Welcome to the Messy Middle Road Trip podcast. Today, we’re talking to Keri Mandel, a former special education teacher, learning consultant, & school administrator. Keri has stepped out of a traditional school and immersed herself into the world of fitness. Now a marathoner, Ironman, CrossFit coach, yoga instructor and yoga studio owner at Empower Yoga in Ewing, NJ, Keri has spent her career caring for and teaching others. She believes in the importance of helping, supporting, and being kind to all beings.

Keri caught our eye on Instagram when she completed the World Marathon Challenge (7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days)! She ran this race to honor her dad and raise money for the American Cancer Society. We cannot wait to hear from Keri and share more about her story and the passion behind her daily mantra: it’s a great day to be alive. We know you’ll love it, so grab your favorite snack and settle in as we head off on our next road trip.

On today’s show, Keri talks about:

  • The inspiration behind making a big shift from special education teaching in a classroom to diving headfirst into fitness competitions and owning her own yoga studio.
  • Whether physical fitness had always been a priority for her and if she ever imagined that one day she would compete in a marathon or triathlon?
  • Keri shares her accomplishments with marathons and Ironman competitions and goes into detail about her experience with the WMC or World Marathon Challenge where she ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days.
  • Keri shares her favorite location to run in the WMC as well as the biggest challenge she faced.
  • Considering weather conditions and the stamina to continue on lack of sleep and barely any recovery time, Keri shares how she trained for something like that.
  • Many of the runners had causes they were supporting. Keri decided to fundraise for the American Cancer Society in honor of her Dad. We got to hear a little about his story and why she decided to use WMC as her platform for donations.
  • We also learned about her recovery when she returned home to New Jersey and where the itch for a new challenge will  take her.
  • And we asked the BIG CRAZY question…Would she ever do it again?
  • For midlife athletes looking for a challenge, Keri shares advice for finding an event to test your stamina and what you think your body can or cannot handle.

If you’d like to connect with Keri, you can find her on Instagram @ironyogi14 or through her yoga studio at www.empoweryoganj.com for online classes and updates for her fundraising efforts and next big challenge.

Also in the episode: American Cancer Society

If you enjoyed today’s episode, please head over to iTunes and leave us a rating and review to help us reach even more women fearlessly navigating the middle of life. Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook or Instagram to see what’s happening over there.

We’re looking forward to our next road trip with you.  Until then, thanks for riding shotgun.

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EO61: Get Healthy in 2020 with Personal Trainer Michelle Crean
EO66: How to Become Empowered to Choose the Healthiest Lifestyle Possible