Motivation From the Mirnavator: Everyone’s an Athlete!
Join us for a discussion Mirna Valerio aka Mirnavator: Everyone’s an Athlete! on October 29th at 6pm (MDT)
Join Women’s Quest and the incredible Mirna Valerio for an hour of motivation, positivity, inspiration and a reminder that everyone is an athlete, even you! Mirna, who is often called the Mirnavator, is one of my favorite people on the planet. She joined Women’s Quest last year on our Costa Rica surf retreat. She is a positive force with a smile that lights up the world. We are lucky enough to experience her incredible voice, her positive spirit, her determination and her ability to do anything she puts her mind to, first hand.
Meet Mirna Valerio
Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator, cross-country coach, ultrarunner, obstacle course enthusiast, and author of the recently published memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress. Although she began running in high school, she recommitted to the sport after a health scare in 2008. It was then that her love for running and all its attendant benefits were reignited. She soon started her blog Fatgirlrunning, about her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner athletes.
Mirna’s athletic story was featured in the WSJ, Runner’s World, on the NBC Nightly News, CNN, on the CW Network, and in the viral REI-produced documentary short, The Mirnavator. Her writing has been featured in Women’s Running Magazine, Self Magazine Online, Outside Online, and Runner’s World Magazine. Most recently, she was chosen as a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
“More and more I am filled with the sense that I belong outdoors and that I am called to model that true adventure lies within our hearts.” – Mirna Valerio
When we were walking along the beach in Costa Rica, Mirna told me a story that broke my heart. One that I really related to it as a professional athlete and college runner myself. Mirna is also a plus size runner who runs marathons, ultra-marathons and just about everything else — and by the way, many of these are kick-ass mountain marathons that go for 50 miles. In the past, she has received negativity, but I think it came out of jealousy for her success and carefree attitude. In an REI sponsored film called the Mirnavator, Mirna reads an email on the phone as she does the last lap of the Ultramarathon. The email reads that she is a liar and a fraud. That true professional runners cannot be overweight. The cruel, disrespectful, and UNTRUE words go on.
I have always been a larger framed athletic person rather than a super stick-thin runner, but I just like to call it big boned. My college coach even cut me off from the ice cream store, telling me that if I could just lose 20 pounds, I could be the best runner ever. Well, I held the college record for years in the 800 meters. The I went on to become a World Champion triathlete (all with my Winnie the Pooh belly full of snacks).
But these negative words only added to Mirna’s fire, and she showed us (and continues to show us) one very important thing: do what you love. It does not matter your age, size, shape or anything else. The heart knows what it loves, and when you talk to Mirna, you will also feel her joy for life.
Runner’s World did a twelve page story on Mirna to shut up her critics, and she currently boasts 115,000+ followers and fans on Instagram that love and engage with her all the time. Mirna is not only an angel runner but also an incredibly positive force in our world, a giver, and I am so happy she will be gracing us with her presence on the Quest!