Samantha Gash is an authentic storyteller, world-class athlete, social entrepreneur, and mother. To her, running is the mechanism that helps her contribute to causes larger than herself. Driven by social impact, she’s helped raise over 1.3 million dollars for causes including women empowerment and child access to education.
In this conversation, Samantha and Tina unpack the deep wisdom she’s learned over the years, and how lessons she learned as an athlete translate over into helping navigate life’s obstacles. Samantha touches on her expeditions in Australia and South Africa and completing the 4 Deserts Grand Slam– four 250K ultra marathons in which she was the first woman and youngest person to complete in one calendar year.
- Good ideas take time. Samantha encourages us to look inward at our intentions behind our ideas. We have to break them down to the core and discover the “why” behind why we do what we do. Our ideas won’t be perfect at first, they take time to change and grow.
- Don’t let ego drive your life. Ego can burn and destroy you, Samantha says. It can consume what you’re doing and why, so you must keep it in check. Don’t be afraid to show parts of you that aren’t perfect. It’s good for people to see rawness in you, and then see your growth. Ask yourself, “What can this experience be outside of myself?”
- Passion is about endurance. The word “passion” gets thrown around in the context of pursuing a job you love. But Samantha reminds us that the Latin root of passion means endurance. It’s about finding ways to get through tough moments. There are always going to be monumental setbacks, but you have to keep grinding. Don’t rush the process, take breaks, and look at your life with fresh eyes.
- Change is always happening. Life isn’t static. For Samantha, COVID-19 changed her life overnight. Races halted, goals paused, traveling canceled. But she said she somehow was able to adapt to new habits without skipping much of a beat. She said since her life has normally always been filled with change, she’s become used to pivoting. Quarantine has allowed her more time with her son and husband as well as reminded her to go back to her roots as to why she began running in the first place.
- “Don’t rush into things. Your body and mind take time to adapt. Things need time to organically build.”
- “I’m a realistic optimist. I’m good at saying, ‘this situation isn’t optimal and I’m struggling, but how can I pivot that into something positive?’”
- “Maybe the adventure and running that I experience in ultramarathon environments are my vehicle, my mechanism for contributing to something bigger than myself.”
Listen to the Running for Real Podcast here:
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Thank you to Samantha, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.