Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Malani.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Growing up, I was arguably the least athletic person in my group of friends, and definitely in my family. That changed once I became an adult and had my own family. I am now a 19-time marathoner and running coach, helping others achieve their running goals. I got into running after I earned my Ph.D. in 2012. I am a full-time speech-language pathologist and serve our community in a variety of ways in that role. I went back to get my Ph.D. in August of 2008, and by the time I had finished writing my dissertation in early 2012, I was so tired of being sedentary at the computer I had to move my body! I got up and went for a very short run – and that started my running journey! Through the last 10 years of running, I have completely transformed all areas of my life. While I am still a very happy professional SLP, I take a great deal of the learning I gather through running and apply to that area of my life. I do the same for my marriage and with raising my kids.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Some of the biggest challenges in my running career have been self-inflicted. I know that sounds a little odd, but starting a running journey in adulthood brought on imposter syndrome, in my case. I didn’t think I could run that far or that fast. I didn’t think I could coach people since I was “new” to the running scene or I didn’t run in college. I didn’t think I was “enough” of a runner, or I didn’t look the part of a runner. Thankfully, the running community is like none other, and I have learned to quiet those inner voices of doubt and negative talk.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I own and operate a private speech-language pathology practice in the greater Orlando area, I work as a consultant for a speech-generating device company, and I am a running coach. I love connecting with people and serving them in all of these areas.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
There are so many people I don’t think I could name them all! I’ll start with my family: My husband and children support my running (and my professional) endeavors and encourage me to take on new challenges. My running community, especially my everyday running crew. The people I have met in the running community have all become fast friends and have helped me in my journey.
- $75/month custom run coaching
- Instagram: @isamarathoner