The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 14

Resources and Education

Be Encouraged
Mirna Valerio is breaking barriers and shattering
stereotypes in the outdoor industry. Read about how
the bestselling author and ultrarunner finds joy and
understanding, learns hard lessons, and creates
indelible memories here; then join us for a deeper
discussion on The Weekly Chat. By Latria Graham
LIKE MANY OF US, MIRNA VALERIO

is trying to find her footing in this
powerful historic moment in which
we find ourselves living. Known for
her candid social media conversations and authentic exuberance
when she's out running on the
trails, Valerio has made a name for
herself as an athlete who intends
to go further than body-shaming
critics and white gatekeepers ever
thought she could.
The former Spanish-teacherturned-athlete is no stranger to
transition, and the Brooklyn, New

York, native recently relocated to
Vermont, where she is working on
some new recreational skills and
using her platform to show her
followers what Black joy looks like.
Her story has appeared in Women's
Running, The Wall Street Journal,
and Runner's World, and on the
NBC Nightly News.
The world is a lot right now.
How are you faring?
I'm doing OK-um, you know, even
though the world sucks right now.
Despite all of the awfulness in the

14 THE WEEKLY / OUTDOOR RETAILER SUMMER 2020

world right now-COVID, being
Black in America ... despite all that,
I'm doing pretty well. After the
initial two or three weeks when we
started to shut down, I went into
overdrive and I overworked. I was
overpresent, and I was really, really
positive. I'm very thankful I still
have partnerships and contracts
with companies and they still have
my back. I am grateful for the ability
to be at home here in Vermont, but
I was trying to hold myself together
and my family together and be there
for my various communities. I felt
like that's what I needed. I felt like
that's what the world needed and
what my communities needed and
what my family needed. Then I kind
of burned and crashed-physically,
emotionally, mentally.
And you're nursing an injury?
Well, I became fully injured. I was
trying to do too much with very
little in the tank-very little in the
physical tank, but also in the emotional/mental tank. Because I had
the previous injury, I wasn't able
to run, and now I have this patella
injury, and I felt myself going into
a dark place. Running is part of my
self-care. Also, it is what I'm paid to
do. Being injured, I wanted to make
sure I didn't fall any further into
that hole. So I decided I needed a
bike and a bike instructor. Everything started to fall together again.
It's fascinating to me how the mind
and body work together. When I
started to feel better physically, the
mental acuity came back to me.
How did you come back from
that disruption?
I haven't been able to get out on a
trail in four weeks, and that's really
taken a toll on me, so I had to pivot
physically. I learned how to ride a

bike when I was 7 or 8, but I've never
had a real adult bike with gears and
the fancy things. There's a sporting
goods store, Onion River Outdoors,
not far from where I live here in
Montpelier, and they loaned me a
bike until they could get the one I
ordered. I said for several years that
I would never get back on a mountain bike again, but here I am, and
now that I've got some gravel-bike
skills, maybe I'll get back on the trail
with a different medium.
How has cycling changed your
mental strategy during the
duration of the pandemic?
About a month ago, I started to get
a lot of clarity on what's happening
in our lives right now and how I can
contribute and not be a bystander.
I knew I could do more. I have
more time at my desk and realized
I could focus my energies on the
ways in which I could help fix the
problem that will never be fully
fixed-let me just put that out there.
That's not being pessimistic-that's
being a realist. I know it can get
better. So I created my course,
Introduction to Identity, Social Justice, and Anti-Racism for the White
Community-they have to do the
work on themselves, but I created it
for all the people who were asking
me what they could do.
There's a lot that goes into
building these teachable
moments.
As a former full-time diversity practitioner, I said I wasn't going to do
this for free because I had real skills
as a facilitator and practitioner. If
you want Black people-people of
color, in general-to be involved, you
must pay us for this work. I'm an
educator. I'm a teacher, and I want
people to practice, to get some sce-

A R I KA BAU E R

Mirna
Valerio



The Weekly - July 7, 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Weekly - July 7, 2020

Contents
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - Cover1
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - Cover2
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - Contents
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 4
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 5
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 6
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The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 18
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The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 20
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 21
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 22
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The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 25
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 26
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - 27
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - Cover3
The Weekly - July 7, 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07302020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day3_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day2_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day1_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com