Tina Muir is a 2:36 marathoner and Great Britain runner who recently shocked the running world by taking a hiatus to focus on starting a family and overcoming amenorrhea, she is now pregnant with her first baby due in February. Tina created the Running for Real Community to foster a healthy mindset around running. This is a space where runners can explore, embrace, and get better from setbacks through The Running for Real podcast, videos, and blog posts, and most importantly, sharing thoughts and experiences.
What do I do best?
Connect to people. I love to be real, authentic and myself around people I meet from the moment we say hello. I feel like I am able to let down my guard in a way that makes people feel comfortable and show them that even though we live in this Instagram and Facebook “perfect” world, life isn't perfect, but it is okay to have fun with your imperfection. Being a professional runner who is able to do this really helps to show that even if you are good at something, doesn't mean you are always confident and loving it. I love to make new friends and be there to support people in their own journeys, and I like to think that shows through my online presence.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Drive. I am someone who will go get what I want, no matter what it takes (legally, obviously!). I know it will take perseverance through difficult moments, hard work, and time, but I believe in my heart that I will achieve it, and will not stop until I do. I believe we can all do anything and everything we truly believe in the bottom of our hearts that we can do, and although we might all have moments of doubt, those moments where it seems like it is never going to happen are only making you stronger, which will help you attain that goal in the end.
What are my aspirations?
Personal aspirations have changed a little over the past year. If you would have asked me a year ago what I would like to achieve personally, I would have just accomplished my number one running goal of representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland in a world championship, and from there, with confidence that I was ready for the next step, I had a lot to prove in the marathon, getting it as close to 2:30 as possible.
However, during the course of that year, my priorities shifted, and my personal goals became about getting my health back, admitting I did not have a period (nor had I had a cycle in 9 years). From there, my aspiration became having a healthy pregnancy and becoming a mother to a healthy child, and now at 16 weeks pregnant, I am realizing that dream which had always been in there, just buried under a mountain of running goals. I believe in my heart that someday I will come back to running, and I will run faster than I ever did before, but for now, my focus is on using that drive to become the best mother I can be.
My business aspirations are to be known as a thought leader in the industry, speaking at events to large audiences. I would like to be someone who has helped hundreds of thousands all over the world to build their confidence and be happier in who they are. I am not sure in what capacity this lies; helping other women going through amenorrhea, helping runners with their own aspirations, or through some other direction that hasn't even crossed my mind yet. All I know is that I am going to be myself, give advice when it is needed, and be there for as many people as I can. Hopefully, that way the path will unfold and I can figure out what my greatest gift to others can be. (Wow, that sounds very deep! :p)
My Biggest Success?
Can I have two? :)
On the surface I would say my greatest success is representing my country, very few people in the world can say they did that, and after 14 years of perseverance, I feel like I put in the time to deserve it. Running for Great Britain and Northern Ireland was a moment I will never forget.
However, as someone who did not have a period for nine years, I always had fears of being unable to bear a child, and becoming pregnant from the first egg my body released in nine years was no easy feat, and I am so thankful to my body (and obviously my husband!) for showing me that the work I put in to get it back was worthwhile. Being a mother has always been more important to me than any running event, and now I get to show that.
My Most Challenging Moment?
In February of this year, I could feel an unease in my heart. I had already committed to race in the Gold Coast Marathon in Australia in July, and had big dreams of running close to 2:30 in the marathon. My training was showing that it was attainable, but I could not shake the doubts and questions in my mind telling me that I did not want to be a professional runner anymore, I wanted to be a mother, I wanted to have a normal functioning body. One day, I reached a breaking point, and said out loud to all my husband and family that I didn't want it anymore, and from there, I had to make a decision whether to leave the world of professional running, be happy with what I had accomplished, and focus on getting my period back, so I could start a family, or push through and keep chasing those running dreams. I chose to hang up my running shoes and not run a step until my menstrual cycle returned (or I became pregnant!), which was terrifying, but within 3 months I was already pregnant, the reward for the weight I had gained, and the rest I had given my mind and body. I would say being pregnant is pretty impactful on a life ;)
Be Brave. Be Strong. Be You.
This is what I often tell my followers and fans, as there is so much out there that can drag you down and make you feel like you are not good enough. This social media world is filled with the snippets of the best of others lives, and we forget that they too are also going through some struggles. Rather than us all trying to be like one another, we just need to be brave, and admit we are not perfect, be strong in everything we do by giving our very best, and be you, by staying true to the beautiful person you are. That is the way to be truly happy.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
As cheesy as it sounds, I love to take motivation and inspiration from lots of people around me. Every single person has a story to tell, something they have had to overcome, where they had to be brave, and that courage makes me want to be a better person too.
However, as I know that is a bit of a cop out of the question, I would say I admire my husband Steve, for just giving his very best to everything and everyone he meets. He is thoughtful and kind, and makes me want to be a better person. I also love Brene Brown for her work on vulnerability and how we can be the best version of ourselves by letting down our guard.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
I love to travel, even though most of my vacations end up in England to visit family and friends, but Australia has always been a special place in my heart. It is beautiful, with so much to offer, but has a wonderful attitude to life and kindness that other places I have been do not. I love to be by the ocean, and someday my family will live within a few miles of a beach.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
As a runner, my Garmin Forerunner 235 is a pretty important product for me to log miles and show what I have done to prepare for a race. I also love my Saucony running shoes, the only real necessity for a runner, I couldn't pick a favorite, as I rotate about six of their shoes (greedy, I know!), but they keep me injury free and able to handle the mileage.
Otherwise, I am afraid I have to go with the technology of an iPhone. Living in the US when my family and friends are in the UK, and other friends are scattered all over the world, the ability to facetime has been a life changer for me. It helps me to feel connected and maintain those relationships that mean so much.
My Current Passions?
Helping others to feel good about themselves. I love to look at the struggles and the things I have been through in my running and personal life, and try to figure out a way I can help other people who are going through similar struggles. When you are in that moment, you feel so alone, and Dr Google usually only brings more self doubt and frustration, I love to try to figure out ways I can put in an intervention, and help the person to turn their life and confidence back around.
I love to write, and intend to someday write a book. My writing style is a lot more casual than most writers, but I believe it helps me to connect with the audience and show them, once again, that I am human and I am just like them. I am passionate about writing for other companies and websites who have similar morals and values to me, I love being able to reach others with my words, and hope I am making a difference in their lives.
Finally, I love to podcast. I host my own podcast, Running for Real after making my previous employers podcast very successful. Running for Real is all about interviewing people within the health industry to collect their most valuable and useful knowledge, but also allowing them to let down their guard and show that they too are just another person with real struggles and fears…even if they appear to have it all.