transit, but getting to this particular race had topped them all.

The Patagonian Expedition Race is known as one of the world’s hardest and most remote adventure races. I’d been physically and mentally gearing up for it since the minute I was given the opportunity to join Team GearJunkie – six months before. Two days before I was due to catch a plane to South America, I found myself in the emergency room crying as a doctor told me that I could kiss Patagonia goodbye. In the span of two minutes I learned the following:

My I.U.D. had failed.
I was 16 weeks pregnant.
I was having a miscarriage.
My insurance had been canceled.

As my body was racked with the searing pains of contractions, my mind was numb.

Jason (my boyfriend and teammate) and I had had no idea. For the past 4 months I’d done 3 races and taught 2 advanced AcroYoga Immersions without even knowing. I’d felt off at times – heavy, naseaous, sluggish and moody – but I always attributed these symptoms to other causes. I’d spent most of Christmas holidays treating myself for an ulcer as I experienced what I now know was morning sickness.

The next morning, the worst had passed, and I had a new doctor. She’d take the time to visit our website, read through our blogs and had a better idea of what my life was about. “I can’t recommend that you do this,” she said “but after reading what you are capable of, I won’t say that it isn’t possible.”

In that moment I was torn. I knew that it was a long shot that I’d be ready physically or emotionally, but having my doctor and nurse tell me that they were inspired by my strength and energy was profound. Their comments left me relieved yet torn, because now it was my decision.

In the two days leading up to the race, I was going back and forth between competing and not competing. My body still had significant healing to go through and my emotions were all over the place. I felt weak, and scared and very much alone.

It wasn’t until we had dinner with a local woman who was a possible sub for me that a switch went off in my head. In some primal way, I think the subconscious competition gave my will a kickstart. Wait a second, this girl is going to compete with my team? Shes gonna be dirty and exhausted, huddled up in a tiny tent with my boyfriend? And I am going to be sitting in a hotel room, missing out on something I love?

Something clicked.

The next morning, after passing our remaining skill tests, the guys on the team asked what my decision was. “We’re going to race!” I said, smiling for the first time in over a week.


  1. Chelsey - you're an inspiration. I'm honored to be your friend, let alone your teammate. I can't believe that all of this actually happened. I look forward to racing with you and your crazy boyfriend in the coming season!

  2. Good video plus the good article certainly made this segment amazing.Keep it up! Thanks for your info.


  3. Chelsea, You've always shined, beamed, inspired, keep on shining beautiful! Sending sooo much love to you and yours, (can you feel it??!!!) Karen

  4. Chelsey, You truly are a bright, shining star. Thank you for your beautiful words and infectious laugh/smile! Steff

  5. Thanks so much for all the love....Jason and I have never felt so supported in this process. We are blessed to have all of you around us.

  6. Chelsey,
    I love your blog posts. Your honesty, humor and clarity come through in your writing. You inspired to push myself further than I think I can. Thank you for that.

    I'm sorry for your loss. I had friends in a similar situation. It helped me understand how hard hitting it can be. My sympathy is with you.

    Also, I think it's super cool that your doctor took the time to understand you. I love it when women stick together and empower.

    I'll keep reading, so keep writing!


    I want to punch generic viagra.

  7. Jess,
    Thank you so much for your kind words- It has been so freeing to be able to be honest in my writing. I am glad it is affecting you in a positive way!

    It has been awesome to hear other women's stories and also to now be able to relate. It was a crazy emotional roller coaster there for a while...

    I wrote the full story in the latest WEND Magazine, you can read it on line at Ja and I are actually on the cover- and it is the feature article. It is called Delivery in "Patagonia". If you would like, I can send you a hard copy.

    I also am a regular blogger for Womens Adventure Magazine. I write about yoga, adventure sports and all the struggles, emotions and inner work that comes along with it!

    Thank you for your support,

    lots of love to you!

  8. Thank you Chelsey! I'd love to have a hard copy.
    P.O Box 8223
    Jupiter, FL 33468

    I checked out the full article, great story. I'm so excited to read the rest of your writings.

    stay cool,

  9. I had some problem with my first pregnancy, i wanted to be pregnant and have my first baby, buy my husband had erectil dysfunction problem, so we decided to buy viagra and after that he turned very strong and could get powerful erection after this medical treatment. Thank to this i have two litle and beautiful girls.