[Podcast] Celebrating Black Joy with Ultrarunner Mirna Valerio: Episode 13

Celebrating Black Joy with Ultrarunner Mirna Valerio: Episode 13
June 30th, 2020

Recorded 5/28/20.

With everything going on today – protests against police brutality, an awakening of the persistence of racial injustice – a global pandemic – it’s more important than ever that we find places to celebrate joy and specifically Black joy from Black people’s stories. I know that seems counter intuitive, but joy will fuel us through these difficulties.

Mirna Valerio is an ultradistance runner whose passion for the outdoors, inclusivity, diversity, and inspiring others is palpable. Mirna started a blog called Fat Girl Running to talk through her experiences as a “larger woman in a world of thinner athletes.” Her blog has since propelled her into the spotlight. Mirna now travels around the country and the world to speak, teach, and encourage others to live large.

In this podcast, we talk about Mirna’s upbringing and how she got her start in ultrarunning. As a Brooklyn native, Mirna didn’t have access to trails as a child, but excursions through her middle and high school helped develop her love for the outdoors, while her drive for team sports encouraged her athleticism. After a health scare in 2008, Mirna started running again and hasn’t looked back since. She’s now a cross-country coach (she helped train Will Smith for a half-marathon!), an acclaimed author of her recent memoir A Beautiful Work in Progress, and a participant in races both nationally and abroad.

I’m so inspired by Mirna’s infectious positivity and her drive to keep pushing herself. I so enjoyed speaking with her about racism, the connection between COVID and ultrarunning, and how to manage imposter syndrome.

“Find a way.”––Diana Nyad

Find Mirna’s website here

Check out Mirna’s Instagram

Find Mirna on Facebook

Follow Mirna on Twitter

Buy Mirna’s Book “A Beautiful Work in Progress” here

Scroll through her blog at Fat Girl Running

Support Mirna on Patreon

Check out her current favorite book Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

Today’s episode is brought to you by Fat Tire. Born on a bike, Fat Tire strives to be a role model for other businesses in their impact on the communities they serve and the planet itself. Fat Tire is a certified B-Corp and gives 1% of profits to environmental non-profits. They supported my 2019 Everest #ClimbForEquality and continue to be supporters and champions for a variety of causes including Protect Our Winters and the High Fives Foundation.