"You're not meant to be a runner."
"You don't have to run to lose weight."
"You should find something else to enjoy."
These are the statements that ran through Maria Yeager's mind — actual comments made to her in the past — earlier this year when, after crushing the miles on her treadmill and pushing herself hard during high intensity interval training with a friend, she got injured. It was a stubborn injury, in fact, and refused to heal even after Maria, a Petoskey, Mich. physical therapist assistant, did all the right things to make it better.
But Maria pushed these thoughts aside and grew even more determined. "I was not ready to give up running just yet," she says of her plan to tackle the three races on her schedule for 2021 — races that had been cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic.
This month, Maria finished a 10K in Charlevoix — her first in-person race since 2019. She's mountain biking with her husband whenever she can, and she's also continuing to build strength and stability to aid her running endurance. She joins Heather on the show to talk about her running journey, which started in 2012 not long after graduating college, and how she went on to lose 75 pounds, run her first 5K, then a half marathon, and has pushed herself in ways she never would have imagined.
"What I've learned is that it's OK to have multiple chapters in your life open. Just because one thing has set you back, don't let that get you down," she says. "Exercise to me is my mental de-stress — that is how I get a handle on it."
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