Interview with Andy Cowan
Our first ever interview for the Level Up Blog! If you know someone inspirational who may want to be interviewed, let us know!
Andy is an accomplished horse trainer, barrel racer and clinician from Florida. Andy is a member of the Level Up Ambassador Team, and has so kindly agreed to answer some interview questions for the Level Up Blog! Andy has an amazing life story, and I wanted to interview him and share with you how he has risen from his rock bottom, to the life he lives today. I hope you find some inspiration in this interview!
Everyone goes through tough times in some way or another, can you share some of the struggles life has given you that you have overcome?
As many do, I had a pretty interesting childhood. I was largely without parental supervision and grew up way too soon. I began partying in my early teenage years. Through the years, that turned into major substance abuse. After losing the person I had hoped to share my life with it all spiraled out of control. I maintained a successful business, but had no personal success. There was no feeling of joy, accomplishment, or purpose in my life. I made the decision to stop my drug usage and did so cold turkey. A few years later, still with those same feelings I realized that there was still a beer in my hand. Alcohol had been the one constant in my life. I decided that if I wanted things to change, I had to be willing to change that, as well. I'm now over a decade clean and sober.
What did you learn about yourself through the hardships you faced?
The biggest things that I learned about myself along my journey were that my resolve and resiliency were greater than I ever knew. The soul is an amazing thing. Once you wash yourself clean of all of the heaviness, it is still there, just as strong as ever.
If you could go back, would you change your situation or choices? Why or why not?
I honestly wouldn't want for my struggles to have been any different. Certainly, I wish that I hadn't caused harm to others along the way, as I left a path of collateral damage in my wake. I truly believe that our problems are not sent to punish us, but that we experience what we need to in order to learn the lessons which make us fully realized beings. Without my particular history, I wouldn't know the peace that I have today.
When life gets difficult, what keeps you from giving up?
I don't go in for giving up. I'm a pretty "all in" sort of person. The one thing that I always turn to when I'm feeling defeated is my need to serve others. So many people feel lost and alone in their strife. By being successful and sharing my story, I hope to serve as an example that no one is ever too far gone to turn their life around.
For someone who may be at their rock bottom right now, what would be your advice to them?
I would encourage them to embrace their vulnerability. I would tell them to make a thorough and accurate assessment of their behaviors. What did you do that got you here? What is it that keeps you from breaking free? We each hold the keys to our own success.
What does ‘Level Up’ mean to you?
For me " Level Up" has so many meanings. It's about personal accountability. It means to be ever evolving. No matter what we may become in this life, there will always be room for growth and areas which we must work on. More than anything Level Up means that you face your own demons and conquer them.
If people would like to follow you, where can they do that?
My FB page Wrapsnap Barrelhorses, where I share motivational and instructional writing. IG: Wrapsnap_Barrelhorses
Thank you Andy for being our first interviewee for the Level Up Blog! Please SHARE this blog post, and let us know your thoughts!