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Home » How to Find Your Path from Struggle to Strength in Fitness with Kayla Cittadino! Ep115

How to Find Your Path from Struggle to Strength in Fitness with Kayla Cittadino! Ep115

#115 – Ready to meet an inspiring athlete who turned her life around through sheer determination and a powerful mindset? Kayla Cittadino, host of Taco About It Tuesday podcast, shares her story of transformation—from struggling with weight and a toxic relationship to becoming an elite athlete and a two-time American Ninja Warrior competitor. 

This episode is a masterclass in making positive changes and overcoming the mental and physical obstacles that hold us back. Kayla opens up about the pivotal moments that sparked her lifestyle overhaul, starting with small, incremental steps in nutrition and fitness. This conversation is a testament to the transformative power of resilience and the importance of a supportive coach and community.

Topics Covered:

  • Learn practical tips for making positive changes and overcoming mental and physical obstacles
  • Understand why a champion mindset is necessary to conquer fear, set personal goals, and build a positive relationship with yourself
  • Discover insights on how self-talk and visual affirmations can keep you motivated and moving toward your goal

Today’s Guest

Kayla Cittadino

Kayla Cittadino shares her story of transformation, from struggling with weight and a toxic relationship to  finding fitness and becoming an elite athlete.

Kayla turned her life around in 2018 after making the decision to return to a healthier lifestyle. What started off as a 75lbs weight loss journey turned into becoming a 2x American Ninja Warrior, Spartan OCR Athlete, a DEKA World Championship Competitor and Podcast Host of her mindset based podcast Taco About It Tuesday. 

Follow Kayla:


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Listen to Inspire to Run Podcast:

Richard Conner: [00:00:00] Hey, my friend, do you feel stuck sometimes and feel it’s too difficult to make a change in your life, or maybe it’s about getting to the next level in your fitness, even if it feels out of reach, well, this week you’re in for a real treat. I’m sitting down with an incredible athlete and we share stories and insights that you can apply to help you get to the next level.

Hope you enjoy.

Intro/Outro: Welcome to inspire to run podcast. Here, you will find inspiration, whether you’re looking to take control of your health and fitness, or you are a seasoned runner looking for community and some extra motivation, you will hear inspiring stories from amazing runners, along with helpful tips from fitness experts.

Now, here’s your host Richard Conner.

Richard Conner & Kayla Cittadino: Hi, my friend, welcome to inspire to run podcast. I have the pleasure of sitting down today with Kayla Cittadino. She is the host of Taco about a Tuesday. She is an elite runner, [00:01:00] aspiring elite runner for DEKA. And I’m just so excited to have this conversation with her. She’s part of the underdog family.

She’s one of the podium chasers, and we’re just really excited to talk about mindset and her journey to becoming an elite runner, and we could talk about podcasts. We’re both podcasters in this space. So, you know, I always love to talk about podcasting. So excited to talk about that too. So welcome to the show, Kayla.

Thank you for having me. Super excited to be here and to have a nice conversation about life. All right. All right. Sounds good. Well, let’s, you know, start the conversation, learn a little bit about you and yeah, a little bit about your journey. Yeah. So I would say my journey personally started in right around 2018, 2019.

, the woman that you see sitting here today is so much different than the woman that I am back then. Um, I was in a really toxic, dark place. I was over 205 pounds. So it just was, mentally, physically, emotionally unhealthy, stuck in a not so great, uh, romantic relationship. And I [00:02:00] just felt lost. Like, I would look in the mirror, couldn’t even see who it was that was staring back at me.

And so that’s just to kind of set the stage to where I came from. And now, Several years later. So 2019 to now, um, I’ve completely shifted my life around, lost 75 pounds. It’s really where the journey ultimately started was going on a weight loss journey, which is a whole conversation of its own if we want to get into that and how I did that.

, and from there it went from How did I look to what am I actually capable of doing in my life? And so having that transition happen around, you know, my early 20s from like 23 24s to now. I just turned 30 this year It’s it’s been a huge learning journey, but through that I’ve just been so excited around What’s next for me?

And that’s how I ultimately got into hybrid racing. , I started actually off in the Ninja Warrior world. So I’m a two time American Ninja Warrior competitor, which is a really fun fact about me. I’ve been on the television show twice. So I started off after I lost all the weight, getting involved in that space.

And then came Spartan racing, um, [00:03:00] took on a couple of titles in Colorado last year, actually won the, I think it was the No, it was the super, the super that I won for my age group. So started to get involved in there. And then out of nowhere, my mom was like, you should try this DEKA thing. And I was like, okay, never been on an assault bike before, never have touched a skier, had zero clue what I was stepping into, got my butt handed to me.

I was super humbled. My very first DEKA strong race. And last year I stepped into it full force. Like I want to do this. Um, and ended up at world championships in 2023. Taking sixth place in my age group, which I was super stoked about because 25 to 29 is no joke. That age group is, and then from there, just the relationship with Kevin Gregory from the underdog fitness team transpired.

And here we are sitting here today, getting ready to lace up for a race day tomorrow. So that’s awesome. That’s awesome. And, and shout out to coach Kevin, Kevin Gregory, underdog fitness. So, you know, listeners have been following for a while. Know that I started my journey, um, right before I met with Kevin.

So, you know, I [00:04:00] did my first race back in 2018, so similar timeframe. And I did a Spartan race. It was Spartan sprint and Arrington, Virginia. I remember it like it was yesterday. And I, you know, I have trained for the race and I thought I was doing all the right things and I got there and it was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, uh, to the point where I didn’t know if I was going to finish it.

I was just like, you know, I’m going to do it because I do the things I say I’m going to do, but mentally I’m like, I don’t want to do this anymore. Like I’m going to quit, but I did it. But afterwards I’m like, you know what? I want to do this again and I know I could do it better. So I went out to find a Spartan coach.

And I was lucky enough to find coach Kevin. So, you know, we, we’ve been working together for gosh, five years now. And yeah. And my journey has been a little bit about like overcoming fears and doing things that I’ve never been able to do. And Kevin’s been a big part of that story. So it’s cool that, you know, we’ve been connected through a coach Kevin.

Yeah. Through sport. Through sport? Through sport, through, uh, fear and sweat. [00:05:00] Yeah, right. And congratulations on your journey. So, yeah, I mean, you said about the fun fact, American Ninja Warrior, like I realized I didn’t know 75 percent of what, by what you said, I didn’t know that about you. So that was a, that was good learning.

Yeah, it was, uh, I’ve never done anything like gymnastics, rock climbing related. So when I stepped into that sport, I was just like eyes wide open. I’ve never been able to swing on the bar. You know, you get the hand rips all over the place. Um, but it was probably like two years into my training when I got the call to be on the television show.

Um, and, uh, It was just such an interesting, like, thing. You see it on TV and then you actually go behind the scenes, and it’s totally different than what you could have imagined. But my favorite parts of it was actually had nothing to do with the course. It was being in interview settings like this, where you’re behind the scenes with the producers, and they’re asking you questions.

And I remember my first year, just like, I get goosebumps thinking about it, but people in, in the room were moved to tears because I was just talking so openly about the journey and how my life has changed and what I [00:06:00] aspire to do. So. I’m excited to be here in this setting again. It feels a little bit like a remake of that.

Well, and I, and I love that. I love your story because your story is similar to other stories that I’ve shared on the show. And it’s been my aspiration to bring these stories to, you know, to a lot of people, to really encourage them and motivate them and let them know that you can make a change in your life.

Like if you’re, if you’re stuck, I know that’s hard to do, right? If you’re mentally stuck, it’s hard to kind of see past that, but you have like a great example as yourself and just. through that and getting to where you are today is incredible. 100%. Yeah. And we can for sure talk about like what that transition looked like.

Like I’m here to answer all the questions, just be open and honest. Cause I, I get it. Listeners on the other side, it’s, it is so hard to make that flip. Uh, but once you do, I can say now, I was just actually having a conversation with someone before this. People are like, it’s just so cool to see how happy you are.

And it’s like, it’s because of the decisions that I made a couple of years ago to change my life. And it’s been. [00:07:00] Nothing short of hard, but it’s been worth it. So it’s always good to know that it’s never going to feel good, but one day you’re going to be like, this is why I did it. Okay. So, you know, one of the questions that I have that I, I love to know, I’ve become a little bit of a student of this.

Yeah. I’d love to know if there was a specific point in time where you were just like, This is it like I’m gonna make this change and then Once that if that happened and once it happened like what did you do to get to that next step? Like how did you kind of quell any of the negative thoughts and emotions about kind of making a change?

Yeah, so I would say there was definitely a couple of moments like especially while I was in that negative toxic Just state of mind and in that time of my life. But, uh, I would say one of the biggest things that I can remember to this day is I, it’s like a beautiful sunny day. I live in Colorado, so you got the mountains and the fresh air.

And I was sitting on the couch inside my mom’s house. And she was like, Hey, like, let’s get out and let’s go for a walk. And I was just so depressed with my life and so lethargic. Cause like my [00:08:00] body that I was in, I couldn’t move without getting winded. I couldn’t walk up the stairs without feeling like totally exhausted.

And like, I, I can’t, like, I’m just too tired. And the look that, like, shot across her face and, like, just how bummed she looked, it, like, hit me in the heart so heavy. And that’s when I was, like, jolted externally. Like, th there’s something that’s not right with this. Um, and so that got me thinking around, like, I need to really start looking at what’s happening with my life and seeing if I can make a turn.

And then it was a couple of hits after that, like I had some moments in the dressing room where things started to rip and zip and, or not zip up for that matter, and it was just like I finally got silent enough to just stare at myself in the mirror and be like, Where did you go? And so, I remember immediately after that moment, I was like, I need to just start with putting better things into my body.

Like, that’s the first thing that I can do because right now I can’t move. If I can just think about what I’m actually putting into my body first, then that’s gotta be a start. Um, and it was a great start because I was able to start to like mentally [00:09:00] clear up some things that were going on up there and um, just like feel a little bit more alive.

And just one little small tiny decision after another. led to the next thing. Um, so I think you asked like, What sort of flip the script? I mean, I think sometimes, unfortunately, you just get sick and tired of being too sick and tired. And I hate that. Like I’ve made it my mission as a coach and a trainer to wait until people hit rock bottom.

But what I will say is sometimes rock bottom is the most fortunate place for you to be. Sure. Because you learn so much about yourself and you learn about what you don’t want. Sure. And sometimes you need that leverage to be like, I don’t ever want to feel that. Some people are like, well, how can you go and like do this?

And I’m like, cause I know what the other side feels like. Um, so if you’re there right now, if you’ve ever been there, Use it as your gift. Use it as your learning lesson and take that with you into greater heights. That’s probably the, the best thing that I can say. And then from there it comes with developing a different relationship with yourself and with fear.

How do you look at [00:10:00] yourself? Um, let’s start there and get really deep internally as far as how do you talk to yourself? Um, not only just internally, but externally to other people. And what do you give yourself the ability to do? If you’re constantly holding yourself behind that line of, of fear of like, there’s no way that I can do that, you’re never going to see what you’re made of.

And it’s through these tiny promises and these little, like, dipping your toe into the water that makes you see what you’re capable of. And then you start to get more of a foot, and then you get your whole leg in there, right? And then you just fully start to jump in. So it’s just these little compilations of small decisions that allows for you to build belief and trust in yourself that I truly think takes you to the end.

Okay. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Well, that’s really great. Well, congratulations on your journey. I mean, that’s incredible. And I aspire to be where you are today and you’ve been doing this for a lot less time than I have. I’m like, Oh my gosh, like I’d love to be there, but I know I’m on my own journey, but, um, but yeah, and I, and I have to, you know, I’ve shared this with the listeners and you know, multiple [00:11:00] interviews that I’m just trying to overcome fears and do things I’ve never done before.

And I feel like I’m making good progress, but you know, in some cases I’m just like, well. I have a win here and I’m like, okay, I can get incrementally better and I can get incrementally better. And where I want to go would require a step change. So in my mind, I was like, yeah, I can get those increments, but can I really make that step change?

And that’s kind of where I’m at today. Yeah. Yeah. So how are you handling that then? I’m now I’m curious to know, so what’s the step and where are we going? How am I handling? Well, the first is putting myself in a situation that forces me to train, to like set those goals and train for it and just have that as my target.

And yeah, kind of like what you said, like it’s a small habits. It’s the, the way you talk to yourself. And I’m just trying to use everything that’s going good and right in my life to say. You could do it because you’ve done this. You’ve done that. You’ve done the other thing you could do this. And it’s a little bit, it feels a little bit out of reach, but so do those other things at one point in time.

So I [00:12:00] remember like just about a year ago, and this is fresh for me because I have this race coming up again, but just about a year ago I did the Brooklyn half marathon. And I was excited because it was my first race in New York City and I did everything wrong. Like, I got to the city late, I ate late, I didn’t sleep, I didn’t, you know, warm up as I should.

The race was good, but it wasn’t great. Like, I could have done a lot better and it wasn’t my fastest race. And I’m like, gosh, I could do that a lot better. But I had a Father’s Day race. That was just a few weeks later, which is coming up this weekend. So I’m doing it again. And I remember at that race, I was like, I’m going to find redemption in this race.

And I killed it. Like I, I blew away my time, but I thought I could do just by minutes. I couldn’t even believe it so much. So the dish was like, I’m going to do really well in this race. And I’m like, I’m going to hit this time. And I went back and I looked at the time from last year. And it’s around the same time.

Yeah. That’s how well I did last year. And this year I’m like, no, if I did that last year, like I gotta [00:13:00] go even, even better. So, so in my mind I’m thinking, gosh, this is so far to reach, but in reality it’s not as far as at least I think it is. So that’s some of the things that I’ve been doing, but I know I have a lot of work to do.

Like I have a long way to go. Oh, there’s so many things that I just thought of. The first thing is like, you’re building up proof, right? Those little tiny things that you’re doing is putting proof in a book so that when you need it. you can go back and recalling it. Like that’s a huge thing when it comes to overcoming fear, taking that next step is let’s go back and look at the proof that I can totally do this.

Um, and then the other thing that you mentioned, Oh gosh, here I am. I’m having the brain. It’ll come back to me. But that was one thing is like the building of the proof. Oh, the comparing yourself to your previous self. We get really good at comparing ourselves to other people. And I think that gets talked about so much, right?

Don’t compare yourself to other athletes. You guys are on two different journeys. But then we never talk about comparing ourselves to ourselves from previous versions. And I think that it’s a double edged sword because you can be like, look at how far I’ve come. But [00:14:00] one thing I talked about in one of my Instagram stories was I did, you know, the 30, 30 assault bike that we do.

Beautiful guys 30 seconds of work 30 seconds of rest 30 rounds. It’s basically 15 minutes of death 15 minutes of just thinking about death So when I was doing it I was like I really want to set a new PR because we all want to set PR is right every day We want to try and set a new PR. I set a PR by one calorie Oh, wow, one calorie and the last few times that I did it was like 30 calories 50 calories, right?

Like because I’ve just built up my fitness The better you get The smaller the strides are as far as improvement goes So if you’re in that place of like, why am I not like chopping off like minutes and all this good stuff off my time Just remember like that’s how amazing you’ve gotten like now It’s like the fine tuning and we just have to be grateful for the process that we went through Because if we only look at the end result, we’re chopping out all of the joy all of the gratitude all [00:15:00] of the freaking blood, sweat and tears to get there.

You know, if I look at the Kayla who raced last year versus the Kayla that’s racing the first six months of this year, two completely different people. Tomorrow when I race, my current PR for deck is strong is 1348. I’m hoping to go low thirteens. Even if I go 1347, still a second faster. Right. And so I think it’s like important that yes, use it as a way to look back and be like, I’ve done all these incredible things, but remember the better and better you get.

It’s less about how big the strides are and more about like, whoa, enjoy the process. Enjoy the beauty of what it takes to actually get here. Cause that’s the fun stuff. Cause standing on the podium lasts for like 10 seconds. That’s like, okay, what’s the next goal? That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right about that.

And it’s interesting you mentioned that. Cause I think about the Brooklyn half marathon this year. So, you know, my primary sport is race, you know, road racing, not necessarily like the hybrid, but I do the hybrid because. I enjoy doing something that’s challenging and I think it will really help me in my road races.

So I’ll talk about Brooklyn Half for a [00:16:00] moment. This year, leading up to the Brooklyn Half, I had, I don’t know, about 15 weeks of solid training, which I can’t say that I had last year. So last year I had a lot of travel, I had a lot of things just come up. So it was very inconsistent and this year I was like, I’m going to do it no matter what, I’m going to do it.

And there was a conference that I volunteer for every year. Almost a week or two before the race didn’t matter. I’m either getting up early in the morning or making time during the day. And I need to do what I need to do. No, I’m not going to go out at midnight to do karaoke because I need to do my long run.

Although maybe I may or may not have gone out, but not that late, but it was those things that I kept in mind because I needed to stick to my training. And it was like you said, it was a process. And I knew that these are the things I need to do to be successful. And by the time I got to the end of it. I was proud of just that.

Even before I got to the starting line, I was like, I did 15 weeks of good work and I feel good about where I am today. And [00:17:00] irrespective of how the race went, I felt good about it. Although I did get one minute PR, I was hoping it was going to be a little bit more, but all things considered, I was like, you know what?

This is, this is, What I wanted I wanted to do better and I want to have a better experience And I wanted to train better and I did all the things I said I was gonna do And I kept the promise of my promises to myself. Yeah, do you find it interesting how the best of the best? Athletes like the people that really want big things how we always feel like we’re behind.

Hmm Like I heard that once I think it was like a trending audio on instagram where it’s like the best people always feel like they’re Just a step behind. Yeah, and so we work harder and harder which again could be a double edged sword if it turns into burnout or it turns into something great, but like it’s just so Interesting to me of how we always feel that and so knowing that i’m like, okay I have to be really good about how am I celebrating myself?

Even just like the small wins here or there also Am I, am I in balance? Like [00:18:00] balance and racing and elite athletics. It’s like, it’s never going to be 50, 50. It’s always going to be like, It’s race season. It’s 90 10, right? Or hey, it’s off season. We need to go back and have a little bit of fun and sort of pick up, you know, on maybe where we left off on other things in life.

But yeah, it’s just stepping into elite. Athletics has been really interesting. That’s great. And you know, I’m curious, like, I know you talked a little bit about kind of the process and the habits. Um, Um, and those steps to get to become an elite athlete. But like mentally, what else, what made you believe you could even do that?

Like what made you, I don’t even know if it’s a question of made you believe. Maybe, why do you have the desire? Maybe that’s a different way of asking it. Yeah. Well, again, when I first started my weight loss journey, I was like, I would love to look better. I’d love to fit into my clothes again. And I think that’s why majority of people do it.

Right. At least why they start, at least why they start. It has everything to do with aesthetics and like, wow, like your clothes fitting better and all [00:19:00] that is like fine and dandy that number on the scale. Again, it’s kind of like standing on top of the excitement lasts for two seconds. And then what are you left with?

And so the big shift for me, and this is when I went from just losing weight to getting into Ninja Warrior, was I want to see what I’m capable of actually doing. And so at first it was a lot of like, I don’t, I don’t dream big. I just want to try. Um, and it was from there on out, it’s realizing like, you’re never going to feel a hundred percent ready.

Um, people think that you have to have all these titles and accolades in order to go out there and do the thing when in fact. No one actually really has those when they first start and so they have to start somewhere and so like well Where’d you get the confidence? It’s like you don’t ever have it.

It’s just you have to go and actually do it Do it and be brave enough to try and realize that regardless, it’s a win win cause you’re either going to learn something or you’re going to maybe gain a really cool result. It’s never like you failed. Um, so I think it was just accumulation of all that, but mostly it was that mindset shift of [00:20:00] like aesthetics versus what it is that I want to be capable of doing.

And I just kept a really open heart and an open mind. And I think in just in life, it’s really important to do that because I thought that I was going to go all the way. And you know, this career that I was in before I stepped into fitness. Like I left my corporate job. I, yeah, there’s a whole story there during COVID guys, national pandemic.

I’m like, I’m going to leave my six figure job to go start a business in health and wellness. Cause I see people of the world right now and they need love. Um, that was, that was terrifying. That’s again, whole different conversation. Um, but, uh, I thought I was going to go all the way in Ninja. Like I thought I was gonna go hit a buzzer on the television show and then out of nowhere Hybrid racing between spartan and DEKA came into my life and it was totally unexpected I wasn’t looking for it, but it was everything that I needed and now I feel like i’ve really found my jam And so the way that I kind of like navigate life now is knowing a i’m never gonna feel ready So you might as well just try anyways and see what you can accomplish and be just so Just let the universe help you.

[00:21:00] Like, be open and willing to the things that are coming into your awareness that like, maybe you’re over here trying to jiggle the handle on a door that’s been locked for years. That door might not be meant for you. And so like, I think about you, right, with like half marathon and all these things. I think we were talking about this before we pressed play on the podcast.

It’s like, I really want to accomplish set things, but like, what if there’s this whole other world of opportunity over here that you just have your back to when you just need to be like, I’m gonna take a deep breath, I’m going to pause and just let what’s going to come to me, come to me. You know, it’s it’s such a powerful way to navigate navigate life when you just are open to what’s what’s to come And you’re like, well, let’s just get curious Let’s get creative and it takes the pressure out of it completely because you’re not like gripping so tight onto this one goal it’s like I trust that the universe has my back and it’s going to take me exactly where I need to go and i’m just going to Learn the lessons and know that I can do whatever it is that comes for me on the other side.

I can handle whatever it is Yeah, yeah, for sure. For sure. I love that. And you know, one of the things you mentioned was just kind of about [00:22:00] like how we talk to ourselves. And I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. And, you know, coach Kevin actually asked me this before, right before my last race. He goes, so, you know, what, what are the things that you kind of repeat to yourself where you say to yourself a little bit like affirmations, which I used to do, and I need to get back into it because I thought it was really helpful.

And I was like, gosh, I didn’t really think too, too much about it. But here’s some of the things That, you know, I said to myself, so I shared that with him and then at the race, they were making bracelets and you could write on this bracelet. That’s awesome. You can write on the bracelets, whatever it is that you want.

So I’m like, I’m going to write what it is that Kevin and I had talked about. So. So that’s been helpful for me. I’d be interested to hear if that’s been helpful for you. And if you’ve been doing that for a while, like during the race, when it gets hard, like, do you have just something in your mind that you should just kind of say to yourself to get you through?

It’s funny. So I used to take a Sharpie like all last season. And I did this during world championships too. And I put it on my arm because the two moments where you’re questioning your life during a race is on the bike and on [00:23:00] the tank. And then after that, you’re just moving so, so fast. Like erratically on the burpees that you’re like, I don’t know.

I just want to be done So like I I purposely put it there so that in any moment if I had like some sort of doubt or negative self talk I could look down and see it So i’m very big on like the visual like quick cues And I want to say like the three words that i’ve had that were the more impactful one um was trust because trust is something as an athlete that I feel like That’s where i’m at right now.

And that’s what Coach Kevin has actually brought to my life a lot is giving me what feels like the most impossible training plan and then showing myself that I can do it and being like, okay, I, if I can do that, I can definitely do this for 12 minutes, you know, so I need to just go out there, trust my training and do what I know how to do.

Just let it turn on. Um, another one I’ve had on my arm is celebrate because I really believe that’s what this is all about. And it’s one of the reasons why I love DEKA as an organization is because this is all about earning your mark and celebrating fitness. I made a decision a few years ago to completely change my life.

And so, I’m just always so [00:24:00] grateful every time I get to step up to the starting block of a ninja course or to, you know, the, DEKA course, because it’s just another opportunity for me to show up for myself. Um, and then just, of course, just straight up gratitude, right? Like gratitude, I feel like is something that gets missed so often, but definitely those little tools.

And this is something I really wanted to share with the podcast group today is one of the mental things that has really shifted for me lately Kind of goes along the lines of how you view yourself, but my boyfriend and I were recently talking about this Do you listen to Sally McRae and her podcast at all?

so listeners another fun podcast because I assume we all like to share podcasts with each other Nick Bear recently just did a Guest interview with Sally McRae and she’s an ultra runner and she’s fantastic like has amazing documentaries on YouTube really big fan of her but I got this idea from her but it’s We wait to act like the champion until we have the title When why don’t we just show up as the champion today?

[00:25:00] If you want to be the champion you have to show up as that person now and you have to think like How do I train like a champion? How do I sleep like a champion? How do I eat? Like what do champions do and how can I do that? That’s realistic and applicable to my life and that’s one thing that’s the phase that i’m in right now is like I’m showing up to this race tomorrow.

Like i’ve already won the world championships And am I physically there? You I don’t know. Maybe. I don’t know. I could shock myself tomorrow and do something absolutely insane like set a world record. I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about putting myself in the space of like, how does Kayla the champion think about this?

How would she approach this race tomorrow? Even if I’m not totally physically there yet, if I’m mentally there, I have no doubt that I’m going to cross that finish line A, which is really important, but B, that I’m going to do something really incredible on the other side. So that’s what I would say for the listeners.

If you’re, if you’re trying to. to get past or go to that next step or just have something mentally positive. In the days leading up to [00:26:00] the race, think about how does, fill in the blank, your name, the champion approach this race? How do they do certain things and show up as that person now, rather than when you actually have the title?

Because who knows when that actually will happen. I love it. Yeah, I love it. And since you shared yours, I’ll share mine. So I’ve been listening to very popular public speaker. Um, so on my long runs, I’m listening to podcasts and I’ve been listening to it for a while, but I’ve never used it myself, but his phrase was, I can.

I will, I must. And I love it. And I actually put that particular episode of that speech that he gives like on replay. So every once in a while it pops back in and it’s a reminder for me. So when Kevin asked me, I’m like, that’s what came to mind. And that’s what I said to myself kind of during the race.

And I’m like, and I realized this, if I look back to the races, the attitude that I have about the race going into the race and during [00:27:00] has been a. There’s been a really good correlation to how I perform. Like if I go in thinking I can do this, I will certainly do a lot better than if I have a negative attitude about the race.

Like I didn’t train properly or this hurts. We’re just talking about, you know, talking about certain things that are kind of bothering us, right? Um, but if I had that negative attitude, then more than likely that’s, excuse me, that’s going to hold me back, um, from, really doing well. So really performing well.

So anyway, so that’s, that’s mine. Yeah. I love that. Oh, so good. So, you know, kind of as we wind down here, I’d love to hear a little bit about what would you say was your biggest obstacle during your journey and how’d you overcome it? Well, I can tell you what my biggest obstacle is right now. And, um, I think I mentioned a lot around the trust piece.

I’m really like tomorrow. So I feel so confident in the [00:28:00] plan and what I need to execute that I know that I’m going to do well tomorrow. Whether, again, it’s like a world record breaking time or whether it’s just, you know, like a couple seconds off my time. I feel so confident in that. Um, so the trust thing is actually, we’re on the up and up on that one.

But one thing that I’ve noticed as of recently, especially again when you start to get to the best of the best, is You start to obsess over what the other best of the best are doing, right? Cause they say, well, if you want to be this person, you got to do exactly what they’re doing. And I agree with that to a standpoint.

I think you obviously have to find your brand and what works for you and your season of life. Um, but honestly it’s, it’s the comparison. That’s one thing that I feel like even back then that I was really struggling with is just, Oh, this girl’s back looks so shredded, which is so dumb, right? And I’m, I want my back to look like that, but how many women like think about those things, right?

And I, I have to imagine men probably go through those things too. So it’s really just the, the comparison piece. Um, I can either confirm nor deny that part, that part happens and you’re asking, you know, [00:29:00] how do I get over it? I think you just have to start with giving yourself grace a, because one, everyone does it.

So, um, And the better you get at this mental stuff you realize it never actually goes away That was actually probably one of the biggest lessons that i’ve learned in life is like These thoughts that are negative. They don’t ever go away You just get really good at being able to say oh pause kind of politely call myself out Appreciate that.

Let’s unpack that a little bit But then let’s put that where it needs to be which is in the non serving category And let’s flip the script a little bit and think about what’s going to serve me. So um I think that’s the best way to overcome any obstacle, right? Is can you pause in the moment? Can you become reflective?

Can you be gentle and kind to yourself around the fact that you had the thought and it’s okay, you’re not crazy, you’re not wrong. Um, you just need to unpack it a little bit and give yourself the time to think about, well, where is this coming from? Is it a consistent trigger? Is it, Something that I need to, like, you know, go and seek additional work on, additional help on, um, and then take the next best step from there, [00:30:00] right?

And that next best step can look so different from moment to moment and time to time, um, and it doesn’t mean it’s always the right step, but it’s a step. It’s better than doing absolutely nothing at all. So for anyone that’s facing an obstacle, pause, reflect, give yourself graciousness, and then take the next best step that you possibly can.

All right. Sage advice for our listeners. I love this conversation. I love everything that you share. I’d love to hear, you know, have you share a little bit about your podcast, your fellow podcast hosts. So share a little bit about your podcast and the health and wellness business that you have going on.

Yeah. Yeah. So I sort of mentioned that I had made this big transition from corporate to, uh, owning a business. That was a really big decision. Um, I was with my corporate job as a professional recruiter for about four years. was super successful. I had all the, the money and the accolades. And during COVID you started to realize like, Whoa, this is where I’m at.

This is how I actually feel. Things [00:31:00] got really quiet. Um, and you’re like, Whoa, I need to change something here. And so I just came to realize that I was living this life that People would define successful, but I didn’t define as successful. Um, and so success for me was impact, um, and wanting to do something that was much greater than myself and giving back in that way.

And so after I had lost a bunch of weight, I was like, it’d be so cool to be able to help other people do the same thing. And so that’s where I started my own business, did that for a couple of years. Now I work for a recreation center and a ninja facility. So I do a lot of personal training, yada, yada.

But the podcast weaved itself in there right when I left my job and I was thinking about how can I allow for people during this time of the pandemic, like when we’re at home, we’re depressed because we can’t have any social interaction. People are like way too close to their fridge and pantry so they’re gaining weight like crazy and they’re not taking on healthy habits.

Like how can I truly impact them? And it started off with every Tuesday [00:32:00] I would go on to Facebook and Instagram and I would do a live video and. Taco about it Tuesday was the, the name of the series then. Um, and I would bring a healthy, delicious taco recipe because I was like, well, everyone loves tacos.

I love tacos and it’s Tuesday. So let’s talk about tacos. And I talk about something in relation to life, right? Like a lesson or things that people were asking me questions on as a health coach. Um, and so that’s how it got started. And so I did that for about a year and I realized, I feel like I could have more of an impact if I got off the social and I start to do this more on like a podcasting platform.

So started that about two and a half, three ish years ago and we’re still running strong for all of my listeners that are listening. You know, it, we’re, we’re goofy, we say a lot of crazy things, but it’s, it’s a conversation around life always. Like, I’m very genuine and open with the stories and the things that I’m going through.

I literally plan my podcast as I’m like going through it. Like as we sit down and we talk, um, it’s just. What am I going through in life and how can I give back to help you better [00:33:00] navigate what it is that you’re going through? So it’s a good, good, fun thing that I do. Love it. Yeah. Well, congrats on your three years as a podcast host and your transition into the health and wellness space and everything that you’ve accomplished.

Yes. Thank you so much. All right. So I’m going to put your information in the show notes and make it easy for everyone to find your podcast and follow you online. And again, I just want to thank you for coming on the show and sharing your story with us. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me stoked to be here.

All right. Have a good day.

Intro/Outro: That’s it for this episode of Inspire to Run podcast. We hope you are inspired to take control of your health and fitness and take it to the next level. Be sure to click the subscribe button to join our community. And also, please rate and review. Thanks for listening.