Dive in or be Swept Away: Stories from the Water

From fleeing from tsunamis, to whitewater rafting trips Callie and Andrea probably should’ve said ’No’ to — these two have had some rough encounters with water. But something inside them keeps pulling them back. 

For news, latest updates, outtakes and more, join our email family at GrabLifeByTheReins.com

Learn more about horses and riding at HorseClass.com

Read about Andrea’s incredible Costa Rica trek in her book, Crossing Bridges

This podcast is a part of the Bright Sighted Podcast Network. Learn more here.


  • Andrea Wady 0:00
    If a tsunami comes. It could take the whole house down. I just don't know what's happening. No screw the shrimp. There's a tsunami coming. Let's go. And then they're like, so when did the morning go out and she's like, well, they reckon it's gonna hit if it hits in about 40 minutes. They're like, Oh, we've got loads of time, I'm having a total meltdown, at this point.
  • Callie King 0:29
    Shrimp do cook pretty fast, to be fair,
  • Andrea Wady 0:31
    See, you're just as bad as he is. Jump in in with both feet. Go Big. Follow your dreams
  • Callie King 0:39
    grab life by the reins.
  • Andrea Wady 0:41
    This is how we live. We're Callie King and Andrea Wady; two horse trainers always looking for adventure and finding it.
  • Callie King 0:49
    Join us for stories of dangerous travels wild animals, new challenges, and in the end, always learning alongside our magnificent horses. So saddle up and follow along. You're listening to grab life by the reins.
  • Andrea Wady 1:17
    So you clapping then just reminded me of a clap. Not that I've ever ever had it, obviously. But when someone asked me this weekend in America, I'm here visiting in America. It's so fun. And someone asked me if I'd had Mary land crabs, and I just had to really resist saying, Gosh, I bet that was itchy. Oh, the difference between the English language and American language is just hysterical. I've laughed so much about it just cracks me up. Yeah,
  • Callie King 1:56
    I'll never we'll never forget when I asked that poor little girl, if I could. Microphone receiver, or transmitter put the microphone transmitter and her fans. We
  • Andrea Wady 2:08
    have to give a bit of context. At this point. Kelly was visiting me we were doing some filming, which we love to do. And yeah, we were filming these young kids on their ponies. And it was so great. And I just suddenly looked over and saw this child looking totally terrified and slightly traumatized with Callie who seriously is one of the nicest people you can ever meet. And like, What's going on over there? Kelly came over and when I think I might have just upset her. I asked her if I could put the microphone and have pants. And the mum had to jump in and go, she's leaving your trousers, not your knickers. It's like dodgy dodgy moment. You do have to think about it. So when we're together, we tend to do nothing but laugh, laugh and laugh by doing things that we think might be fun, and others might think is illegal.
  • Callie King 3:10
    But not breaking the law in a way where we're hurting anyone over we're damaging property with good people. We just like to have fun. And if laws get in the way of fun, things have to be broken. That happens frequently with us, both individually, but I think at a higher percentage when we're together.
  • Andrea Wady 3:27
    I think that's definitely right. In fact, my husband said something this week he said, I'm actually really glad that a you and Kelly are not the same age be that you're not both in like your early 20s. Because 100% We would get arrested. We're not fans of the Fun Police. To be fair. So to give you an example today, we've been out deep in the forest, and I think we were at least five No. Okay, I'll give us 10 minutes into our day. In the park. We came across this little beautiful. Do you call them a pontoon in America? The boat? Yeah, where the boat was? Is that like a pontoon? Well, that
  • Callie King 4:13
    wouldn't be a pontoon boat.
  • Andrea Wady 4:15
    No, but the bit that you walk out on? Oh, we call that a duck a dock. So we're walking through the woods. And there's this beautiful dock that's marred by these ridiculous signs that says no entry. Do not walk here. Authorized Personnel Only do not swim. So all of those walls went straight out the window.
  • Callie King 4:38
    What do we see water. We just can't resist getting in it. No, it doesn't matter if it's cold because today the sun was was warm, but it was pretty chilly. I had I had a sweater, a sweatshirt and a heavy vest on
  • Andrea Wady 4:51
    through. Here's another anomaly, a vest. It's what we call a body warmer and you call a vest event Test is a thing you put under a shirt.
  • Callie King 5:01
    Now a vest is like a heavy outer coat. Well not necessarily heavy, but it's a thing that doesn't have arms. So it's really great because it does keep your body warm, but it allows you complete freedom of movement with your arms. Not so good for swimming, though. No, that's why we removed in our I removed mine, as well as the sweatshirt and the sweater so not to be weighed down. And then we just took off running.
  • Andrea Wady 5:24
    We did we ran straight past the sign that said no unauthorized people straight past the sign that said, absolutely no swimming. And we noticed at the last minute straight past the boat that had a blue light on the top of it, which was the fun police boat. As we launched through the air off the end of the dock with a great big splash into the water. We thought it was fabulous. There was
  • Callie King 5:51
    also the sign that said no launching.
  • Andrea Wady 5:55
    See, no launching. We launched referring
  • Callie King 5:59
    to boats, of course. So we didn't break that law.
  • Andrea Wady 6:03
    We broke every other law. And we certainly did not endear ourselves to the man that was very quietly fishing in his kayak probably with a license. He was not happy. But see we didn't hurt anyone. Not really. And we got out fairly soon. So he would have he would have caught his fish. And it was all good. But water I have this affinity with water. Actually, I have a really funny story. I was riding with my friend, sonny, way back in the mountains in Costa Rica when I lived there, way, way back and it was so hot. So so hot. And we came across this house in the middle of nowhere along this farm track and I mean I'm talking miles from anywhere. And we kind of like looked around and it was really obvious. There was no one there. I think maybe it was like a holiday home or, you know something that people came down from the city at the weekend, something like that. But they did have a pool. They did have a pool. So we turned our horses loose in their front garden. Took all our clothes off, jumped in the pool, it was the best thing because it was so so hot. And next thing this dog comes ripping into the backyard where the swimming pool was was barking barking barking barking, which made us think well, there's someone coming. No one saw us it was fine. We managed to get up, get our clothes on really quick and just ride away. But it was one of those secret like, yes, we pulled that off.
  • Callie King 7:37
    Now that you say that I actually think that I've become a lot bolder in swimming in authorised places. Whenever, you know broad daylight. Yeah, there was a I used to swim all the time, but we would always sneak in at nights. But it was not dangerous. It was admittedly usually more like private ponds. Like we would hear that. It would be a family member or a friend or neighbor we would hear they were out of town. And if they had a pond that normally was too close to their house to just go swimming in it. We would go in the night. Skinny dipping, of course. Nice.
  • Andrea Wady 8:13
    Yes. I love water. I just I don't hear no one owns water. Really? It falls from the sky. That's my argument is like, Yes, I did sort of cross your land
  • Callie King 8:28
    and went skinny dipping in the pool. Right outside your back window. Yeah, we
  • Andrea Wady 8:32
    did think afterwards. What if they've got security cameras? I'd be like there's two naked women float? Well, I mean, there's worse things to see on a Monday morning. I'm sure. You know, we had fun. There is something about water though. But I've never lived. I've never lived away from the sea. I've always lived within earshot of the ocean. Wow.
  • Callie King 8:52
    Because you were you were born and grew up in Cornwall. And which town?
  • Andrea Wady 8:58
    Perranporth which has a beautiful, beautiful beach. I know of a lot of Americans when they hear I'm from Cornwall, they're like, Have you ever heard of Doc market Martin, which is the TV program that's really popular in the UK and in America, actually. And we do we grew up about 40 minutes. From there. Yeah, and it's gorgeous. I've always been by the ocean, but the ocean to me is very different. Like the lakes that we've gone to and gone swimming in the ocean just demands respect. We never messed about with the ocean. We live on the Atlantic Ocean and we've just never ever taken that for granted. But I do remember in Costa Rica the same thing you had to be so so careful. So careful. But equally, you could enjoy it by too. But one time, we had friends staying in a hotel right on the beach in Playa hermosa where we lived and we went down for a barbecue to join them for a barbecue. And we had all this lovely shrimp and the B Yeah, and it was great. And we were there enjoying ourselves and then the owner of the hotel who, to be fair, I think she probably did indulge in smoking wacky baccy.
  • Callie King 10:14
    What is wacky? Oh,
  • Andrea Wady 10:16
    we'd never allowed it called wacky back. Yeah, it's wacky baccy.
  • Callie King 10:21
    I've heard a lot of names. But I've heard wacky
  • Andrea Wady 10:23
    baccy. So I believe, but I'm not sure that she had possibly been smoking some weed. Which we don't not my thing. Anyway, each to the right, out she comes.
  • Callie King 10:37
    Oh, hey, hey, guys.
  • Andrea Wady 10:41
    There's a tsunami coming. Wait, what? So I shoot up off my chair.
  • Callie King 10:48
    How far are you from the ocean? about less than 100
  • Andrea Wady 10:52
    feet? You're on on the beach. Right at the hotel front is on the beach. And she's like, calm is custard. Oh, I hope you're having a lovely barbecue. By the way. A massive tsunami warning has just gone out. So I'm up off the seat. Let's go. We gotta go right now. Oh, boys. But we have shrimp. No, screw the shrimp. There's a tsunami coming. Let's go. And then they're like, so when did the warning go out? And she's like, well, they reckon it's gonna hit. If it hits. It's gonna hit in about 14 minutes. They're like, Oh, we've got loads of time. I'm having a total meltdown. At this point. Shrimp do cook pretty fast, to be fair, so you're just as bad as he is. I was catastrophe. Sizing massively in my head. I'm like, we've gotta go. We gotta go. And I wanted to get my dogs. I needed to get my dogs out of my house. Anyway, they finished the bloody shrimp. We finally get them in the car, race back to our apartment, which was on sea level. And I already had a plan. I knew where we were going. We're going up the mountain. It's going to be great. So we race in. And I'm grabbing passports, money. valuables. So
  • Callie King 12:16
    how many minutes into the 40 minutes is that oh, we
  • Andrea Wady 12:19
    are now coming on have half an hour. Oh, you're you're danced it it's tight. And your house is how far from the beach a quarter of a mile. Or that as the crow flies. And we were on the second floor. But I was like if a tsunami comes. It could take the whole house down. I just don't know what's happening. So I am running around grabbing everything. I've got the dogs in the car. Chris comes trotting out past me with a cooler, like had an esky. We call them like a cooler. I'm like, What have you got in their beer. I was just about ready to murder him. Anyway, finally we get in the car. We've got our friends that were liberated from the hotel, jump in the car and we drive up to our friend Leo in Jimmy's house who have a beautiful house right on top of the mountain when I go there, we'll be safe. And other people clearly had the same idea. And when we got there, there were at least five other people there. Not including Leo and Jimmy. They weren't home. But we were all such good friends. We just went straight in. And by the time it got to the time of the tsunami There ended up being about 20 people in their house. And we have a party. And Leah and Jimmy didn't come back because they were away for the weekend. And it turns out, there was no tsunami. It missed us. Thank goodness. And we had a great time. But I just the sense of urgency for me was just not there. I was very worried if ever there was going to be a future emergency that my husband would actually get his shit together enough that we wouldn't die. But he had all the vitals and to be fair, when we were up there at the party. The beer came in handy. But that's the thing with water. You can't always trust it.
  • Callie King 14:09
    Yeah, the sea is absolutely something to be hugely respected, usually respected. And that's the thing with those kind of emergencies. I think that's the challenge in coastal areas because warnings can go out and if people can almost
  • Andrea Wady 14:27
    get used to them. Yeah, cry wolf syndrome.
  • Callie King 14:31
    Yes. So they get used to them. They don't take them seriously. And then it only takes that one time that it it really is coming in.
  • Andrea Wady 14:39
    Have you ever been whitewater rafting? Yeah. I had a bit of a doozy there as well. That wasn't good. Actually. That was really frightening. I had never really been around big rivers. in Cornwall, we have rivers but they're not massive rivers. And we were going whitewater rafting in Costa Rica, which you couldn't do low And, you know, for the most part, it's pretty safe all although I have heard of some, some bad things, but for the most part, it's safe. But we went down there. I think it was Chris's 40th birthday, we went for that. And we had a bunch of the boys with us. They all serve, you know, and they were like, We don't want to do the tourist one. We don't want to do that one. And let's say the boys that had the rafting company were like sweet, your surf. It's fine. We'll go on the class fives. Well, in Europe, you have to have a license to be even on the fours. I believe like, you've got to know what you're doing. Yeah, no, here we go. Here's our slot. So these rafts were smaller for the class fives there was only two people and a guide in each one. My guide, he had clearly been up all night. He stank of rum. He looked like a chewed up toffee. And he was not on his game. I think it was fair to say so. I was slightly wary. But if we go you know,
  • Callie King 16:00
    I think there's that good. That group of people. I love being around surfers. Yeah, river guides. Yeah, and climbers. They're all cut from the same cloth. 100 I love I love them. I
  • Andrea Wady 16:09
    do when my life is not in their hands. Like just to sit and watch would have done me fine. But we come up to the first rapids. Right? And they're like, you know, this is what we can do. I'm like, yeah, and they're like paddle. So we're paddling, the boat flips. I go straight out the boat, class five rapid. And I did have a life vest. I had a life vest on. I went into the water and I went straight under. And my life vest did not bring me straight up. And I was under the water. And I went through the rapid and I was slamming into all the rocks. I had a helmet on, you know, we were mostly geared up. I could not believe the power that that river held. It was so shocking to me. And they'd already said to us, you know, try and swim across. And in my reptilian brain that I had found as I thought I was going to die. All I kept thinking was I'm gonna go all the way to the ocean. And this crocodile is at the mouth of this river like
  • Callie King 17:15
    rocky shores getting your foot in a rapid you know, rock I hadn't even thought the crocodiles had there were probably miles
  • Andrea Wady 17:24
    10 miles down the river, but they were waiting for you. They were I'm
  • Callie King 17:27
    sure they said that there was this woman in the water had airway. She had high speed
  • Andrea Wady 17:34
    wrapping herself. So I bashed off all the rocks. Finally, I'd come to somewhat of a of a steal point if you like but still the water was shifting. And the guides, they had some out guides in kayaks and they were going to swim to me swim to me. I couldn't do it. Anyway, this one guy, they called him Superman. He was off the rivers in Colorado, thank God he was there and
  • Callie King 17:58
    you couldn't swim? Was it that you were so tired or just the adrenaline had you
  • Andrea Wady 18:02
    know, the current was just too strong? Oh, it was just, I was still going but you couldn't move. So for showing the one down the river I was flying. I just wasn't in the rapid bit. But it was still we were booking down that river. And he just managed to, like literally put his or right over to the other side. Just hold across and he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out. I was so grateful. I was so frightened. But Paul, Chris was right up the river at the head of the rapid because him and the hungover guide who clearly it probably was not hungover anymore. We're hanging on to the boat. And they'd got up onto the rocks. And a message came back up. And it was a visual message. So the guy down by me stood on a rock up to the next guide and tapped the top of his head. And I didn't know that that meant everything is okay. Chris could see this message coming up the river to the guides on the rocks of this tapping head and he thought I had a head injury. Oh, so he was wreaking out. But it just really made me respect the power of a river I know. And I was a little bit like I would take on the ocean over a strong river any day.
  • Callie King 19:18
    So when you came out of that, how long until you felt because an experience is like that, you know, when you have like that big adrenaline and you're like, you know, in a survival situation. It takes some time coming out of that to kind of like return to normal. How long did it take for you? Well, I
  • Andrea Wady 19:36
    didn't have that time because there were 12 More rapids to go down and no one would walk back with me. So I had to get back in that stupid flipping bow and go down through 12 More rapids, of which I fell out twice more, but not as dramatic. But I did think afterwards. I don't think I need to do that again.
  • Callie King 19:54
    Were there other people falling out of the boat? No. Okay, now this raises another question. Yeah, how are you the only one falling out
  • Andrea Wady 20:02
    what Chris fell out to? And our I'm gonna be honest, the others in their boats, their guides were phenomenal. And we just kept going into the rapids sideways. Which, you know, to be fair, yes, we're the ones paddling but we don't know what we're doing and neither did anyone else. And they didn't fall out. But I think it was just one of those things. It was an amazing experience. And yeah, the adrenaline was pumping, absolutely pumping but I think because we had to get back busy into survival mode it kind of just took over but I don't think I need to repeat it.
  • Callie King 20:39
    Yeah, I did classify VHS to classify VHS in the US is the highest that can be rafted commercially with people were like with guide young people. So I did a trip with to my best friends. For when we graduated high school. All three of us were like, We don't want like graduation party. Crap. Take adventure. Anytime we we piled in my old pickup truck. I had a 97 Ford F 250. I'm really into trucks at the time. So the three of us pile in. And we did a road trip across the states from Pennsylvania out of Colorado. Amazing. We had so much fun. I mean, what could go wrong with 317 year old girls in an old pickup truck hauling across the state? Yeah, no, not much. We decided we wanted to go rafting. And of course, we looked for the biggest ones that we could do, which was going to be going down the Royal Gorge in Colorado. A bet that stunning, but dangerous, incredible, incredible. Well, we had honestly the opposite of your situation in that we had the best guides ever. So the time of year that we did it was the drier season when it was really interesting because I want to go back and do it when there's more water. Because when there's more water, there's more power and you go really fast. When we did it, the water was low, which meant that it was super technical, because there was so many more exposed rocks. Yeah. And we had the main guide was this woman who was just she was a total badass, like she knew that river inside and out. And then two of her friends were in town who were also river guides. And because we booked the trip, it was low season, they didn't have enough people and she just invited them. Oh my god. Amazing. So we had three badass guides, and then the three of us and we were all three like totally just go for it kind of girls. Yeah. So they gave us a great ride. But they just were so they were so good on like calling out the instructions and like explaining the rapid before we went into it. And we all knew exactly what to do.
  • Andrea Wady 22:41
    That's some of the best in the world, though. They're famous for it. Aren't they off that up in Colorado? Yeah, yeah, amazing.
  • Callie King 22:48
    We have this one picture, I still have it. It completely captured, you know, this picture sometimes that get taken with friends that just totally capture the moment, but they also capture like the personality of each person in that moment. So it was the three of us. And this there's this picture. And there's the picture of we're going down one of the Big Rapids. The three of us are in the boat. Of course with the guides. My friend Emily looks scared. My friend Kelsey has this huge grid. Like she's just having the absolute time of her life. And I look so serious. Like I'm just 100% Concentration like, I mean it just it's
  • Andrea Wady 23:30
    awesome that encapsulate your friendship is that kind of true to form that between the three of you
  • Callie King 23:35
    in that time of life 100% I love it was so good. That's so
  • Andrea Wady 23:39
    fun. There's so much adventure out there and I think I'm with you rather than getting like gifts or things for for monumental events in life like birthdays, and anniversaries. It's like experiences. That's what I always want is to go places do something. And you those feelings last forever and those memories lasts forever. And if you're lucky to get photos, that's great too. But just to have as many different experiences of things before you die. That's what I want in my life.
  • Callie King 24:14
    Yeah, same here could not agree more. Yeah, live. Thank you so much for tuning in. We'll see you in the next episode. If you're enjoying the podcast, we would love it if you could rate and review us.
  • Andrea Wady 24:30
    We'll see you in the next program.

This podcast is a part of the Bright Sighted Podcast Network. Learn more here.