Meet Kristen Antaya!

kristen antaya celebrating

Today, HOLR is chatting with Kristen Antaya, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to discuss her experience being part of the annual Volkswagen Volksgiving and how it is celebrating owners who have a special story to tell.

Keep reading to learn all about Kristen and her story.

What has being part of this year’s Volksgiving meant to you?

To be recognized for my efforts by being selected for Volksgiving has been incredible. When fundraising for the Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation, I was doing it for my belief in the cause, but to have my efforts celebrated along with the other Volkswagen owners who have done such wonderful things for their communities has made me feel truly appreciated. I’ve been so blessed to be able to spread the word about this wonderful cause.

What is the most rewarding thing about your work?

In my line of work, assessing patients who have suffered from traumatic injuries, it’s rewarding to try and find solutions and a better quality of life for people who have suffered so much and often-lost hope. In turn, I hope that through my fundraising efforts for the Stepping Strong Center that the Center can help develop treatments that eliminate the long-term consequences of traumatic injury.

What inspired you to begin running marathons and fundraising?

My parents always set the example to give back and support charities. They were by my side while I laced up for the MS walk in elementary school, collected money for UNICEF while trick-or-treating, and encouraged me to join in sorting food for the Salvation Army. When I learned about the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Marathon team and their support of amazing innovations in the field of trauma medicine, it inspired me to push myself to do something I never thought I’d be able to do, run a marathon.

How do you typically train for marathons? How do you juggle between work, training, and fundraising?

Training for a marathon while balancing work is hectic! Adding work and fundraising on top is like having three full-time jobs. I found it’s all about having a plan and making priorities. At the beginning of the training cycle, I have all my goals written out, how far I’ll run on which days when to cross-train by biking, kayaking, or just getting active, and when to REST. Of course, things don’t always go to plan, but when you have a plan written out, it’s easy to keep yourself accountable.

(If you’re curious about a more specific plan: In preparation for the marathon, I run three days a week, with one hill work-out, a long-run on the weekends, and a 10 km “recovery run” on Mondays to kick off the new week. On my non-running days, I like to keep myself motivated by keeping active in whatever way excites me that day. It could be a quick spin on my bike, an online yoga session, or kicking a soccer ball around the yard- anything goes.)

What would be your dream road trip? Any places you’d like to travel to with your VW?

I minored in Classical Studies, focussing on ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture at University. Having never been to Greece or Italy, my dream road trip would be a cross-Europe tour, to see all the sights, eat the amazingly diverse cuisines, take in all the art and architecture that I studied in school, and then some. Unfortunately, my trusty Jetta is on the wrong side of the Atlantic for that, so my next bucket-list road trip is the beautiful Cabot Trail in my home province of Nova Scotia. One day I’d love to drive the east coast all the way down to Florida and back. Ideally, I’d get to watch Toronto FC play games along the way with my “summer family”, the other supporters.

If you’re interested in learning more about the owners being celebrated as part of this year’s Volksgiving campaign, be sure to check out the brand’s website for more information.

Published by HOLR Magazine.