They say you can find inspiration in all places, and this is especially true if you follow Diana on Instagram [@DianaKMir]. Diana went from dreading even the thought of exercise to celebrating one year of hard work and dedication to running. I’ve been following her journey for quite some time now and I’ve been so inspired by it — so, of course, I had to feature her on #MotivationMonday.
MTI: What was life for you before running?
Diana: Life for me before running was empty. Even though I had a great job, a happy relationship, something was missing that was keeping me from being my happy self. There was an empty space in my life. I wasn’t active at all and never once thought about running. I actually was one of those people that hated running. The thought of running alone would get me tired.
MTI: How did you feel about yourself?
Diana: I hated myself. I hated the way I looked. I didn’t like how clothes fit me. I was always constantly trying to find clothes that fit me large enough for me to hide underneath it or trying to pile on clothes to hide myself in. I was not active at all. I had a gym membership for about 3 years prior to running and I hated going. I dreaded going and I never once saw a difference in those 3 years. I just constantly complained about how I looked, but never actually did anything about it.
MTI: Were you ever afraid to try new things? [Running, sports, etc.]
Diana: I was VERY afraid to step out of my comfort zone. The thought of failing kept me from going out and trying new things. The fact that I was paying for a gym membership for three years kept me from doing many things because I didn’t want to keep wasting my time or money on something that wasn’t going to help me change. I didn’t realize that it was all ME. It’s not that something doesn’t help you change. Change begins with you. You have to change what you’re doing in order to see change.
MTI: What was the turning point for you? The moment you decided to give running a try?
Diana: The turning point for me would have to be when I attended a private Nike Shopping Party where I wore a white shirt and took pictures with other girls. When I saw those pictures, I literally started crying. I hated the way I looked. I had let myself go, I was the biggest I had ever been in my whole life. At this moment, I knew that it was time for me to start doing something about it and not just complaining. This Nike Shopping Party is where I first found out about Nike Run Club. It’s a free run club hosted by Nike that helps motivate runners.
MTI: Do you remember what your first run was like?
Diana: My first run was with Nike Run Club and it was extremely tough. I couldn’t even run half a mile without having to stop. I kept losing my breathe, everything was hurting. I couldn’t even keep up with the slowest group. I was very embarrassed and considered never going back to NRC.
MTI: In the past, what held you back from running with the groups that you run with now?
Diana: I think what held me back the most was not being aware that run groups like these existed in my community. Since I was never interested in running, I never cared to look into it and as mentioned before, I was just embarrassed at the fact that I couldn’t keep up with others. I didn’t realize that every runner had to start somewhere and I couldn’t compare my first run to everyone else’s running journey.
MTI: How did you remain motivated in the beginning of your journey?
Diana: It was hard staying motivated at the beginning. It made it harder that I couldn’t find the right running shoes for me so I kept getting a lot of calf and shin pain and that alone would discourage me from running. I would think to myself, “Why am I even doing this when instead of making me better, it’s making me worse?”. I have to be honest, if it wasn’t for the run groups that I run with, I probably wouldn’t have gone this far with running. The running community are all so motivating and encouraging, they make it fun to go out and run. I kept pushing myself and constantly reminding myself why it was that I originally started running. It’s hard to start and I wanted to get over that beginning part, so I knew that if I gave up and tried starting over again some other time, I would never get past the beginning struggles.
MTI: What continues to keep you motivated?
Diana: There are a lot of things that keep me motivated now. At first, it was very hard to find motivation to run and now, I’m surrounded by motivation. I am motivated by the progress I have made in the past year. I am motivated by others telling me that I motivated them. I am motivated by trying to constantly beat my own personal records. Running has now become a part of my life and I truly just look forward to running. It’s like my personal alone time, where I get to relax and release any stress I have been going through. It puts my mind at ease.
MTI: Do you feel that social media has played a big part in your running journey?
Diana: MOST DEFINITELY! At first, I was VERY afraid to share my fitness journey on my social media channels. Some people can be really mean, you have to have thick skin to share something so personal like that because you are basically inviting others to judge you. When I posted my first transformation picture on Instagram, I felt nervous, scared, so many mixed emotions. When I hit “share,” I started crying. I didn’t know how others were going to take it and I was so scared to be judged. I quickly got overwhelmed with the amount of love and support everyone started giving me. It made me so happy the fact that I helped others get started with their own fitness journey. Because of this, I started my blog, which is where I am able to share more far beyond pictures and captions. Social media helps me stay connected with others that share the same passion for running and goals all over the world, not just in my city. It has also led me to great opportunities such as working with well known companies like Adidas and six02.
MTI: What piece of advice would you give someone that wants to start running?
Diana: I would say just run and don’t give up. It’s always very challenging at first, whenever you try something new. You have to step outside of your comfort zone in order to make changes. If you just go at your “comfortable pace,” then you’re not making a difference. You have to get comfortable with being UNcomfortable. Always remember why you started.
MTI: What has running taught you?
Diana: Running has not only helped me shed off the unwanted weight but I’ve also learned new things, pushed myself to new limits I didn’t think were possible, I made new friendships, received many opportunities, and it has given me the confidence that I didn’t have prior to starting my fitness journey.
Thank you for reading! <3 Stay motivated & inspired!