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375. The Everyday Runner, Melissa Cummings

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“I’m very proud that I have managed to, in less than a year, do four half marathons. It’s not something I ever could have dreamed of doing. And I’m just proud I have really stuck it out. Because it’s hard. It’s not easy to try to work yourself back from a poor health standard, or to bring yourself out of that mental hole that people can fall into. I’m very proud that I have stood up and said, ‘I need help, and I need to make a change.’ That’s a huge step for anybody to take. The fact that I’ve taken that step and I keep moving forward… That means a lot to me.”

Welcome to the final episode of the newest series on the Ali on the Run Show: The Everyday Runner. For the past four weeks, we’ve been hearing from runners who are just like you and me. Not professional athletes — these runners have jobs, families, and responsibilities beyond this sport we all love so much.

Today, we wrap things up with Melissa Cummings, a runner — or “walker with purpose,” as she likes to say — from Manchester, NH. On this episode, Melissa shares the story of wanting to take back control of her life, and how she found running, racing, and a welcoming running club along the way. She talks about that title, “runner,” and shares her thoughts on whether or not she — as a four-time half-marathoner — has embraced it yet. She talks about what it was like joining the Millennium Running Club, and what it was like being named 2020’s Club Member of the Year. And she talks about her experience with depression, and how running has helped.

SPONSOR: Picky Bars — Visit pickybars.com/ontherun, where code ONTHERUN gets you 20% off. (Join the Picky Club and get an extra 20% off.)

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What Melissa’s childhood was like as the youngest of five children (6:45)
  • How Melissa found running (11:00)
  • How one race became a year of races (18:45)
  • On joining a running club (23:30)
  • Melissa’s quest to “take back her life” (33:30)
  • On becoming a half-marathoner! (35:45)
  • On being named Millennium Running’s Club Member of the Year (45:15)
  • What got Melissa to sign up for a marathon (50:40)
  • On owning the title, “runner” (54:00)

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