Whose opinions really matter to you? If you were to start a project or set out after a goal that you’ve always wanted to do but have been scared for one reason or another, who would encourage you? Who would have your back? Who would tell you that you don’t know what you’re doing?
These are important questions to answer. Deciding who influences what we do can change our entire lives. And, unknown to some, we CAN choose who influences our decisions.
First and foremost, we ought to listen to ourselves. If we don’t master our own ships, then we’ll never get to choose where we go. As for the rest of the opinions that we consider? Make sure they come from people that love you.
If there’s one person who knows how to surround herself with people that support her, it’s the Mirnavator. Mirna Valerio is a woman, a New Yorker, black, and as she likes to say, a fat runner. She is not the stereotypical runner, and she knows that people think that. But the best part is, she doesn’t care. She doesn’t even believe that there is such a thing as a stereotypical runner.
Mirna has surrounded herself with people that love her and her mission. She has a strong community on Facebook and in real life that have become comfortable calling themselves runners.
It’s not easy to believe that you are a runner when online chatrooms shout otherwise, even when you have done marathons and 50k trail races. The power that words have is strong. Thankfully, our simple daily efforts are stronger. Mirna has shown that time and time again.
How to Get to Know Your Body
From her early days in middle school, Mirna has loved to move her body. She played many sports growing up, but never considered herself a runner. She started running because she simply wanted to perform better in field hockey and lacrosse.
As time passed, she began to love running for the way it made her feel. Mirna enjoyed setting goals and accomplishing them, and she liked feeling the muscles in her body work. With every finished run, there came a feeling of accomplishment and gratitude.
So how do you get to know and love your body? Use it!
For Mirna, she doesn’t need to fit into a certain mold to love her body, and neither do you. The more we use our bodies, the more we love and understand them. They are quite literally the reason that we are alive. Use your body and be grateful for it.
Change Your Feed
As you begin to use your body, or go after other lifelong goals, you are bound to get some pushback. It comes in many forms. From unknown internet offenders, to family members, to random aghast faces on the street.
While we can’t avoid every rude comment or criticism, we can moderate it. We can mute or unfollow those that don’t support us. We can stop reading comments entirely. We can smile at the people that give us funny looks. And most of all, we can seek out likeminded people.
Sometimes the easiest way to brush off or get rid of the negative, is to find an abundance of positive. Let the good push out the bad instead of simply deleting the bad and being left empty. There are people out there waiting to be your friend and believe in you. Go find them.
Try and Try and Try
If it feels overwhelming to run a marathon, or a 5K, or a mile, start smaller. If you are lacking confidence or willpower, stop worrying and just give it a try. Try every day. As Mirna says, some days you will take five steps back when you feel like you haven’t even taken two steps forward. That’s okay. Keep trying.
You may think that your body can’t run a marathon. And you may be right, for now. But with each day you try, you get closer. If you are scared or anxious about something you want to do, just try. Really. There’s no pressure. If you fail, that’s fine, you will always be happy you tried.
Let’s keep moving our bodies. Let’s surround ourselves with amazing people. And let’s keep trying. The Mirnavator would be proud.
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Thank you to Mirna, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.