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  • (gentle bright music)

  • - People think fat people never get off the couch

  • and people think that fat people sit around eating all day.

  • My mission is to challenge people's assumptions

  • about fat people.

  • (gentle piano music)

  • I'm Mirna Valerio, and I'm a runner.

  • I've been running long distance for about eight years.

  • I've done nine marathons and 10 ultra-marathons

  • with my longest being 100K.

  • Traditionally, trail races and other outdoor events

  • have not always been welcoming to people like me.

  • I'm black, I'm a woman, and I'm fat.

  • When I go to a race, I know I'm breaking the mold.

  • It's still very white and very male.

  • So I know going in that I'm going to be different.

  • (soft piano music)

  • 10 years ago I lived a very stressful life,

  • and so that took a huge toll on my health.

  • I consulted with a doctor who told me

  • that I needed to change my lifestyle pretty drastically

  • if I wanted to see my son grow up, so I did.

  • I'd had some experiences with people

  • always making the assumption that whatever I was doing

  • it was for weight loss.

  • After a couple of years,

  • it was not a weight loss thing anymore;

  • it's about fitness.

  • Running makes me feel like

  • my most human self.

  • My first mile was pretty awful.

  • It was painful, it was slow.

  • When I'm feeling like this is really too difficult,

  • I know that in the end I'm doing it for a reason.

  • There's always a larger reason.

  • The end goal not always only being to finish,

  • but the more important thing is that I'm out there

  • because sometimes I come in last.

  • It's amazing to me how many messages I get

  • on a daily basis saying,

  • "Thank you for being you,

  • "thank you for living in your own space

  • "and taking up space, and not being afraid to do that

  • "because that has allowed me to do that."

  • I'm gonna continue doing it because I think

  • people still need to see me.

  • (dramatic music)

  • (chime dings)

(gentle bright music)

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A2 US GreatBigStory fat people weight loss piano music music

Breaking Stereotypes With an Ultramarathoner

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    Samuel posted on 2018/02/28
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