She is a gem. Though actually quite new to running & endurance training, Stasia Demos Mills has much to teach us all. The transformation she has experienced in her life through the process of being committed to her training and running is absolutely inspiring. She’s a model for others of us who may be playing it safe–not quite wanting to start something we aren’t sure we can do. Stasia dreams big and takes risks. She’s got courage and heart like no one else I know. She’s the kind of person you want to be more like. Enjoy getting to know her!
Piece of training gear or clothing item ou couldn’t live without
My handy TS2 visor. Provides delightful shelter from the elements and a level of desired anonymity. And, of course, the Garmin.
Strange routine, quirk, or mental game you do when racing or getting ready for one:
-I sometimes imagine that there is giant who has his pointer finger in the small of my back, propelling me forward. All I have to do is make my legs work. Yes, I know this is weird.
-Occasionally, I’ll get a Sharpie and write part of Isaiah 40:31 on the back of my hand: “They shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Favorite snack/food you eat while training:
Nun electrolyte tablets have prevented many a barf this summer & fall!
What was your entry into triathlon/endurance training:
There’s a constellation of reasons why I took the plunge with endurance training. But I have to say that the encouragement and example of Michele Prible played a vital role for me.
Over the past several years, I have seen a physical, emotional, and spiritual transformation in Michele and I know that training has played a significant part in that.
I grew up in a family of artists, musicians, and chefs. There was an abundance of joy (and crazy delicious Greek food), but no real emphasis on fitness. As a result, I never identified as an athlete and shied away from trying anything even remotely athletic out of a place of fear. I was certain that I was incapable.
But I was also curious about the joy and strength that I had seen emerge in Michele. So I asked her about it casually one day. And then I asked her about it again.
And then, one day, she basically forced me to have coffee with her because she correctly sensed a hunger in me to learn more and to extend myself in a new and different way.
She encouraged me to be brave. She shared that running had brought her joy and that it was a refuge for her during times of great pain or emotional upheaval. And this, THIS resonated with me far more than the promises of “building a better butt” or “getting ready for bikini season” or all of the dubious messages that women sometimes internalize or use as a basis for beginning training.
Why do you keep doing it?
I do it because it reminds me of the strength that is within me. I do it because it helps take away the crazy. I do it to be a good role model for my son. I do it because it makes me feel better about myself, and closer to God. (My family also demands that I share that running makes me more tolerable in general.)
Truthfully? The first time I ran five miles without stopping. I burst into tears at the end. Because I never believed that this was something I could do.
What have you learned about yourself from endurance training and racing?
That I really am an athlete. That I’m stronger than I think.
Future goals… My FIRST HALF MARATHON. THIS COMING SPRING. OH MY GOSH.
Outside of running & triathlon, what is most important to you?
Truthfully, triathlon isn’t on my “most important” list yet (though it may be one day.)
Things that ARE on that list currently include:
Music. Growing things. Being outside. Curling up in a sweet-smelling bed with my husband and kid. Loving God and loving my neighbor well.
Anything else you would want the group to know about you…
I love to wear obscene amounts of red lipstick. And I always, always have chewing gum.