FINDING HER PURPOSE
Yuma Haidara joined the Navy in 2007 and was part of a small organization called the Seabees. As a builder, Yuma helped construct bases and reinforcements overseas during wartime - she was no stranger to long hours and hard work. Yuma went through combat training to ensure she was prepared for any situation, as she was building on the ground alongside the marines and navy seals, “I am honored to be a Navy Veteran and to have served my country, especially in a time of need”.
During the end of her time with the Navy, Yuma was attending Nursing school. On her drive to and from classes, her route took her past a trucking school. She walked in one day and asked what it takes to receive a commercial driver's license. Yuma was hoping to experience something different at the time, but had no idea she would fall in love with the career. Nine years later, Yuma is still trucking.
DEDICATION TO WELLNESS
Yuma quickly realized that long hours on the road was becoming detrimental to maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle. She bought a pair of running shoes with the goal of running to and from truck stops at the end of her long days, at least 3 times a week. She then joined her local running group and began signing up for races, starting at 5K’s and 10K’s, before moving up to half marathons, and eventually the way to full marathons. Training became a necessity on her road trips, but with long trucking and training days come an elevated need to recover.
FEELING THE OO
Yuma first experienced OOFOS after a 200-mile team relay race. After slipping into a pair of OOahh slides, she found that her feet, muscles, and even her mind were at ease from the initial feel of OOfoam™ underfoot. “Now I wear my OOFOS all the time - after hiking, skiing, or even just walking around. I’m obsessed with them.”
Yuma has been able to blend her past and passion by running for an organization called Home Base, which supports Veterans as they fight their invisible wounds and get through their dark moments. Yuma went through the program herself while training for the Home Base NYC marathon race team. “I don’t know what I would have done without Home Base. It made me feel like I was not alone for the first time since the military. That bond lasts a lifetime”.
Come race-day, Yuma was excited and ready for the challenge – but the adversity she would face brought her past training full-circle. During the first mile of the NYC marathon, Yuma knew something was wrong. The impact forces from each step in her running shoes caused pain in her foot that radiated up her leg. She needed a solution. By mile 5, she called her friends in tears to ask if they could bring over her OOFOS so she could “walk it off”. She wasn’t ready to stop, but she needed relief if she were going to be able to keep going. After going back and forth between her OOFOS and running shoes, she knew that her OOFOS were the only way she could finish this race. Yuma completed the remainder of the race in her OOFOS. “Mentally I wanted to give up so many times. When I got to the finish line, I remember thinking, I did it. I completed something so great while being in so much pain, but for something so much bigger than myself.”
mOOving WITH PASSION
Yuma’s fighting spirit and dedication to what she believes in is inspiring. She spreads positivity to all she meets and genuinely loves to help others. Yuma continues to be extremely involved in the Home Base community to raise awareness of the program for Veterans, but also their friends and families. You may also find her leading hikes in New Hampshire or creating more products for her skincare line, called A Yummy Life.
If you would like more information about the Home Base Program - click here.