Sashea Lawson – Diverse Runners World

Since we launched Mid Strike two years ago, we’ve crossed paths with many runners over the past few years, some of which seem to be moving on parallel lines working to create a more inclusive run culture and community. Creating change is a marathon and it's something that takes a lot of time and patience, it’s something most people don’t have the patience for except for a few. One of those people is Sashea Lawson, founder of Diverse Runners World. Sashea has been doing her part to show that the running community is diverse and is showing that we too have a voice in this community. We’re excited to talk with Sashea, let’s get some insight into why.

MSM: As you know Mid Strike turns two years old this month. When we launched this digital publication, you were one of the early followers that supported us on IG. So let me start off by saying thank you. I feel like we’ve always moved parallel to a certain extent. Let’s start with you obviously, when did your fitness journey begin?

Sashea: I’ve been active and into sports since I was a kid but my distance running journey began in 2009. I signed up and ran my first big race which was a half marathon in Central Park and a couple months later I signed up to do my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. It was super ambitious and crazy of me because I was a newbie but I just went for it.

MSM: One question we like to ask is why, why running? What was it that made you want to make running a lifestyle?

Sashea: For me, it was the most accessible form of exercise. I lived in NYC since age 15 and it appeared that most other activities required a membership and/or expensive equipment to participate. With running, I was able to purchase some inexpensive sneakers and run laps in a nearby park after work and on weekends. I also loved the way I felt after running. It was a major stress reliever.

Not only that but what was the turning point for you in your life where your fitness, health and well-being became a priority?

Sashea: When I was in my 20’s, I did my annual physical and my doctor told me that my asthma was so bad that I had the lung capacity of a 70-year-old. I was shocked and scared. I had gotten so used to taking medications for it that I never thought about ways of trying to improve it until that moment. So I changed my diet and started walking. Then eventually I started running. Then later I got a gym membership and started taking fitness classes. I loved it so much. My asthma improved to the point of rarely needing my inhaler. That’s how fitness and health became my new lifestyle.

MSM: You’re very active, always on the go and on the move. How does running help you mentally? Do you feel it brings you to a positive space where mentally you feel as if you could get anything done?

Sashea: 100%! I describe running as my happy place because that’s truly how I feel when I run. It’s hard for me to put into words the ways in which running has changed me for the better. It’s enabled me to experience so much both on and off the pavement. I’ve had incredible opportunities because of it and have made lifelong friendships in the running community. It’s taught me how committed and consistent I can be and that I can achieve anything once I put my mind to it and put the work in.

MSM: Not only are you a runner but you’re also a Triathlete. That within itself is a different type of mental. So essentially, you're a runner and a Triathlete. Take our readers through some of your training and how you’re able to find that balance when it comes to training. 

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