WEEK #46: MELISSA GOSSE
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a Canadian that grew up in Saudi Arabia. This exposed me to a complete different culture, blessings and obstacles. Since I was a nugget I was into sports. “Sporty Spice Mel” or “Tomboy Mel” were not uncommon for me to hear. Soccer was my go-to sport growing up and all the way to University. I traveled to Europe and Dubai to play as well as competed in the Canadian Nationals. Volleyball, gymnastics, yoga, and softball were all mixed in there too. I really found my stride though when I got into Ultramarathon running – that’s where the story of sport affecting me as an individual really changed my life. Ultramarathon running has led me to some pretty amazing places – I have raced everywhere from the mountains of British Columbia, the rice paddies of Madagascar, the rainforest of Costa Rica, and the desert of Morocco…this all also helped me develop many of the leadership and self-reflective skills I have today.
When I’m not training I help lead a team of rockstars at Breakthrough to help Physiotherapy Practices scale and market their businesses in order to help more people in pain get back to normal naturally. I am a dog mom to my rescue Chilean furbaby and geek out on podcasts/audiobooks on the weekends.
Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced.
Internally I have always been my biggest critic. Growing up I was in a very competitive environment. This has been one of the largest blessings for me but at the same time also instilled habits or beliefs in me too that at one time were sabotaging myself. I find, especially for females, our self talk can become extremely toxic…very quick. Whether it’s from social media influence and thinking we need to look a certain way to be “beautiful”, or we need to accomplish X in order to be “successful”, or we need to act in Y to be a good “spouse”. It can add up if you aren’t hyper aware of it. To boot, growing up in a country like Saudi Arabia that has a very different outlook of females within society – where they aren’t as equal – brought even more weight to this for me.
I was on Day 6 of 7 running through Madagascar… I felt worn down. I started noticing though that every time my legs started aching, my first thought was blown out of proportion of I am not going to make it to the finish line. This was triggered by every time I would get hungry. So I knew my trigger, I knew the thought that happened with it, and I started realizing that Hangry Mel would blow things way out of proportion. Instead of just “my legs hurt” (which is a “duh” after running that long) – it became this is going to cause me to fail and there is no other option. Completely untrue. I got caught up on some calories and I finished Day 7 of that race feeling just as strong as Day 1.
There is so much to learn about ourselves and grow in self-discovery. That is one of the big reasons I fell in love with ultramarathon running. The sport puts me in a vulnerable mental state…after running