Mirna Valerio: Shattering Stereotypes, Redefining Running & Confronting Racism in The Outdoors

“When you don’t acknowledge that racism actually exists--that my experience may be different from yours because I’m black and you are white--then you are absolutely perpetuating racism.”Mirna Valerio

When you hear the words “professional runner” what image pops into your head?

Most likely it's some version of a skinny white male in tiny shorts.

Let’s just say Mirna Valerio is here to smash that stereotype — and completely redefine what it means to be an accomplished endurance athlete.

She's not White. She's not a dude. And she isn't skinny.

She is a total badass of her own design.

Back for a long-awaited sequel to RRP #340, Mirna is back to drop truth bombs left and right on all things body inclusion, identity, and diversity in the outdoors.

For those new to Mirna, aka the force of nature affectionately known as The Mirnavator, she is one of the most inspirational athletes I have ever met — a true ambassador of sport on a mission to empower humans of all shapes, sizes, colors and genders to proudly embrace their bodies, expand their horizons, and own their personal truth.

Today’s conversation picks up where we last left off, spanning her evolution into a full-time sponsored running professional to her work as as a diversity and inclusion educator.

We talk about identity, and the way in which we see ourselves as the lens through which we interpret the world.

We discuss the difference between body inclusion versus body positivity and acceptance.

We talk about everyday racism in the outdoor world and industry--and the work required to assess and overcome our own internalized unconscious beliefs.

And it's about defining your values and embodying them in your actions--day in and day out.

Mirna’s joyful self-acceptance is both real and rare. It’s authentic and bold. And it's as infectious as it is inclusive. She is totally unapologetic, far from sheepish, and 100% herself.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

I must confess: after almost 130 days in relative quarantine, melancholy has crept up on me. But there is something about Mirna’s gleeful demeanor that cheered me up.

I think she will cheer you up as well. Enjoy!

Peace + Plants,

Listen, Watch & Subscribe

Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Thanks to this week’s sponsors

On Running: Born in the Swiss Alps, On Running is the world’s fastest-growing running brand. From their patented cushioning system to their gorgeous minimal design aesthetic, shoes & gear that performs and looks great too. Go to on-running.com/richroll to unlock the voucher, and pick your favorite shoe or apparel piece and run in it for a 30-day risk-free trial, no questions asked.

Whoop: The world’s most powerful fitness tracker. Get smarter about how you sleep, recover, and train, so you can unlock your best self. Go to WHOOP.com and use the promo code “Richroll” at checkout to save 15% off WHOOP.

Outerknown: Founded by pro-surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown creates high quality, sustainably produced, and great looking men’s and women’s clothes, ethically manufactured in the world’s cleanest solar-powered factory. When you’re ready to amp up your wardrobe with awesome sustainable duds, go to outerknown.com and enter my code RichRoll at checkout to get 25% off your full-price order.

For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url's and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click "Sponsors".


Check out Mirna's book: A Beautiful Work In Progress

Background, Context & Reference

Related Podcasts:

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; and theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

For 1000s of delicious, customized plant-based recipes & so much more, check out our Plantpower Meal Planner


Tell Your Friends & Share Online!

Subscribe & Review:  iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Podcasts

Donate: Check out our Patreon account

Support The Sponsors: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support our sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url's and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click "Sponsors".

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.