AUSTIN (KXAN) — Is there a band or singer your mother and father listened to although you have been growing up who motivated your audio selections? For Austinite Vanda Taupradist, it was Stevie Ponder.
The icon influenced far more than Vanda’s songs playlist, it sparked a Maintain Austin Unusual vibe that took her all around the globe. She competed in Denmark’s Air Guitar championships, carried out in two songs movies — just one in London and the other in Vienna — when putting on her signature panda go well with.
“My existence would be so significantly distinct if I hardly ever became Vanda the Panda,” mentioned an energetic, shiny-eyed Vanda. She describes herself as usually completely ready to live daily life to the fullest.
The origins of Vanda the Panda started off in the course of her faculty days at the University of Texas at Austin. She would go all-around campus and Austin putting on her panda match. It was her outfit for the summer season of 2011, the 12 months Stevie Wonder headlined the Austin Metropolis Limitations New music Pageant.
“I’m heading to wear this panda go well with,” Vanda reported. “Stevie Surprise is likely to truly feel my panda energy. I know he will not be equipped to see me, but I know he will be feeling my panda electricity.”
That very hot summertime working day, Vanda the Panda went to the competition and the first matter she did was sit right in front of the phase exactly where the singer would conduct 10 hrs later on. No snack or restroom breaks, Vanda camped out. Again then the pageant was held in September, and you know how Texas summers don’t definitely stop until mid-Oct.
“It was so incredibly hot,” she recalled. “All my close friends had been like ‘You’re heading to die’ and I stated ‘No! I’m not going to die! I’m going to put on this panda accommodate!”
Pageant personnel assisted her remain hydrated by providing her drinking water all through the working day.
“He finished up participating in the most amazing demonstrate,” Vanda mentioned. I could by no means think about I would be there in the front row.”
That willpower, the decision to commit and endure the Texas warmth to see the celebrity she listened to and cherished expanding up, also rescued Vanda from a trajectory of overall health problems.
6 years back, Vanda weighed 325 pounds. At 24 many years previous, she gave in to the concept of not dwelling a healthier life-style. This meant not heading to merchants to store for outfits, and bringing a seatbelt extension when she traveled by plane. She was also comfortable knowing she would build hypertension or diabetes.
Vanda taken care of that similar state of mind when she found out about her father’s diagnosis. He was given six months to dwell soon after medical doctors found out he had phase 4 colon most cancers.
“He was just the variety of man to hardly ever go to the medical professional,” she explained.
Vanda remembers the working day she read the information when she went back dwelling to check out her dad and mom in Houston. She was heartbroken but then realized how substantially she took her wellbeing for granted.
“My father is about to move absent. I need to clearly show him that I like and enjoy all the assistance he gave to me,” Vanda stated as she held again tears. “I know it was truly tricky for him to see me be so unhealthy.”
Vanda returned to Austin from that trip identified and made use of health as a prescription for wellness. She worked out with two own trainers 2 times a day — at 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. She labored out five to 6 times a week, gave up alcoholic beverages, undesirable food items, she joined a dance studio, she would travel to a gym in northwest Austin, and then headed south for boot camp.
Her dad’s most cancers struggle was her greatest motivator, but bittersweet at the exact time.
“I’m working toward my father becoming able to pass absent peacefully,” she claimed. “I desired him to have that comfort and ease and to know that he could be okay currently being long gone and recognizing that I can take treatment of my mom and be there for my spouse and children.”
In about eight months, Vanda missing 100 lbs .. Her father received to see Vanda’s healthier transformation. He lived a few of a lot more decades immediately after his prognosis.
“I bear in mind becoming in a position to go just one final spherical with him. It was actually good,” Vanda teared up as she shared the time her father requested her to do some thing she definitely didn’t want to do. “I recall coming household just one weekend and he was like ‘You want to go for a run?’ He was a really stoic person but I could see it meant so considerably to him for me to be like, ‘Yeah, let us go on a run.’”
Operating was never her passion, but it was for her dad, a marathon runner. He ran five miles a working day while going through chemotherapy. Vanda suggests for her father it was under no circumstances about the managing tempo, it was about remaining gradual, regular and finishing.
Vanda carries on that mentality. She and her boyfriend recently certified to contend in the Entire world Series of Health also regarded as Hyrox. It is an intense fitness competitors that made its debut in Austin in May perhaps. It entails running, pushing and pulling weight sleds and a series of other exercise routines. Vanda was amazed she placed third in her age division and she’s going on to compete in the U.S. championships future week.
“I was obtaining lapped by people today, I was just carrying out my very own thing, I just needed to finish and sense very good,” she claimed. “Later, someone explained ‘I feel somebody was contacting your title for the reason that you put.’ And I said ‘No, they should have been contacting anything like Amanda.’”
Vanda is hard as nails. She pushed a 175-pound sled and pulled a 110-pound sled devoid of breaking her personal blinged out, bedazzled nails. She doesn’t approach to cut them when she competes in nationals simply because this is how she trains, and how she competes.
“I may possibly be slow as a panda, but I’m going to complete it no subject what,” she reported decidedly. Vanda strategies to love each and every second of her competition, carrying out her most effective and smiling towards the complete line.
The most hard section for Vanda will be operating, but it’s her dad’s memory that will retain her heading. Every time she runs her dad’s coaching reappears reminding her about her posture, and how to regulate her respiratory.
“My dad was such an inspiration growing up and a suit, disciplined male,” claimed Vanda. “He cherished the truth that I was active enjoying sports activities growing up, tennis, soccer, golfing, all the identical athletics he favored to do.”
Ahead of heading to UT, Vanda experienced a lousy knee harm that required surgery, but rehab did not go so effectively, and that sparked the body weight get. These days she’s an athlete, a qualified Lagree teacher and passionate about sharing her tale.
“I hope that everyone who thinks that they are at that point of also much gone will see my story and say if she can do it, I can do it,” Vanda stated.
Vanda, is not she charming?
Jose Torres is a early morning information producer with KXAN. His website will carry stories of hope and willpower from some others who have fought through their own wellbeing struggles and lifestyle issues. He seems to be forward to sharing these discussions in long run weblogs.