Melissa Cummings

Ali on the Run Show Episode 375: The Everyday Runner, Melissa Cummings

“I’m very proud that I have managed to, in less than a year, do four half marathons. It’s not something I ever could have dreamed of doing. And I’m just proud I have really stuck it out. Because it’s hard. It’s not easy to try to work yourself back from a poor health standard, or to bring yourself out of that mental hole that people can fall into. I’m very proud that I have stood up and said, ‘I need help, and I need to make a change.’ That’s a huge step for anybody to take. The fact that I’ve taken that step and I keep moving forward… That means a lot to me.”

Welcome to the final episode of the newest series on the Ali on the Run Show: The Everyday Runner. For the past four weeks, we’ve been hearing from runners who are just like you and me. Not professional athletes — these runners have jobs, families, and responsibilities beyond this sport we all love so much.

Today, we wrap things up with Melissa Cummings, a runner — or “walker with purpose,” as she likes to say — from Manchester, NH. On this episode, Melissa shares the story of wanting to take back control of her life, and how she found running, racing, and a welcoming running club along the way. She talks about that title, “runner,” and shares her thoughts on whether or not she — as a four-time half-marathoner — has embraced it yet. She talks about what it was like joining the Millennium Running Club, and what it was like being named 2020’s Club Member of the Year. And she talks about her experience with depression, and how running has helped.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • What Melissa’s childhood was like as the youngest of five children (6:45)
  • How Melissa found running (11:00)
  • How one race became a year of races (18:45)
  • On joining a running club (23:30)
  • Melissa’s quest to “take back her life” (33:30)
  • On becoming a half-marathoner! (35:45)
  • On being named Millennium Running’s Club Member of the Year (45:15)
  • What got Melissa to sign up for a marathon (50:40)
  • On owning the title, “runner” (54:00)

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2 Responses

  1. Please consider keeping The Everyday Runner a regular feature! This “limited series” is the reason your podcast lured me into listening regularly (before, sporadically). I would assume about 80% of the population are “everyday runners,” and can’t relate to the running podcasts that talk about fine-tuning “easy” 18 mile runs…. when most of us are just happy we can make it around our neighborhood. It has been very refreshing to listen to the stories of the Everyday Runners who come from all different backgrounds, different body shapes, different life circumstances. Your skilled interviewing and delightful personality will keep me listening regardless, but please, bring this feature back! Thank you.

    1. I am so glad you have enjoyed this series! I’m already working on bringing back more episodes! I loved it, too! And the feedback has been tremendous. So grateful for this community!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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