Each week we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. This week we’re featuring Melanie Owens, a comedian, half marathoner, and all around do-gooder.
Here’s what she had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Running my first half marathon in September. I was in a sling all summer due to an injury, and unfortunately couldn’t train as much as I wanted to. While on the train to Montauk (where the half was), I said I would just do the 5k. But as we neared the East End, the energy was contagious. We got a little carried away and excited, so naturally, I decided to run the full half. I thought I was going to hate the experience, but it was a beautiful course and the runner’s high I’ve heard so much about certainly rang true — and it felt great to know I could run that distance. I recently ran the More/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half with two girls I grew up with – also a great experience; my favorite part was when it’s over.
How did you achieve it?
I think this was a mix of mind over matter. It’s amazing what your body can do once you convince yourself of something (slash when you’re on mile 7 and you realize the quickest way to the finish line is to just keep running). I do wish I trained more, but I was happy to learn that a half marathon was something my body was capable of. I was always involved with team sports as a kid, so I think running races with friends to motivate you is a big help. I’ve accepted my hoop dreams of making the WNBA are not going to come to fruition, but I’m OK with this alternative. Social running, you know? Then you have an excuse to have a BBQ.
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
Positivity. It takes a village and no one person can do it on their own, so I think small impacts wherever we can make all the difference. It is easy to get down just by looking at the news for an hour, but a wise man once told me, “An everything sucks attitude isn’t going to change anything. You need to get out there and do what you can.” We’re all in this together, after all.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I’m not going to say I would turn down waffles if they were right in front of me, especially if they were fresh enough where I could still smell the syrup. But I try the best I can to eat well and exercise five times a week, or so. If I’m out and about I try to make it to the dance floor burn some calories. I also love to crab walk whenever I get the chance, keep the agility up.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
My parents have always taught me that you have to be the biggest believer in whatever you’re doing, because if you don’t care enough about it, why would anyone else? If your passion is not apparent and contagious, no one else will get excited about it — and this goes for everything. They both really instilled the mantra of you are the best version of yourself and I think I discovered this early because of them. This is why I’ve known what I’ve wanted to do from a young age, and it’s really helped me develop who I am today. Sometimes it will work, and 90 percent of the time it will fail miserably. But it’s not a failure if you learn from it.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
We all strive to make the world a better place. It’s very difficult to do that on your own (even Oprah needs a team), which is what this app does: brings people together to create a village. It’s taking something we already do and using it to do good on a global level. It’s like the workout equivalent to wind powered energy, the wind was already blowing – and people found a way to turn it into energy; Charity Miles is converting that energy into helping others.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
I have more energy if I get a work out in — it’s part of a routine and when I break it, it doesn’t feel right. I am very lucky and fortunate to have the health conditions that I do, so the fact I am able to exercise is a gift in and of itself.
On another note, I also love putting pep in my step with new tunes, or old tunes and visualize what I like to call “Gym Dreams” that stem from the high of endorphins. Sometimes I get some great ideas, sometimes the thoughts are just fun.
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