Makenna Myler: The Surprises of God’s Plan

Wed Aug 25 07:00:55 EDT 2021
Episode 143

In October 2020, Makenna Myler made headlines when a viral video showed her running a mile in 5 minutes and 25 seconds. Those numbers would be impressive for anyone—but Makenna did it just 10 days before giving birth to her first child. Still, her running time isn't the only thing Makenna is excited about; it's her opportunity to shine a positive light on motherhood and wellness in pregnancy. On this week’s episode, Makenna shares what she has discovered about the sometimes surprising role of God’s plan as we pursue our hopes and dreams.

He connects the dots differently than you would.
Makenna Myler

Makenna’s Instagram
The viral TikTok
Deseret News article

1:55- Getting Into Running
5:35- Becoming a Myler and Running the Mile
7:46- What To Expect When You’re Expecting
15:10- Not in the Plans?
21:57- Dealing With Criticism of Strangers
24:42- Supporting Your Spouse in Marriage
28:04- Being Honest With Our Reality
33:43- Motherhood on the Track
38:12- Not a Failure
41:08- What Does It Mean To Be All In the Gospel of Jesus Christ?


Morgan Jones 0:00
Six million people have watched the moment on TikTok when Makenna Myler ran the mile in five minutes and 25 seconds 10 days before giving birth to her first child. That is faster than most of us will ever dream of running the mile, and she did it with a baby just about ready to come out into the world growing inside of her.

But what people don't know is that for years Makenna wondered why she had put so much time and effort into running. When that video went viral, it all started to make sense.

Makenna Myler competed in track and field for BYU from 2011 to 2014. In June, just seven months after having her baby, she finished 14th in a field of 44 runners in the 10,000 meter run at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon. Her recent success earned her a sponsorship from Asics, making her a pro athlete.

In this episode, you may hear Makenna's baby in the background a few times, but I feel like it makes this episode that much sweeter.

This is All In, and LDS Living podcast where we ask the question, what does it really mean to be all in the gospel of Jesus Christ? I'm Morgan Jones, and I am so excited to have Makenna Myler on the line with me today. Makenna, welcome.

Makenna Myler 1:21
Thanks, Morgan. I'm happy to be here.

Morgan Jones 1:24
Well, this is exciting because probably a lot of people that listen to this podcast will, they may not recognize your name. But once we start talking about who you are and what you've done over the past year, I think a lot of people have heard about you.

Makenna ran a five-minute-and-25-second mile 10 days before giving birth to her first child, hats off to you.

Makenna Myler 1:51
Thanks. (laughing)

Morgan Jones 1:55
So my first question for you is, have you always loved running, or when did that love or passion for running start for you?

Makenna Myler 2:03
I think it naturally went up and down, right? When I was really young, it really intrigued me. I was kind of an odd child to want to go far distances. Someone who was a bit older than me asked me to go running four miles with them. They're actually in my ward. And I thought that was the coolest thing ever. I was like, "Oh my gosh, I'm gonna go run four miles!" Four miles a day, as maybe 10 years old. I was the girl that was you know, really excited to run the mile in PE and I got excited because it was just fun to push myself.

High school rolled around, I thought, "I'd be a soccer player." And the cross country coach pulled me in and I was like, "You're running varsity for us because we need more runners." And I ended up kind of going through that journey of like, "I don't really like this. This is hard and it's boring." And, you know, "Uncoordinated people do running" (laughing). And then I ended up doing that. And then I started to really love it. And I started to find kind of who I was with running and the journey just kept going from there.

Morgan Jones 3:15
Yeah, well, I think that's the cool thing about anybody I think that kind of persists in a sport. I think when it starts out initially, you know, the reason may be kind of simple or childlike. And then as it progresses, the reason that somebody hangs in there with a sport is because it comes to mean something more to them. So for you today, why would you say that you run? What's your motivation?

Makenna Myler 3:43
So, sorry, I do want to go back to that point you just made. A, I think it's really cool. That running is so similar to the gospel, and that there's this simple baseline that's like super easy to get into. And it's very, the childlike part, you know, and it's very easy to understand. You just have some shoes and you go right out the door. But then once you start getting into it a little bit more, and just like the gospel, you start understanding more like layer upon layer. It really gets more intricate and you understand yourself more as you get further into it. Just like the gospel, like the closer you come to God. I think the more you're like understanding yourself. Anyway, so I just thought that was cool.

Morgan Jones 4:31
I love that. No, that's awesome.

Makenna Myler 4:34
But I guess what, what is keeping me motivated now is I'm sure I'll mention this again, because it's been a big part of my story, but I I really like the person that I am when I'm running. And I like the things I do, how in tune I have to be with my body, which is really important to me. I'm really into listening to my body, whether that's rest or being able to push past, you know, hard, hard spots and eating right that I think when your body and your mind kind of aligned, it's a really good feeling. And running brings that out for me. And I enjoy the challenge. I enjoy the craft of it, the art of it, and having to you know, do those easy and hard days. And and so I think that's that's kind of what's keeping me motivated at the moment.

Morgan Jones 5:28
I think that's awesome. And I understand that running is such a big part of your life. Well, first of all, I thought it was funny. I'm like, "Could she have a better last name?" And you married into this last name? So pretty remarkable. Your last name is Myler. And to celebrate your wedding day, you ran an all-out mile, day of your wedding. And so celebrating has kind of included running for you, is that right?

Makenna Myler 5:58
Yeah, I think you know, it kind of started because I thought we were thinking about like, what would happen at my funeral? Like, how would I want people to celebrate me? And this was honestly before I even knew I was going to become a Myler. And I thought, "I want people to be in pain and crying and running as hard as they can for my funeral." And so it kind of became this thing like, "Oh, it was so fun to do like all out mile at (life) markers." And when I became a Myler, I was like, "Yeah, I should do it all-out mile the morning of my wedding, I think I would really enjoy that" (laughing).

Morgan Jones 6:34
I think it's really good that we went ahead and got this on record, so that, you know, 80 years from now, people can be like, "Oh, she did say that she wanted us to run for her funeral."

Makenna Myler 6:45
It's true, yeah, it's all on record now.

Morgan Jones 6:49
So then you get married, and then you get pregnant. And you made a bet, I understand, with your husband that you would run. And it wasn't, you were not going to run five minutes and 25 seconds. What was the original goal?

Makenna Myler 7:07
The original goal was, well, I mean, I thought I could break seven minutes. Like kind of did the math in my mind with like, how much weight I should gain? And I was like, "Okay, I think I could break seven minutes." And my husband was like, "You're not breaking eight minutes." Like, "I'll be taking you to the hospital. If you break eight minutes, your water will break and, yeah, you'll be gone."

Morgan Jones 7:33
So then you you just decided to blow that out of the water and ran it five minutes, 25 seconds, 10 days before you had your baby. I understand, Makenna, that you got—once this kind of went viral—you got a lot of feedback. And some of it was positive. Some of it was negative. There were a lot of people that were critical of you for doing this. But I also understand that you were very careful about your running regimen while pregnant. Is that right?

Makenna Myler 8:09
Yes, for sure I did. As soon as I got pregnant, I just started like researching all the runners that had, you know, gotten pregnant and gone back to running. And I, you know, was like, how much mileage were they doing? And, you know, were they swimming? Were they biking or, you know, were they doing just straight mileage? And I was really fortunate, actually, to be training with a group in Australia because that's where we were living at the time. And they had this coach who was married to a former Olympian. She's a gold medalist, her name is Sonia. She's from Ireland. And he was like, "She ran through her pregnancy and this is what she did." And so I was really fortunate to be able to go off of that.

And he's like, "If you're doing workouts, like just switch it to, you know, 90-minute runs instead for your workouts." And so when I refer to workouts, I mean like intervals. So we have mileage, which is like easy mileage. And then a workout would be when you're pushing hard. And so I knew I would continue doing mileage, I just didn't know how intervals would would play into it. Especially because you're gaining weight, your pelvis is shifting, and so your stride changes. And a lot of people get injured when they try to continue to run—I'm going on too long about this. But yeah, there is a lot of strength that I was focusing on, especially like in my hips and my back to just make sure I was strong enough to handle the weight load. So I was very careful is what I'm trying to say, about what I was doing.

Morgan Jones 9:50
And I think it is it's so important to establish that up front to then people know what we're going off of, but also I understand that you're husband had posted some videos early in your pregnancy, that didn't have anything to do with your running kind of went viral as well. And he kind of developed a little bit of a following. And the reason was it was focused on your emotions during pregnancy.

Makenna Myler 10:21
My hormones were fantastic. They took over for a bit. And yeah, so that was really entertaining that, you know, my husband just thought like, "This would be so funny to show our friends." He's totally into comedy. And so I made that video because he thought it was funny. Um, I mean, we both did. And just the most ridiculous things were making me laugh so hard, like things that a two, or like a three-year-old would be laughing at, you know, like, they were not actually funny things. And I would just die laughing and then it would turn straight into crying and bawling and heat flashed, you know, just straight up and down hormones. It was it was a good time.

Morgan Jones 11:07
So the reason that I asked about that is I think for people—and this includes myself—people who have never been pregnant, what do you wish people who have never been pregnant understood about pregnancy? And what it does to you, not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well?

Makenna Myler 11:26
Yeah. So I've talked about this before a little bit in interviews, and it's, it's really hard to accept your body changing sometimes. I mean, you can totally preface it and be like, "I'm fine with my body changing, I love that my body's changing. I'm housing this child, like, it's growing." But like, the reality of it, like feeling not quite as capable because not only are you gaining weight, but you're also exhausted because your body is making a child. And then you, you know, you want to sleep more. You're peeing all the time because you have this pressure on your bladder. There's just a lot of little things that start adding up. And it's difficult. And I feel like people who haven't been pregnant, as much as I do try to push also that, you know, it's not an injury, it's not a sickness when you're pregnant, it's been pregnant, it's still really hard.

And I was fortunate, I even had like a very healthy and good pregnancy. And I guess what I learned, and what I would want to tell people who are not pregnant is that, you know, I have so much more respect for women in general.

Morgan Jones 12:48
Makenna, you've talked about how hard it was, you just mentioned this, that when you become pregnant, your body starts to slow down. And as somebody who has always been very active, that is an adjustment. And you mentioned that you were given some advice by a former Olympian Des Linden, and she said to just keep showing up. And I think that's really great advice for anything in life. I think there are so many times where we just don't feel like showing up. But if we consistently show up, then we'll eventually we'll get over that hurdle, or we'll get used to whatever it is, that's hard. But why did that advice resonate with you? And what did it come to mean to you over the course of your pregnancy and continuing to run even after you had your baby?

Makenna Myler 13:40
So what you just said about getting used to what's hard, there is that element to continue to show up. But I think that also there's effort levels, right? And some things, sometimes things just aren't aligning, and sometimes you can put in, you know, a maximum amount of effort. And if your body and your mind is not aligned, then you know, that maximum amount of effort, the result shows differently, right? That it doesn't seem like it was a maximum amount of effort. But when, I think, you keep showing up, sooner or later things will align, right? And you just have to keep tweaking things a little by little. And I keep saying your body and mind best also spiritually, right, and emotionally. That kind of is encompassed in the mind to me that those things, at some point, will align. And then once they're aligned, you get to kind of like layer upon layer, move up and up, right? And so I think that's kind of what showing up means because you're just not always going to be aligned. Even when once you are aligned, you'll get out of balance again, and then you have to try and figure it out how to align. And when you keep showing up, eventually, yeah, that alignment is going to be more consistent.

Morgan Jones 15:06
I think that is super, super insightful. Makenna, when you and I talked before this interview, you mentioned that you feel like you had a little bit of a wrestle with God as it relates to even pursuing running. And I'm not sure. Do you mean like, as a mom pursuing running? Tell me a little bit more about that?

Makenna Myler 15:30
Yeah. So this kind of, I think goes back to my origins of running, my origin story. So in the Church, right, we have these patriarchal blessings. And you don't really share what's in your patriarchal blessing. They're very sacred and personal to you. And so, when I got my patriarchal blessing, I thought for sure, like, it would say something big about my destiny. Like, I'm gonna be able to change the world with running. And it said nothing about that. And that really confused me. I didn't quite understand why God didn't have running in the plans for me is kind of what it seems like.

And as I continued on, other people mentioned that running was in their patriarchal blessing. And I was like, "What? Oh, like, maybe I'm not supposed to be running. Why am I spending so much time and investing so much time in this?" And then also, while I was investing all this time into running I wasn't super great. Like I wasn't, you know, this, like, "Oh, she's for sure going to the Olympics. She's for sure going on Olympic team." Like, I wasn't even supposed to be like an All American in college. It was, is very much just like, "She's good. But you know, there's no destiny that you're supposed to be this amazing runner."

And I think I, you know, I continue to pray about that with God. And being like, I want to be an example. I want, I feel this need. And I feel this, like, what's the word? Void, I guess that I am filling with running. And I don't understand why I'm continuing to put in this, you know, all this effort and all these hours. Because I was also, like I said, because I wasn't very talented, I was putting in a ton of hours, like a lot more mileage than most runners. And I still just wasn't super great. And I didn't understand. Sorry, I'm not gonna cry. I didn't understand with God, I was like, I don't, like, why am I continuing like to sacrifice all these days? Where, sorry, when I say sacrifice, like, you know, we'd go on vacation, and I was the one like getting up at 6 a.m. to go running. And then, you know, before dinner, I would do my second run. And just constantly feeling like, you know, and this is something I need to continue to pursue, but the results weren't showing.

And so that was for, it's been, let's see, 2010 was when I entered college. And so you know, it's been like 10 or 11 years of the that wrestle with God, like, maybe I should just be done. Like, what is the point? And I think I kind of bartered in that I, I was constantly being like, "I want to help. I want to influence people. I know I connect with people while I'm running." And like, "How can this happen?" And it was, it was really cool because when that pregnant mile went viral, I told my mom, I was like, "This is so interesting because who would have thought, like God's plan is no different than what you think it's going to be?" And it's like, who would have thought that, you know, in my mind, I'm like "Oh, to be," so in my mind, the faster you were, the more people listen to you, right? Because if you're credible, the more you can help people. And I thought, you know, that the only way to do that is to go to the Olympics to be a world, you know, on a national and world level. And when that mile happened and that video went viral, and people wanted to talk to me about it, I just thought like, "God's plan is different than you think it's going to be." And like, how He knew that that would happen. And that's how I ended up be like being able to connect with even more people than you know I ever would have in my own little circle. So anyway, sorry.

Morgan Jones 19:54
No, that's such a good story. And it's funny, I felt like on a really small scale, I had like a similar experience where my dream has always been to write a book, and hosting a podcast? Like I didn't even know what a podcast was when I was like first approached about doing it. And I kind of thought, like, "Oh, you know, I'll never get to write a book." And then I got to write a book about the podcast, which never would have happened. It's just funny the way that God works. And like you said, He works in ways that we don't even, we don't even see coming. And we can't even see like how He's working in the story. But He is working all along. And I think He's very aware of what our dreams are.

And sometimes I think, with patriarchal blessings, it's such an interesting thing, because we want it to say certain things. I think sometimes, and God knows what we want. And so I think sometimes it's like He wants what we want. Those are not the things He needs to tell us. That's just like me talking. But that's what I've always thought about that.

Makenna Myler 21:05
Yeah, well, He just connects the dots differently than you would, right? And then also, what you're saying about the patriarchal blessing is I learned that you get to take action into your own hands, like you decide what you want to do with your life. He is not going to tell you, and that was, yeah, a big switch for me, though. Like wait, I get to create what I want.

Morgan Jones 21:34
Well, and I think a patriarchal blessing is not a fortune telling, you know. It was meant to, like help us recognize the things that maybe we haven't considered, or the things that like God needs us to know that maybe we wouldn't figure out on our own. But anyway, I love that story. Thank you so much for sharing that.

So video goes viral. Like I said before, some people loved it. Some people hated it. What did you learn from dealing with a lot of people's opinions about your life and your body?

Makenna Myler 22:09
Yeah, I like that question. I'm totally a people pleaser. And so my initial reaction was bit like, "Oh my gosh, some people literally hate me. They're just saying incredibly rude things about me being a parent and my decision making." And without knowing anything else about my story, right. Like, I've been running for years before this, like, it's not like it just came out of the blue and ran this mile. And also, it's a sport of knowing how to listen to your body. And like, I'm not doing something. Yeah.

Morgan Jones 22:52
You're not going rogue here.

Makenna Myler 22:54
Yeah, exactly. So that was, you know, blowing my mind at the time. And then my husband was like, "Makenna, come on, like, let's just read through these comments and like, laugh about them." And, you know, we started reading through them. And it really is quite comical, thinking that these people know you. And I think it says quite a bit more about them than it does about you, right? Putting that into perspective.

And I, yeah, I just, I guess I had a lot more space for people and their needs, and it actually helped us create—so I do an emotional running program. It's like a beginner's guide. And that helped me and my husband create that because we started to see people put themselves down. Like, in the comments, they would be like, "I can't even get up off the couch and this woman's running a five-minute mile." And we're like, "Wait, this is, this is so sad. Let's do an emotional guide where, you know, people can connect with running and feel good about their bodies, and then not use running as a weight loss at all and use it more of an empowerment tool." And so it was cool. We got to create that guide out of people's comments.

Morgan Jones 24:16
That's awesome, way to wait and make something good out of it. Because I know, it's really hard, you know, to have people give feedback. And what I found is a lot of times, it seems like you're kind of the easy target for somebody's bad day. And I think that's a really tough space to be in. But if you can take that and channel it into something positive, I think that's amazing.

You mentioned just now, I want to ask you this. You mentioned that your husband also, he runs. He was, I believe, a gymnastics coach when you guys met. Is that right?

Makenna Myler 24:52
Yeah, he was. Yeah, he was gymnastics coach at BYU. So, yeah.

Morgan Jones 24:57
Okay. So he's athletic and active as well. You've talked about how the key to your achieving this goal and being able to do everything that you're doing is communication between you and your husband. What does that look like for the two of you? And why would you say that exercise is a key part or important in your marriage?

Makenna Myler 25:22
Yeah, so let's split this up, and how it works. So we have, you know, he works a full-time job. I'm trying to run as my job and so that it is equal to about, you know, a part-time job. And then we have a baby. And he also is, he does triathons and Iron Mans and so his workouts take a while. So we had to work how to split that up.

And the communication part, you know, that before, I would just go run whenever I wanted, and wherever I wanted, because he was at work. And I didn't have to work until the evenings. And, you know, so we didn't have to talk about our schedules. And same with him, like, he didn't have to be like, "Hey, I have to be at work at this time," because his work is also a bit flexible. And now, because of COVID, he's been working from home a lot more. And so now, you know, the day before I have to be like, "Hey, what's your workout? Give me all your details. Because like, I need to know what way you're going to be what time you're leaving." And then and then same thing for me because it's also important. I mean, a lot of my running is by myself, because especially in the beginning, I was just running out the door as soon as she was down for a nap. And then that's yeah, that's the other element, right? Your baby's nap schedule is not by the minute like that your kid can wake up an hour later, and then the whole day shifts that hour later.

And so we, (baby laughing) sorry, my husband just carried her out of the room and she's smiling really big. So anyway, we had a, we have to be like, "Hey, you know what, what workout are you doing? What time's your work, start? Where can I meet you?" And then even for like, my second day, or my second run of the day, I have to you know, where we're going to a friend's house for dinner. I'm like, "Okay, I'm going to run six miles down the road, and you're just gonna pick me up. I'll change in the car, and then we'll go to dinner." Like, it just constantly, is we can find 40 minutes, or like hour and a half and like fit it in here. You know, and then sometimes I'm waking up at five in the morning, just depends who, who needs a more quality workout, I guess. Which honestly usually ends up being me, because I'm more picky and I have to eat before I run. And so anyway, the communication had to go up a lot.

Morgan Jones 27:54
Yeah, I just think it's so admirable that both of you have been able to make that time for each other and to help each other in that.

So what a lot of people may not know, Makenna, is that after having your baby, you made it to the Olympic trials and finished in 14th place. And I believe it was like the fastest race in the, is it 10k?

Makenna Myler 28:19
Yeah, it was one of the deepest fields. And the reason that was is because the marathon trials are usually in the same year. And the women in the marathon trials who don't make the team, don't have time to really gain that track speed again. And I mean, they would be able to be at the trials, but they might not be as quick as they had wanted. But because of 2020, the marathon trials happened. And then they got a whole 'nother year to gain that track speed and then come down for the 10k. Which, yeah, which is a big difference. So it made the tank a lot different. There was a lot of a lot of women who qualified for the time.

Morgan Jones 29:02
So what was it like for you to be there as a new mom?

Makenna Myler 29:07
Well, so, you know, people, it was really great being there. I loved the experience. I was in awe with the women I was running, warming up with, like, "Oh my gosh! I follow you on Instagram. You are amazing." Or, you know, like people who, you know, I've looked to for advice. And they're there, which was, you know, it was just incredible to be there. But I think more so what that meant to me was, rather than the accomplishment, the outcome that happened, what was so cool. And what I had kind of envisioned this whole time was the person I had to become to to get there. And that to me was way more of a big deal than like accomplishing that goal. Was, you know, who I had to push myself to become.

Because I really like, before the trials, I mentioned, I was in Australia and, and working with this coach who was letting me run with his club. And he said, I was talking about about my goals. And I was like, "I really just want to make the trials like, I know, I'm not gonna make the team, I just want to make the trials." And he looked at me, and he was like, "You know, I'm not saying it's impossible, but it was gonna be really hard for you to do that." So I really wasn't at that level before I was pregnant. So it was it, I guess that's to put it in perspective, how much work I had to put in, post, after the birth, right? I had to be faster than I ever was, like, from the beginning, pretty much, and then be able to build off of that. And so I guess Iike being very particular about that. And being honest with my reality was like a big change that happened with my husband, like, really helped me with that was a big thing we talked about a lot.

Which, so, to tell you—

Morgan Jones 31:09
Yeah, what do you mean by that?

Makenna Myler 31:11
Yeah. So being honest with your reality, I think we make a lot of judgments, a lot of rationalizations about what we're doing. So for example, I, you know, maybe I would be like, "I've been eating really healthy," like, and I had just had a pint of ice cream the night before. Like, I kind of like would rationalize out of those things. Or, you know, rationalize like, how, yeah, overeating, which I'm not saying, yeah, there's balance in eating. You can eat your sweets, but I would overeat a lot. And that was kind of one of my realities that I wasn't facing. And I learned to listen my body through that. Or staying out too late and not being as consistent with sleeping, right? Those little things that start adding up, and I wasn't rationalizing myself out of them. I wasn't rationalizing my times, like I was really, and God, was a huge part of that. Coming to God and being like, "Hey, I have these weaknesses that I am not good at and I need help." Like I need structure. And I need to be able to start where I'm at and work from there.

Which I think a lot of people want to start ahead of where they are, right? I was totally that way. Like I was like, "If I want to be a 15, 35k girl, like I need to just be running those times right now.And if I wasn't doing that, I just felt like a failure. Instead, I was able to start training like 15:50 girl, and then work my way down to 15:30. Which, you know, in life, we do that same thing, right?

You try to get ahead of where you're at instead of just like being okay with your flaws, and then working from there. Does that make sense?

Morgan Jones 33:03
Yeah, yeah, makes complete sense.

I think that's a really great point. And I think, you know, when we always want to get ahead of ourselves, I think that's human nature to want to have something to look forward to. I think in a lot of ways, that was one thing that was like, really hard for people in the pandemic. We're so conditioned to be like, "Oh, I can't wait for this." And instead, we had to, like sit in our present situation. And so I think facing that a lot of times is hard. Like, where are we at right now in this moment, rather than looking ahead or looking back.

Makenna Myler 33:41
Oh, I love that.

Morgan Jones 33:43
So another thing that these Olympics put a ton of attention on motherhood and running as a result of Allyson Felix, and she had her New York Times op ed about when an athlete has a child, they risk pay cuts and loss of endorsements. You actually are a paid professional runner and signed with Asics as a result of all of this, I feel like. What message do you hope this sends to other mothers? And how important are these discussions surrounding motherhood and sports for women in sports?

Makenna Myler 34:24
So first, I'll answer that second part. I think, with the importance of these discussions, it's important because there are, you know, two sides and we always need to discuss things when there's, it's a nuanced answer, right? That you have the cold cut, part of the answer that accompanies baseline is to make money. And they need to make money off of sales. And you are representing that company to essentially I mean, you're not making sales, but because you represent them, you are hopefully increasing their sales. Because it's like, "Hey, they wear, you know, Asics." And that's the cold hard part of it. And with, especially with running, these are contracts really.

And so then there's the other side, right? Like I said, it's nuanced. You're a human being and we need to bring children into this world that's a partner, you know that community that progression to making this world better. And you need to be able to do that and still make money because money, you know helps you live.

And so I think it's really important to be having those discussions because we need both sides of that argument to come to a balance, right, to come to a reasonable answer. And I think in the long run, you know, in the short run, these companies really might lose a little bit of money. But I think in the long run, they're realizing like, no, this is a really good idea. You're going to be in a better position with the public if you back these athletes, you back women, because you know, women are big deal, right? And, yeah, I think the companies are benefiting from wanting to support women like that.

And then, sorry, what was the other part of your question?

Morgan Jones 36:31
So for you to be able to become a professional runner and sign with Asics, what was that like? I mean, I think it's funny. I was just reading something, and somebody was talking, and it's kind of along the lines of what we talked about before, in that God has mysterious ways of getting us to something. But this person was talking about how they kind of thought their moment was over. And then they realized that, like, their experience as a mother actually gave them an opportunity later. And so just recognizing, like, actually, all along, everything was working for you to be able to achieve this goal.

Makenna Myler 37:14
Yeah. Like I said, before, that I felt like God, I thought that was my answer. My moment was done with like, being able to connect with people after running that five minute mile. And yeah, it's just exactly what you described, like, afterwards, like all these things have been, had been building up to signing with Asics, right? And maybe that's not even the end goal. And what I'm trying to say too as well as, it was never my end goal to be like a professional runner. Because as great as it is, I love being able to do what I love, and I'm getting paid for it now. It's super, it's a great way to feel fulfilled. I'm not gaining my worth off of that is what I'm saying. I feel like my mom did a really good job in helping me find my worth outside of running.

There was actually even a time—I'm sorry, I know I'm tangenting.

Morgan Jones 38:17
No, you're good.

Makenna Myler 38:18
When I was in college, and I was just trying everything to be fast, right. And I actually thought that, like, "Oh, I just need to lose weight" That was a huge focus on my mind that I needed to be skinnier to be faster. And that wasn't happening for me. And you know, as much as I was trying to eat healthy, like, my body just wasn't responding to that. And I felt like such a failure. And I just remember I was bawling into my mom's arms and I like was kind of like getting a little bit uncontrollable. And you went and got my dad and he, he came in to give me a blessing. And he had no idea what's going on even really. And when he gave me, when he gave me the blessing. Sorry, this was a really special moment to me. But he gave me the blessing. And I, moments before, I had been kind of like rocking and just saying like, "I'm a failure." I think that just that. Yeah, those words just kept like repeating coming out of my mouth. Like, "I'm a failure. I'm a failure." And when he came in, and I had stopped talking, but he came in and said, he said that, "God knows you're not a failure."

And yeah, speaking of those specific words, like knowing that, like God knew who I was. You know, my mom repeatedly was very adamant about you know, like, let's just quit running. Here. You should be done already. Like you, you can do anything else you want. And like, if you don't love it, like, you don't have to do this. And, you know, I'd come back at her with like, "No, I love this. I don't care if I'm not good." Anyway. So that was, you know, that was that was a really special moment for me.

And, and there was, you know, multiple experiences like that along the way that I realized that, you know, I, I don't need to get my worth off of how fast I am. But I do love like who I'm becoming. Like I've mentioned before, I do love who I am like when I'm running. And so I'm going to continue to do this. So anyway, I just I had to tangent that because as great as it has been to sign with Asics and to, you know, continue this sport on a professional level, and compete with these women. It's more been about the level I've wanted to be at with myself. And like the level I've wanted to compete at that, that has helped me, yeah, bring more fulfillment in my life, like in what I have to do to be at that level.

Morgan Jones 41:06
That's awesome. Makenna, I am so grateful to you for sharing your story and personal things with us. My last question for you is what does it mean to you to be all in the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Makenna Myler 41:25
All right, so with the gospel of Jesus Christ, there have been a lot of opinions, especially in this last year, right, that I think a lot of people have been shaken about. Because there's a lot of answers that we don't, there's a lot of nuances, right, that are happening and we don't have all of the all of the answers. And being all in to me is really focusing on what I do know. And focusing on Jesus Christ our Savior.

And I think that when you keep that connection and you keep that personal relationship that you have with Him, and God, that when things don't make sense, you can still be all in with those two. You can still have understanding with your relationship. And I think when answers do come, because I know that they will. Some people are struggling with a lot of answers. That being all in is keeping that connection with your Savior.

Morgan Jones 42:40
I love it. Thank you so much, Makenna. You are a delight thank you so much for being with me.

Makenna Myler 42:46
Morgan, thanks for asking those questions. It is really, really fun talking to you.

Morgan Jones 42:51
We are so grateful to Makenna Myler for joining us on today's episode. If you're interested in purchasing the running and emotional fitness guide Makenna has created, you can find her on Instagram. Her account is @benzmakenz. We'll also link her profile in our show notes to make your life easier.

Thanks to Derek Campbell of Mix at Six Studios for his help with this episode. And thank you so much for listening. We'll be with you again next week.

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