Athlete Spotlight: Andrea Brusuelas’ Amazing Return
Being the best athlete is not always about racing the fastest or pushing the hardest, while those are definitely both qualities in triathlete Andrea Brusuelas. The most amazing athletes are the ones who fight through hardship, but remain a supporter and inspiration to those around them. Andrea did absolutely incredible at the North Caroline 70.3, especially it being her first race back from a difficult couple of years of injury and healing. As Andrea’s coach, Laura, explains, “This was Andrea’s first 70.3 in over 2 years. She had iliac artery endofibrosis surgery on both of her hips this March and March of 2018. Not only did she have to come back from surgery, but Andrea trained through the never-ending Texas summer, all while running her one woman graphic design business (she designed the new Lifelong Endurance graphics), taking care of her family, and supporting women in triathlon through being a great Sherpa for friends at various races and designing kits for fundhertri.org. She’s a super woman in so many ways.”
Andrea, who has been working hard both before and after her surgery is open about her obstacles and set-backs. She states, “In all honesty, the lead-up to this race was a real struggle. I kept forgetting to be forgiving and kind to myself coming back from injury. I was naive in thinking that I would be a better athlete overnight. I had no stand-out highlights during the season. It was a lot of sweat and tears and hitting walls. With that in mind, I’d say the highlight was the realization that I needed to give in and decide to be the strongest (and not necessarily fastest) athlete that I could be.”
When asked about what made her recovery a success, Andrea explains, My guidelines for success were simple. Running for more than 3 minutes without searing pain was a big one. Also, open water swimming has been a scary experience for me in the past. My husband and I spend a good deal of time in Miami and Laura encourages me to get in the ocean every time I’m there. I now love open water and feel that I can get through anything it throws at me.”
Andrea’s hard work in the water paid off as she had her strongest swim to date. She recaps, “Laura really pushed me to work on my swim during the first months of recovery from surgery. I grew to hate the pool; however, I didn’t dislike the PR I got in the swim at this race! We additionally worked weights and strength in as a regular part of my training. I think this has made the largest impact on my fitness and durability.”
Through all of her recovery and strength, Andrea’s positivist and teamwork shines through. This can be seen in her description of the goal of the race, “After recovering from an Iliofemoral reconstruction in my left leg in 2018 and an arterial graft in the right leg in March of this year, my only goal was to finish with a smile. Goal met. I smiled all day!”
Not only is Andrea an an amazing athlete on the Lifelong Endurance team, but she is one of our major supporters. Her design company helped us in our re-branding, creating the design for our new singlets, buffs, and shirts.
We are so proud to have such an strong woman on our team!