Vanessa is an accomplished, plant-based ultra runner who is passionate about all things health, mental health and exemplifies what it means to have a winners mindset. We spoke to Vanessa part way through a gruelling challenge she has undertaken for charity, running 25km every day for 25 days! Here's what she had to say:
Hi Vanessa! We're so excited to have you as part of the BYS family. Can you start by telling us who, or what inspired you to get involved in fitness?
The first figure that inspired me was actually my brother who was very into the gym when we were growing up! Me being the little sister was always intrigued and wanted to start my fitness journey as soon as I could.
One of my high school friends inspired me to start running one morning! Fast forward 8 years to 2020 when I had my knee reconstruction, and I found myself so desperate to get back into fitness. Once I got the all clear, I got out there and gradually built up my mileage with a half marathon in mind the following year. From here, the ball started rolling.
We love that you set yourself challenges that are both mentally and physically challenging! Can you tell us about your current challenge?
I’m currently running 25km everyday for 25 days! I’m doing this for something very important to me, and many around me, to raise funds and awareness for the mental health charity LIVIN, a small Burleigh based charity who promote the message that 'it ain’t weak to speak'. My runs will be completed around my full-time work so very early mornings or late nights!
What’s your number one tip for staying disciplined, and focused on achieving your goals?
It’s you vs. you! The only change that can ever happen and the only way you can reach goals, comes from you and your actions. The only person you can rightfully compare yourself to is you, only you’ve walked your path and know every feeling and experience you’ve had. When I start making excuses during those difficult times, I remind myself that I want change, I want progress and I have goals that I’ve set! So, the only person who will make any of that a reality, is myself. You’re competing against a former self, to be better.
Do you have an interesting fact about yourself that would surprise people to learn about you?
I did karate for 13 years, reached my 3rd dan black belt at 19 years old and as part of that grading, I had to break four terracotta roof tiles.
Tell us about the moment in your life so far that’s made you the proudest?
Flipping the switch and changing my narrative! In 2022, I quit my job to pursue my passion for running. I had spent so much of my life buying into the conventional narrative that the structured path of going to uni, following one career for the majority of my adult life was going to be my life. I had reached a point of being in a depressed state in my life. I knew that I wanted more.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their journey to bettering themselves, whether that be with fitness, nutrition or their career, what would it be?
Make sure your environment fosters growth. Your people, your workplace, your overall environment. Change it if it doesn’t support you on your journey. You may think “easier said than done” but it’s even harder to reach your goals if you aren’t in the right environment.
Outside of 25X25, what other goals are you striving to achieve?
In 2023, I plan to run a marathon PB at the GC marathon and run my first 100miler ultra (160km race Kosciusko in December).
And last but not least, what’s your go to Beforeyouspeak brew?!
Performance Caramel is my fav from the beginning, always hits the spot!
Follow Vanessa on Instagram: @vanessangerer