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A Beautiful Work In Progress by [Valerio, Mirna]
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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible book:
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From the Editor

Go for a run with Mirna; I promise you won’t regret it. From the sights, sounds, and smells of her youth on Hart Street in Brooklyn to a grueling 50K trail race in the forested hills of humid South Carolina, you can’t help but be held tight by her biting wit, humble appreciation, and stubborn determination to conquer each mile, each step of life. Underrepresented in the fitness world, Mirna lets you into her world as an overweight, black, working wife and mother, proving over and over again she will not give up.

Running has changed Mirna Valerio, but not because of significant weight loss. She’s been transformed into a warrior, a champion for those who understand that real reward is in the attempt of something you thought was impossible. A self-described “fat girl,” she’s persevered through injury, doubt, judgment and body-shaming, as well as racism and rejection by her peers—and not just on the racecourse.

The self-discovery and self-love that Mirna finds each time she laces up her running shoes is undeniably inspiring. I’ve found myself running more regularly since reading this memoir. Some runs are long, some are short, most of them hurt, and sometimes I don’t finish; on one run I even got lost for a bit—but Mirna is with me each and every time, and like her, I am unstoppable.

- Erin Calligan Mooney, Editor

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Editorial Reviews


“[Valerio’s] memoir, A Beautiful Work in Progress, tells the story of her journey to running ultramarathons…But as she listens to fan after fan and signs book after book with care for every word she writes…it’s clear [her] passion for running goes beyond just feeling good or staying healthy for herself. It’s a love she wants to pass on to others.” Daily Mail

“For the Brooklyn native, distance running is part wellness practice and part pursuit of happiness…It’s a lifestyle she’s made her own…” Elle Magazine

A Beautiful Work in Progress, which details Mirna Valerio’s journey to becoming a long-distance runner,…[is] her attempt, she said, to frame her own fitness story.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Mirna is truly a She’s It woman. She is dedicated to promoting the idea that ‘Everybody is Different and Every Body is Different.’ A Beautiful Work in Progress tells Mirna’s story, from her youth in Brooklyn to her marriage to her adventures in running, starting and ending with the Javelina Jundred, a 100-mile trail run.” —She’s It

“In A Beautiful Work in Progress, Valerio goes deeper into her journey from being a first-time racer to the endurance runner she is today. ‘I wanted this book to be a celebration of running and my own body…’” —Brit + Co.

“Although her story speaks to anyone who’s ever felt discouraged from running (every runner ever, really), it also speaks to a more specific group—African Americans who have felt uncomfortable and even fearful entering the woods…” Blue Ridge Outdoors

About the Author

Mirna Valerio, a native of Brooklyn, New York, is a Spanish teacher, diversity practitioner, cross-country coach, ultrarunner, OCR enthusiast, and blogger. Valerio’s blogs about all things running appear at Fat Girl Running and in Women’s Running Magazine. Her story was featured in the Wall Street Journal and Runner’s World and on NBC Nightly News. Valerio is a global ambassador for Merrell, an ambassador for Skirt Sports, and an athlete for Swiftwick. She is married to Cito Nikiema, and together they have a basketball-loving teenage son, Rashid. She loves being in nature and frequently runs trails in the North Georgia mountains.

Product details

  • File Size: 6195 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1503943399
  • Publisher: Grand Harbor Press (October 1, 2017)
  • Publication Date: October 1, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N21CG4I
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,680 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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