Stray Together Ambassador Spotlight: Drew Price

Hello Strays!

And welcome to another fine edition of BonFire, where we feature individuals who seek out the aspects of life that make their hearts and souls sing.

In this edition we talk with Stray Together ambassador, Drew Price of Gore, VA -- who has one of my favorite Instagram usernames: finding_drew.

Found you, Drew! (Problem solved.)

Found you, Drew! (Problem solved.)

I feel like we should all be given the surname "Finding" at birth, as in "Hi! I'm (Finding) Taylor" just so we are constantly reminding each other that none of us know what the hell we are doing, that we are all constantly in the process of self-discovery and fulfillment and that THAT is okay. (Any one else been on a Pete Holmes kick lately?)

I had never met Drew prior to writing this article, but it quickly became apparent to me through our conversation that Drew is one cool cat and really embodies what it means to be a Stray Together ambassador.

One scroll through his Instagram and I couldn't help but feel like, "damn, this dude might be on to something"...

Regular picturesque hikes through the ridiculously beautiful Shenandoah Valley, in Southern, VA.,


a young daughter who, frankly, is as cute as god dang button,


and just generally a life that would appear to be filled with what any self-respecting human worth their salt would deem "the important things" (i.e. family, the infinite grace of nature, and cute ass puppies), has to make for some good livin'.


Oh, also, Drew is a Norse power lifting Demi-God who will TEAR YOUR FACE OFF. 


On top of that, he started his own pool repair and renovation business which, after overcoming some initial financial struggles (Drew: "A little tip: if you start a pool and repair renovation company in November be prepared to STRUGGLE financially for the next 4-5 months."), has turned into a lucrative business that enables Drew to work and travel less, which has freed him up "to explore different adventures" and has ultimately made him a happier and healthier person (his words).


He is also a licensed Virginia real estate agent and owns a 3 bedroom house on 2 acres of land in the countryside of rural Virginia, complete with apple and pear trees, chickens, and a garden,  all at the age of 28. (I am 25 and I'm literally still learning how to shave right).


I mentioned to Drew how envious I was of his lifestyle out there in the "country" and how my mother-in-law lives up in the White Mountains in Lincoln, New Hampshire and how like I feel like a fresh human every time I go up there and how I just want to get naked and burrow into the ground like a mole and just live there, deep beneath the Earth...

...and you know what he said?

He said do it! Because that's the kind of guy he is. 

Drew's life wasn't always so good to him though. Through his own trials and tribulations he's learned that his happiness doesn't always come easy and he must continue to work to maintain balance in his life.

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Here is the rest of our conversation (cut for brevity)...


(In regard to moving out to the country side...)

Drew Price: "I said it for years and then I had a little kick in the ass to do it but it was worth it."

Taylor Pelton: "If it's not too personal, would you mind if I asked what that kick in the ass was for you?"

DP: "I'm an open book and will get as personal as you want to. I was an alcoholic who got sober and then ruptured my spleen snowboarding. Next season, I tore my ACL snowboarding. I got prescribed painkillers for almost two years and got hooked. Then, I became a heroin addict. And then, I won the lottery ($4k) in September of 2012 and was able to use that money to first go to the bar but then buy my admission into rehab, which happened to be in Winchester, VA, where I stayed until I bought my house in Gore in 2015".

TP: "Wow, that is one hell of a story man. You truly are one BAMF! For whatever reason, I was never an alcoholic or drug addict, but some of my closest friends up here are in recovery. I think what bonded us was the fact that they recognized that they had these qualities inside them that were "dark" and "unpleasant" and painful and they got to a point where they didn't want to hide from that anymore, which is an example to lead by, and one that everyone could benefit from following. It looks like you found some real positive outlets to scratch that itch and live a life you can get behind. I also wanted to say that I am sorry if I sound extremely ignorant right now."

DP: (Laughs) Dude! No. Wouldn't have it any other way. What is life if we can't mess around? But I think we all have a "dark" side. Some of us are just lucky enough to be able to discover it and start figuring out how to deal. That's why I like ya'll's company so much because, at least for me, when I meet a thru hiker or someone who has gone deep with climbing or kayaking the one thing we all always have in common is a sort of intense struggle and whatever activity we do helps us cope in a way. And I feel like Stray Together kind of brings those people together in a way. Even if is just via Instagram." 

TP:"Since Stray Together is all about nature, the "outdoors", utilizing the real substance of life to find harmony; what role has all of that played in your life? In your recovery?"

DP: "Using the real substance of life to find harmony. I like that. Well, it's hard to explain how my mind can wander sometimes. It's been almost six years since I've done any drugs or drank but that energy is still in me, and the outdoors is my outlet. I mentioned doing something challenging earlier. That's really what keeps me sane. Whether it's doing a three-day hike or long trail run, kayaking, climbing something I couldn't previously, it provides a meditative overcoming quality that I've found I need. It also brings people into my life that are similar and speak the same language as me in terms of just that wanderlust that you can't explain and spiritually (NOT religiously) too. I also compete in Crossfit and Strongman which provides some of those same qualities but nature is the only one that really strips all the bullshit away and kind of gives me a break."


TP: "Ah man, thank you for all that. You just nailed that response. Like triple grand slam or whatever the best one is. I used to like sports...Do you have any advice for those who have gone through hard times? Whether that be with alcoholism, drug addiction, or otherwise? And what they can do to find harmony in their lives as you have in yours?"


DP: "Well, I sponsor some folks when they are getting clean here, and what I always tell them along with the normal recovery advice is find a hobby. Find a passion. Try all kinds of random shit until you find something that fits. Keep trying new things but focus your energy on the thing that "fits". You're going to have "free radical" energy that can turn positive or negative. Having that passion available helps catch that energy and keep things positive. Also, find one person in your life to be 100% honest with. Life is just too damn hard to go at it alone. My passion just happens to be the outdoors."

TP: "Very well said man. I really appreciate that, and I really appreciate your time dude. Thank you for putting up with me. You seem like a really thoughtful and compassionate and just generally awesome person and I wish you well man. Any closing remarks? What life lesson (just one) would you want to pass on to your children?"

DP: "Hey man, I've definitely enjoyed it. Man, one last what you are passionate about. If you don't know what that is then keep trying new things, almost obsessively, until you find out. Life is way too short to not do the things that you are taylor fitted to do."


PUN INTENDED? Ahh, there is no possible way to ever know for sure (my name is Taylor). Also, Drew then closed with a killer callback joke from a bit of the conversation I had to cut, so you will never know how hard it landed, and that's something you will simply just have to sit with.

Some other quick fun facts about Drew to wrap this up:

His name is actually Paul(SO scandalous).

"My family likes to do this thing where we go by the abbreviated version of our middle names. For example, Paul Andrew= Drew. Keeps people on their toes." (Sounds like the Price family is a WILD bunch...I am sure they are awesome)

He was born in Colorado Springs to a military family in eventually settled in Northern, VA in 2000 (hometown holla!).

and he is a HUGE bluegrass fan, particularly Greensky Bluegrass...


TP: "You seem to be really into GSB which I really respect because I have heard a GSB concert is like a spiritual experience which I really want to experience for myself. Also, those guys are all monster players".

DP: "I am actually pretty glad you've heard that so I don't have to sound like such a hippie myself. But that is music. Different music for different moods but saying music is spiritual is perfect. It strips away inhibitions and allows me to be me. Greensky concerts are damn near psychedelic if you let yourself go to that place."



So there you have it folks, Stray Together ambassador Drew Price and a wee bit of his story and perspective. Even just in the short conversation we had, Drew proved himself to be an extremely thoughtful and compassionate person who I could not help but feel happy for. He exemplifies the type of person that we here at Stray Together truly appreciate. The type of person who lives in the real world with the very real and oftentimes overwhelming pressures of modern life but makes time for what matters most to him, the aspects of life which restore and ensure his sustained harmony, which, as life will have it, often puts him outside somewhere beautiful. 

If you are reading this and feel moved by Drew's story or just want to get to know a cool person, I highly encourage you to reach out to Drew at finding_drew on Instagram to discuss topics which include but are not limited to: powerlifting, sobriety, single parenthood, bluegrass, and anything outside or in-between. 

A wise man once said: "Find one person in your life to be 100% honest with. Life is just too damn hard to go at it alone." (I'm being a silly goose, Drew said that. Like, just said that.)

I think if we all could learn to just be a bit more honest with each other we'd find that life would seem just a bit easier, that we would feel a bit lighter. So thanks for the reminder Drew! And for your willingness to share your honest story. I hope we can all work towards doing the same in our own lives.


Make sure to tune-in for the next edition of Bon Fire in which we put brand partner Rebel Pine in the spotlight!

-Stay warm

Taylor Pelton