Season 5 E7: Mirna Valerio: Breaking Boundaries on Size, Race, and Running - Sage B. Hobbs

Season 5 E7: Mirna Valerio: Breaking Boundaries on Size, Race, and Running


In today’s episode, we have an incredible guest, who is a brilliant and brave disruptor, with a huge smile and infectious personality.

Mirna Valerio is a native of Brooklyn, NY, a former educator and cross-country coach, ultramarathoner, author of the Amazon bestselling memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress, and antiracism educator. Although she began running in high school, she recommitted to the sport after a health scare in 2008 and started her blog Fatgirlrunning—about her experiences as a larger woman in a world of thinner endurance athletes— while training for her first marathon. Mirna’s athletic story has been featured in the WSJ, Runner’s World, on NBC Nightly News, CNN, 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. In 2018 she was chosen as a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and she has appeared on the Kelly Clarkson Show, Access Daily, and on Nigel Barker’s new V1Ve Network. When she wears her diversity, equity, and inclusion hat, she helps schools, nonprofits, and businesses to step up their antiracism efforts. She currently lives, trains, and works in Vermont, USA.

In today’s episode, we talk about Mirna’s book A Beautiful Work in Progress, as well as explore the myriad of stories from Mirna’s adventurous life.

In this show we're talking about:

Mirna shares:

  • Her 5 core values and how they impact her life choices (they’re awesome, and I’m adopting several of them)
  • Being a disruptor as a female, Black, plus-sized, professional athlete and ultrarunner
  • What it means to do “adventure work” and how she came to do it
  • What books she’s reading and why she’s into them
  • How she brings people to the work of activism through teaching and adventure
  • Her INCREDIBLE journey from classroom teacher to professional athlete with corporate sponsorships (Lululemon among others!)

“We are all entitled to inhabit the Earth. People have reactions because many of the spaces (that I show up in) have historically seemed to be for white folks.”- Mirna Valerio

Thank you for listening to the show. It is such an honor and joy to have these conversations with you. They are necessary and needed and we are here to do the work.

Xo, Sage & Erica

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