Meet marvellous Mimi, who started running at age 36 after battling with anorexia for 15 years. Now Mimi plans to run from LA to New York in just 53 days.
So who is Mimi, why is she running across the US and what gets her out of bed each morning (apart from TrueStart Coffee of course!)
Who is Mimi?
Mimi is a multiple Guinness World Record Holder who specialises in endurances challenges in extreme environments.
Mimi spent over 15 years of her life suffering with anorexia, a secretive illness that got hold of her so tightly she struggled for years to try and let it go;
"I wanted so much to lead a normal life, I didn’t like the person I was becoming, everything revolved around avoiding food but as far as I was concerned it was the only thing in my life over which I felt I had any control.
The doctors had told me that the likely hood of being able to have children were pretty erm, thankfully I proved them wrong and am now the proud mother of three grown-up children. However after each pregnancy my eating disorder would re-appear, I knew that I needed to sort myself out, not only for me but also for my children. When my second child was about 18 months old I took the massive step to tell my secret; it was the one of the hardest and emotional moments of my life. Sitting in front of my doctor I didn’t know what to do, the words were stuck in my throat not wanting to come out, I didn’t know how to ask for help. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I tried to find a way to say ‘PLEASE HELP ME’… I honestly thought I might die.
Four months later my treatment began as an outpatient, unfortunately this wasn’t enough and it was suggested that I should be hospitalised as my weight was dangerously low. With two small children this really wasn’t an option so I chose an alternative therapy that together with my husband and family’s support allowed me to slowly get better and begin to live again."
At the age of 36, Mimi began running; "Over time, running has given me back my life. It has put a spring back in my step, given me back my confidence that somewhere along the way I lost. My self-esteem and pride in my achievements continues to grow. It has allowed me to become a better mother, wife, friend and person. I now see food in a completely different way, I’m not frightened of it any more but see it as my fuel to enable me to continue with the sport I love."
Sarah Russell, Consultant Editor Running Fitness Magazine and one of Mimi's training partners describes her friend;
"Mimi Anderson is considered to be one of the World’s most inspirational female distance runners. Women all over the World can relate to her on every level. She is a mother, a grandmother, a wife and daughter. She is witty, beautiful, smart, kind and very normal. Yet she is one of the toughest competitors you are ever likely to meet. Her determination and grit know no bounds and she will push her body to the limit to achieve her goals and ambitions. Through running, she has proven to herself that she can do so much more than she ever thought possible. The broken anorexic body is long gone. In it’s place now stands a strong, healthy, formidable woman, oozing with happiness, confidence and self belief. And that is the power of running"
Why is Mimi running across America?
After overcoming her own challenges, Mimi is now passionate about using her running to help others tackle challenges in their own lives. Mimi's world record attempt will raise money for Marie Curie, Free to Run and Mimi & Me for 53, which is her own grassroots campaign; "the aim is to inspire men, women and girls around the world to go on their own journey, set their own goals and achieve their own dreams during the 53 days that I’m running, hopefully raising even more money for Marie Curie & Free to Run."
Mimi has a true #TEAMTRUESTART attitude - constantly looking for ways to challenge herself, to push her boundaries and limits beyond what most others wouldn’t even consider possible and also constantly searching for more extreme environments race in. Running has taken Mimi to every corner of the world including the World’s hottest deserts, the highest mountains and the freezing temperatures of the Arctic. In 2012 she took part in a terrifying race in the Peruvian Jungle. One of my fears is being out of my depth in fast flowing water and the race included many river crossings. Mimi said; "I had to step out of my comfort zone and tackle my fears head on. When you overcome your fears – whatever they might be – you build your confidence and self esteem and know that you can overcome anything that life throws at you."
So Mimi, apart from a TrueStart Coffee - what gets you out of bed each morning?
Well, the TrueStart is essential! To be honest, I just love getting out of bed and putting my trainers on. Well not every morning - it's those ones like today when I was supposed to just go and just do 5k but it was raining and I just could not be bothered. But when I got outside I ended up running 10k and loving it - I remember thinking "yes Mimi!" It's just being outside and being by myself I think, I just love it.
TrueStart Coffee are proud to be fuelling Mimi on this incredible journey.