My name is Skylar Lobdell; I am an avid amateur adventurer
and I have Severe Hemophilia A, an inherited blood clotting disorder.
Although living with hemophilia has had a large impact on my life, I try to think of how it has shaped me to be who I am today rather than how it has limited me. I have been fortunate enough to be treated prophylactically with albumin free clotting factor since I was diagnosed; this has prevented me from suffering from any particularly debilitating hemorrhaging events.
Growing up in a beautiful, rural area I spent a lot of my childhood outdoors. My family encouraged me to engage in many outdoor activities, though sometimes I think they would have slept easier if I had not tried certain activities. In any case, my fondest childhood memories come from those experiences.
I tried quite a few sports as a kid; I started off with baseball and soccer but eventually decided they weren’t for me. In middle school I got involved with cross country running. I had always been better at the running element of the other sports than the technical aspects, so this seemed like a reasonable step. Initially, I wasn’t very good at cross-country, but I enjoyed doing it. I had some great coaches who made it a lot of fun, running through the trails behind out school and playing games in the woods. In 8th grade I finally started to compete and I have been competing and training at a fairly high level ever since. Now I focus competing in longer distance mountain and trail races in Northern New England and Scotland, where I attended university.
In addition to running, my two other passions are the mountains and the sea. I grew up hiking from a young age and as I got older and explored the mountains I have been pushing myself to go faster, harder, and higher. I climb rock and ice and I have my eyes on a number of more technical alpine adventures. When I’m not up high somewhere I prefer to be down low, very low. My other great passion is SCUBA diving. I am certified for Advanced Mixed Gas and Cave diving and I love to explore unknown territory; whether it is unknown to anyone or just to me.
I think that a large part of the drive to push myself, both in competitions and training, comes from the perspective I have gained from living with hemophilia. For me, hemophilia is a motivation to challenge myself and an opportunity to define my own physical limitations. Living with hemophilia has taught me to respect my body, and to live a healthy and responsible lifestyle. My one hope is to share my experiences and help to inspire others to do the same. Of course, everyone has their own passions and although you may not share mine, I simply hope to help people see that they are the ones responsible for writing their own life stories.