About Me

About

Hi, I’m Robin and this is what I know about me. :)

My life became very interesting after being diagnosed with a fatal blood disorder called Aplastic Anemia when I was 18 years old. It was a battle that almost got me… but I came out strong and won – with the help of doctors, family and friends. I knew the battle with Aplastic Anemia was over when I was told I was in remission seven years later. What else is a girl to do when she hears a word like “remission” and realizes, all of a sudden, how close she became to never standing in that clinic parking lot where she was at that very moment thinking about this very thing?

I did what I had to do… I responded to a new lease on life by embarking on a BIG adventure… and doing my favorite thing in existence, which is backpacking. I backpacked across America (on the American Discovery Trail) in 2006 with my mom at my side, literally every step of the way. My dad and husband were a huge part of it all, too, but as the at-home support team. During the journey, we raised funds for the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, spread awareness for these little-known diseases, and gave hope to other patients and families. Talk about a rewarding experience! I will never be able to match such a journey for so many reasons. But the adventures had to continue.

Since that big hike, I find myself constantly craving my next adventure, even if I don’t know what it is. My favorite thing to do is backpacking, so that’s most of what you might read about here in my blog. I also enjoy partaking in adventures that will push me beyond what I initially think my boundaries are. If I tell myself, “I don’t know if I could do that,” I often find myself wanting to try it. Proving this point, my toughest accomplishment thus far is probably the Frozen Otter. I was proud to have become the 4th person to ever finish the course! It’s a 64-mile, self-supported, foot-power-only trek through some difficult terrain in Wisconsin… in the heart of a frozen winter, overnight. It took me just around 22 hours, and I lost a few toenails in the process, but I did it.

I’m also a runner, a kayaker, a hiker, a Christian, a workout-addict, and part of a couple awesome groups of friends. I love to blog about my adventures, sharing my memories in text and pictures. I don’t have a very good memory, so I always try to journal — it’s the best way for me to look back and relive all the special moments… and if someone else reads it and enjoys it, then that makes it even more sweet! I hope you enjoy reading my story and my entries!

Speaking of pictures, here’s a few that describe me… this is the “About me” page, after all!

Standing on top of a mountain on the ADT in 2006. Contemplating life and how lucky I am to be here.

Me and mom at one of our annual “Our Hike” fundraisers… after we returned from the BIG hike in 2006.


Me and mom at one of our annual “Our Hike” fundraisers… after we returned from the BIG hike in 2006.

My loving husband, Adam. My rock, my stability and my very best friend in the whole world.

My loving husband, Adam. My rock, my stability and my very best friend in the whole world.

Me and my dad being silly. It’s how we roll.

Me and my dad being silly. It’s how we roll.

Me and Adam on our best vacation ever, standing at the bottom of Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park.

Me and Adam on our best vacation ever, standing at the bottom of Lower Falls in Yellowstone National Park.

During a fall hike in the Porcupine Mountains in Upper Michigan.

During a fall hike in the Porcupine Mountains in Upper Michigan.

One of the BEST backpacking trips ever. Beartooth Mountains in Montana with some of my favorite backpacking buddies.

One of the BEST backpacking trips ever. Beartooth Mountains in Montana with some of my favorite backpacking buddies.

After my first marathon (probably will be my only one because I had such an amazing experience!) A VERY proud moment for me! Finished in JUST under 4 hours.

After my first marathon (probably will be my only one because I had such an amazing experience!) A VERY proud moment for me! Finished in JUST under 4 hours.

My best hiking buddy, Rachel, and myself on one of our first PCT training hikes together.

My best hiking buddy, Rachel, and myself on one of my first PCT training hikes.

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10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Robin, Saxon here, thanks so much for your lovely blog about the pct and other items, I am here in Sacramento and hiked the sierras a bit with each of my three sons when they were younger, I have been focused on cycling and kayaking the last few years and am ramping up to get some time on the trail this summer in the Sierras again. Your writing and photos are really fine and a good springtime vicarious trip to the mountains, cheers, Saxon

  2. Pingback: Robin Grapa - Women in Trucking Association

  3. Pingback: July 2014 • Robin Grapa • So Many Miles - Women in Trucking Association

  4. Hi Robin,

    My wife and I travel across country doing hearing testing. It’s all the coolness of trucking, with none of the downsides. They get us hotel rooms every night, pay for food, pay for everything besides entertainment really and so our salary is basically all saving. Its very easy work, predictable and we get weekends off as well as a day during the week now and then. We haul around a trailer with hearing booths in it and test factory workers. The best part is, on any off time you can disconnect from trailer(all trucks are extended cab fords or dodges except one 2 axle freightliner) and can explore all over and they pay fuel! (Up to 500 miles a weekend) I’ve been a long haul trucker and I know exactly the feelings of everything going wrong and sympathize! Anyway, check them out at TK Group Hearing testing- I know it honestly sounds too good to be true, but we’ve been doing it for 4 months and love it
    Let me know if I can answer any questions :)

  5. Hi!
    First of all congrats for your blog and your thirst for life. My sister is living the same nightmare, I translated your story for her. I was wondering if you could one day, when you have time, tell her not to give up. Stories like yours give us hope that this monstwr can be beaten. And she really needs that right now.

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