When Tina was young, she was often frustrated to see that a lot of the other athletes around her were finding more success and winning more regularly. They were making leaps in performance, and while Tina was certainly competing, she didn’t feel as though she was making the same improvements as those around her.
It certainly wasn’t that she was less capable. But rather, her coach was extremely adamant about Tina pursuing a longer running career. Rather than just looking at the upcoming race, he was instead trying to look at the big picture. Needless to say, for a teenage athlete, that isn’t the easiest perspective to obtain. She felt held back, and rightfully so, but she trusted him and believed him, and ultimately, she was able to surpass other athletes because she became a more well-rounded athlete.
But despite success, even hard-fought, drawn-out success, there always seems to be other challenges looming. In Tina’s case, her next wave of challenges was awaiting at University, which she attended in the United States (she is originally from England). She was overwhelmed by distractions and found it increasingly more difficult to find motivation to train hard. But then, a flip was switched—perhaps even flipped too far. She became completely overcome by running and the training that goes with it. She pushed herself to an extreme during every workout, never giving her body a chance to recover. Her obsessive approach to training led to an injury cycle that lasted more than a year. “It was really hard for me mentally. Everyone equates trying hard with getting better, so when things go wrong, you try harder, you push harder. But that isn’t always the case.”
But that was an important lesson she learned, albeit the hard way. Learning to take her foot off the gas sometimes, to understand balance and develop an identity beyond just as a runner. That extremes don’t always work. That you don’t have to leave everything you’ve got out there every time, because “eventually it will take away from the actual racing if you do.”
Now, Tina is able to allow other things in her life to bring her happiness, like building relationships she didn’t used to give herself time for.
“RUNNING IS WONDERFUL, IT’S GREAT, BUT THE RELATIONSHIPS I’VE DEVELOPED ARE SO MEANINGFUL AND PROVIDE ME WITH SO MUCH FULFILLMENT. THEY WARM MY HEART AND SOUL IN A WAY THAT NOTHING ELSE CAN. I JUST NEEDED TO BE REMINDED THAT I HAD MORE TO OFFER THE WORLD BEYOND RUNNING.”
A lot of the time, the best advice you can receive is to do more of something. In Tina’s case, it was just the opposite. Hearing from people that she looks up to in the running world give her permission to take a step back and see things differently was what stuck with her most. And she understands that it’s hard to do that on your own, which is why she has found a way to pass on that helpful piece of advice (and much, much more) to others.
She’s always enjoyed helping others; making them feel good about themselves. “I know how powerful it can be when you feel like you’re not alone,” Tina said. “One of my strengths is helping others see theirs.” So, when she started receiving messages and emails from people struggling and sharing personal stories with her, she decided to start a podcast to help as many people as she could understand that they’re not alone, ignored or forgotten.
Not only is Tina an Overcomer herself, she is helping inspire new ones every single day.
Learn more about Tina here: https://tinamuir.com/