Hello, my name is Melia (she/her/ella) and I’m the owner and coach at Journey to Run!
Growing up, I was never a runner. In fact, I did whatever I could to avoid running. This included cheating at the yearly 1 mile run in elementary school (coaching clients can hear the full story)! When I ran, my lungs hurt, my side ached, it was uncomfortable. How did those other kids deal with that discomfort? I just could not understand.
Fast forward to college. Something about running kept calling my name. I found myself wanting to be a runner. I would go outside and try running around the block only to experience the same feelings of discomfort that I remembered from childhood. My lungs screamed for me to stop. I’d huff and puff back to my dorm room thinking I must not be cut out for running. Why did it look so effortless when other people did it? How did they find it to be a stress-relief rather than stress-inducer?
The one or two day attempts to become a runner continued for years, as would the complaints about how running was so unpleasant. I didn’t have access to any runners in real life; it wasn’t something my friends or family members did. One day, I mentioned my failed attempts to someone I encountered who was experienced with running. Their quick assessment of “you’re just running too fast” hit me like a ton of bricks. What? Too fast? Did they know that I felt more like the tortoise than the hare? Nonetheless, that outside information changed my perspective entirely. Running wasn’t actually supposed to hurt! I was just running too fast for what my body (namely my lungs) could handle.
Armed with this new perspective, and a desire to learn more, I re-started my journey to run. In the years that followed, my journey to run has taken me to the start and finish lines of 5ks to marathons. It has brought me to mountain views in Alaska and theme parks in Florida. From snow to sweltering heat and roads to trails. My journey has carried me through difficult training seasons and back to fitness after off-seasons. I learned from tremendous coaches and decided to become a certified running coach so I could pass this knowledge on to others. My quest has never been to be the fastest or run the farthest, but to experience the joys of running and accomplish things I never dreamed possible.
Looking back, I often wonder what difference it would have made to have guidance earlier on, to know that I was capable, and that running could be a source of joy. As a coach, I want to help current and aspiring athletes be successful. For some, this may mean starting your journey to run. For others it may mean taking your journey to the next level. Whatever your goals, let’s work together to write the next chapter in your running journey!
A few additional facts about me:
- I love dogs and foster them through a local rescue organization. They occasionally drop in to say hello during coaching consultations.
- I have been vegan (no animal derived products) for more than 10 years.
- I am a first generation college graduate.