Happy Sunday (or whatever day you read this) and thanks for checking in to read about another incredible Woman of Oilersnation! Amanda Patrick (AKA @Mandoline79 on Twitter!) is an Oilers fan, runner, organizer of the Canada Day Run for Reconciliation, and all around gem of a human. I’m excited for you all to get to know her better!
Last week I featured Lauren Hunter who’s done amazing things in the Edmonton community, including the Connor McPortrait and leading the way on the Nathan Fillion Civilian Pavilion! If you missed it, you can read her feature here!
If you want to be featured or want to nominate someone to be featured, send me an email or DM on Twitter!
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MEET AMANDA PATRICK!
KYLA: Who are you?! What’s your day job, what are your passions, what’s something interesting about you?!
AMANDA: My name is Amanda. I was born and raised here in Alberta. I’m a mom to four humans, one cat, and a dog. They’re all boys, and yes, they eat literally everything and anything. But they’re the best crew to have around. I work in sales and have done this since 2011. It’s great because I love being around people and it compliments my busy personality. But it can be long hours, so I really appreciate my time off when I get it.
What’s something interesting about me? Hmmm… Random fact: I have amazing parking karma. 98% of the time I go somewhere, I will always get a great parking spot. My sons always say, “Mom’s done it again” when we get a good spot in a busy place. When my kids were really little, I would be patient and drive around parking lots until I got a good spot. And then it just kept getting easier and easier. I went to Costco last Friday evening and pulled right into my regular spot by the front I always get. So if you need a good parking spot just travel with me.
If you have ever met me you would know that I like to talk, and I will likely hug you. You’ve been warned. I love human interaction. People fascinate me. I love listening to people talk, and hearing their stories. So I will often start up a conversation with a complete stranger. Human connection can come in so many different forms. I love connecting with people through conversation. I’m always running into people I know, or have met in the most random places. I love it.
Oh, I also have an extra rib. So if you ever need one…
KYLA: How did you get into hockey and sports in general?
AMANDA: Well, I was born. Do people who don’t live in Canada know that when you’re born here the hospital nurses give you a hockey stick instead of a soother when you’re born? Ok, maybe they don’t. But they should! Hockey, and sports in general, is a huge part of a lot of family memories. Grey cup parties, Stanley Cup Playoff parties, small town hockey rinks, outdoor rinks, frozen fingers and feet, my auntie’s spinach dip that she only brings out for special events. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. So many great memories.
I loved watching Messier and Gretzky play. I would lay on the floor in front of the tv and cheer for the guy with the 99. I learned that while my parents were watching the game, if I was really quiet they would forget to tell me to go to bed. So I could stay up super late as long as I didn’t move around and get them to notice me. So I loved the Oilers before I even understood the sport just for that reason.
I think that sport can really bring people together. Even if you are watching the game alone, you know you are amongst thousands of others that are cheering at the same time. I’ve seen complete strangers hug and even kiss because of a winning goal.
I didn’t play organized sports when I was young. I came from a big family and financially that just wasn’t feasible. My aunt was a gymnastics teacher, she taught me a lot. I became known as that kid who cartwheeled literally everywhere. When I was in Grade 5, I once cartwheeled all the way to the local Gasland to get a slurpee, drank the slurpee and then cartwheeled back. I can’t even make this stuff up, I swear.
I always loved being busy. I would run places when I wasn’t even in a hurry. In fact, I still do that! I did try my hand at softball for one season. It ended up with four stitches and a broken cheekbone. If you can believe it, I played again the following week. I was a leftie and would get hit with the ball a lot. First game back and I wasn’t able to jump out of the way fast enough, the pitcher hit me right in the elbow. It was a hairline fracture. So that was the end of that adventure. I make a pretty great spectator anyways.
KYLA: What do you love most about running and what’s your best advice to others who want to run more consistently?
AMANDA: When I run, I find it difficult to think about anything other than running. I focus on my breathing, and how my body feels, how it’s moving. It is an amazing feeling. It clears my mind. If I am feeling really stressed out, or having a lot of anxiety, I run. It always makes me feel better. It is not uncommon for me to get emotional while running. I’ve cried while running a few times. It feels good. I call it my therapy. It helps my mental health, as well as my physical health.
I would say to someone who wants to run more consistently to not compare yourself to others. If you go out and run, and you run 1km and feel like you need to stop, that’s ok. Everyone starts somewhere. Literally every step counts towards progress. Plan your runs for the week ahead of time. It can be as much of a mental challenge to get out there as it can be a physical one.
And invest in good shoes! I didn’t do this for years. I would run and get shin splints, and knee pain. Someone on Twitter reached out to ask me about my shoes. After a long conversation with him I ordered new shoes. In turn, the shoes helped me to have better form and all of a sudden I could run further, and faster. Who knew! Well, lots knew. Just not me at the time. Thanks to Curtis for that. That was about four years ago, and now every time I need new shoes I ask him and he picks them out for me. The running community is amazing. So much support if you need it.
There is a group of us on Twitter and Instagram that support each other virtually with the #yegvirtualrunningclub. It really helped me to keep the momentum through the lockdowns. And now it’s consistent encouragement and support.
KYLA: You recently organized an amazing Canada Day Run for Reconciliation with proceeds going to the Indian Residential School Support Society—can you tell us about the event’s overall experience and what it meant to you? Will this become an annual event we can take part in?
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AMANDA: I would love for this to be an annual event. It happened on July 1st. Canada day seemed like an appropriate day because it didn’t seem right to celebrate this year. It started with the 215 bodies found in Kamloops, my heavy heart, and a short video I posted asking people if they would run with me.
I believe that this event was such a success because it allowed people the chance to pay their respect, and honor the memories of those lost when we really didn’t know what else we could do. My heart felt so heavy, and it was a really helpless feeling. When I first posted the video I thought I bet I could get a few of my running friends out to run with me. It turned into so much more than that. Thankfully I had amazing people who stepped up and helped when I got a bit overwhelmed.
The GoFund me was started and the donations to the IRSSS just kept coming. In the end we raised $5877! There were over 400 people who came out to walk and run in honor of the Children of Residential schools. It was 35 degrees outside and we filled the sidewalks along the river in St Albert with orange. It was surreal to see. We tied over 400 ribbons to the posts of the St Albert Healing Garden. Some people attached messages to them. It was a beautiful day. I am still in awe at how the event turned out.
We cannot change history. The past cannot be erased, but we can learn from it, and most importantly, we can acknowledge it. Residential schools happened. Children were taken and not returned. When a person stops to think about it, you feel angry and sad and wonder what you can do. I truly believe that we can make a difference simply by not forgetting. Not allowing this to be ignored like it has for way too many years. My hope is that people don’t stop talking about it. It can be uncomfortable, but it is important. There is so much that needs to be taught on the history of residential schools and systematic racism in Canada. I personally have so much to learn. Knowledge not only raises awareness, but it assists in the healing process.
I would like to see annual events happen where we have a chance to speak, talk and support each other. I am proud to be Metis, and it means so much to me to have the privilege of a voice. I am learning just like so many others the impact and severity of the past, and I don’t want to stop talking about it. I hope to see the sidewalks flooded in orange again next year. It takes a community, and they sure did come out. We do have a Facebook page for those that would like to follow and see pictures of the event. It is called July 1st Run For Reconciliation. #RunRemRec
KYLA: What’s your favourite Oilers memory?
AMANDA: In December of 2019 my manager at work wasn’t able to go to the game. The Oilers were playing the Habs. He offered me his season ticket seats, and his parking pass. I have four sons. They all love sports, but my 3rd son, Jacob really loves it. I had purchased him an Oilers jersey for Christmas. Going to Oilers games is not something that I do a lot. I’ve never had the chance to take my boys to a game. I went home that night and gave him an early Christmas present. He opened the present and saw the jersey and was very thankful. He couldn’t believe I got him a jersey. He gave me a big hug and was super appreciative. Then he asks me why I gave it to him early, and I hand him the tickets. Well, he almost put a hole in the ceiling he jumped so high.
We had premium parking under Rogers place. Lower bowl, center ice across from the bench. They even had gluten free options for him in the food area. And then they won! 4-3. It was a great game, and it is such a great memory. I will always be very thankful for that opportunity.
KYLA: What does hockey and being a part of the Oilersnation community mean to you?
AMANDA: It means connection, community, and support, all mixed in with a whole bunch of laughs and amazing people. I feel thankful for the people I have in my life because of the Oilersnation community. The common ground may have started with the Oilers, but it has grown into so much more than that. Football games, basketball games, comedy, festivals, drinks in the backyard, running friends, evening walks, checking in when they don’t hear from you for awhile. True friendships. It’s pretty great to have such a diverse group that gets you and understands you and your quirks. And doesn’t give up on inviting you out, even after you say no 20 times in a row because you’re always so busy. Those sort of friendships are truly invaluable.