Episode Summary

Our guest in today’s episode is Calista Ariel, a Saucony Field Marketing Specialist and passionate runner.

In this episode, MiMi speaks with Calista. Calista shares her passion for running, which remains undeterred even while pushing through health challenges. She also shares her work with Saucony and how she loves impacting the community through her expertise in running footwear.


Top Takeaways

  • “Every shoe and every brand is not perfect for every person”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “The hardest step is the first step out the door”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “We all have to go through challenges; it’s kind of just how we choose to go about it”
    – [Calista Ariel]
  • “When you think about running and performance, you think about Saucony”
    – [Calista Ariel]
  • “We shouldn’t have to run for our lives while jogging for our health”
    – [MiMi Melvin]
  • “It’s always so important to get the proper fit because one shoe does not fit everyone”
    – [Calista Ariel]

Episode Highlights

  • [01:58] Meet our guest today, Calista Ariel.
  • [03:15] How Calista started running.
  • [06:12] Navigating through her health challenges to keep running.
  • [13:14] Benefits of staying active.
  • [16:56] How do you make out time to work out?
  • [20:25] About the Saucony brand.
  • [24:08] Saucony’s impact in communities.
  • [28:52] Calista’s work with Saucony.
  • [30:07] The importance of finding the appropriate shoes for specific needs.
  • [31:19] Factors to consider when trying to find a shoe.
  • [32:53] Understanding some salient points in the running space.
  • [35:39] Upcoming plans from Saucony.
  • [37:47] Connect with Calista.

Episode Notes

Mimi’s Why – Why host The Omega Sports An Active Point of View podcast?

MiMi at the gym sporting Saucony shoes

To mark 15 years of being smoke-free, MiMi decided to run a half marathon. This brought her to Omega Sports. She was properly fitted for running shoes and met people who helped her reach her running goals.

Now, she wants to inspire others through her podcast. She wants to reach out to share her story and give others a platform to share theirs. This is a podcast about people who strive to be healthy but aren’t perfect.

This podcast has allowed MiMi to speak with people in all walks of life who are here to help motivate and inspire you.

This episode is one MiMi is especially excited to share. It was Saucony that helped change her life through running. MiMi is a total fan girl and proud of it.

Calista Ariel


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A post shared by Calista (@calistaariel)

Calista Ariel is a Saucony Field Marketing Specialist, also known as a shadow.

As a kid, Calista had always enjoyed running. She described herself as “wild” and would race anyone, including the boys in her class. During camp, her counselors were worried because she was so excited to race that her whole body was shaking. As soon as she learned about cross country, she was down. She has always loved running. She loves the competition and moving as fast as she could.

She joined her middle school track team. She did cross country and track through high school and college. She continued a bit post collegiately, but these days her runs are mostly for her. It’s a love-hate relationship. She can’t live life without it.

There’s a saying, “the hardest step is the first step out the door.” But once you get going, you can let go of the cares.

Calista admits that while she loves running, she is the first one to procrastinate. There are times when she’s running in the literal middle of the night to get them done. Without fail, she’s reminded of her love and her stress about running disappears. Admittedly, there are times when it is not fun. But she is always happy to have done her run, even when it’s tough.

Running with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Young woman with stomach cramps

Calista’s running has been affected by a few health issues including an autoimmune and gastrointestinal disease. She lives with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Trying to wake up early in the morning can put a lot of stress on her stomach, so she runs in the afternoon or evening. She’s been up a bit and her stomach has had a chance to adjust to the day, making her runs much more enjoyable.

Most people with chronic illnesses do not share their stories because they worry folks won’t understand. Calista has found the opposite to be true. People are all facing their own things and illness manifests in a variety of ways. When she started sharing, she realized a lot of people did relate to her symptoms such as stomach pain, abdominal pain, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, ulcers, nutrition, depression, and difficulty breathing.

Being open has helped other runners feel comfortable enough to share their health challenges as it affects their running, and learn how to help each other.

One thing often not talked about among women athletes is stress urinary incontinence, despite it being quite common. It can prevent women from running because it’s embarrassing. When people have conversations, it allows for ideas on how to overcome and work through these things.

Calista knows we all face challenges. And it’s not the challenges that define you, but rather how we go about it.

Balancing running with life and dealing with stress

Runner on the start line

Calista’s job with Saucony also keeps her on the road and finding balance can be challenging. She stays busy helping run events and working with different accounts. Along with just general adulting, life can easily feel overwhelming. She sometimes feels like a child on her own hip that she’s taking care of.

But, Calista has found that running helps with anxiety and daily stressors. If she doesn’t go for a walk, she’s stressed out. “I’d be crazy if I didn’t,” says Calista.

It also helps with regulating her hormones. Her big three focuses on staying healthy are sleep, exercise and nutrition. They help her feel good and get through the day.

Running improves mood or behavior to make people interact better with others in their environment. Understanding the crucial role of running in her life, Calista ensures she finds enough balance with other activities to make time to run. She has learned to be flexible with her schedule, and control the aspects which she can control to create time.

She knows that doing something is still better than nothing. So even when she doesn’t feel like it, she will make time to run and work out. Her days are smoother when she does. She prioritizes it. She is flexible and controls her controllables. If she can fit in 20 minutes, she’ll do the 20 minutes. Sometimes she takes calls on walks or has conversations on easy runs. Sometimes she’s lifting while making dinner.

She finds that surrounding herself with athletic people helps. When she hangs out with runners or cyclists or climbers, they’ll often do those physical activities they all enjoy. It’s all about making it an easy decision and removing barriers.


Male and female runners in saucony

Saucony (pronounced SOCK-UH-KNEE) was established in 1898. The name, “Saucony” was coined from the origin of Saucon Valley in Pennsylvania. They got into the running game a lot later, but they’ve been around for a long time. Apart from making shoes for sportspersons, they also make comfortable shoes for everyone.

Saucony has always been known as the running brand. It’s what people think of when they hear the name. But Calista believes it’s much more. It’s also a community brand. They focus on the impact on the community.

As part of Saucony’s effort to impact the community, they have sponsored Black Girls Run and Black Men RunFor Calista, this is especially important. As a person of color, the running space has not always been welcoming and can be intimidating. Saucony wants to be that bridge. They believe that running is for everyone. It’s one of the most accessible sports. Specifically, she’s worked with her public health connections and helped get comfortable shoes to help tear down some of the barriers.

Choosing the right running shoes

Woman choosing the right run shoes from a line of shoes

Making the right shoe selection for a particular person and their needs is crucial for Saucony. A huge part of Calista’s work has been finding the right fit for people’s feet.

There are important points to consider when trying to pick the right show for a person’s feet. Research through the internet is a good start and can point you in the right direction. But there is a lot of jargon online.

Individuals can utilize their local shops, like Omega Sports. They have been trained and specialize in getting you the right fit for your feet. They base this on your individual foot, the actual usage and your past experiences. A lot of brands, like Saucony, also have trial periods to ensure your satisfaction.

Types of runners

Every shoe for every brand is not good for every person. You need to find a shoe that fits your feet and your purpose. For MiMi, her shoe is the Saucony Guide. It gives her the right balance and keeps her stable during her runs. There is a shoe for everyone, you just need to find it.

Some runners are neutral while others are stability. Neutral runners have a neutral foot strength and do not wobble in any direction. Stability runners need intervention in form of a stability shoe. The stability shoe is used to return runners to neutral when there is an inward rotation of the ankle. Still, other runners supinate (i. e. roll their ankles outwards when running) and they would benefit from neutral shoes although there is no particular shoe type to correct for this.

What’s new for Saucony

Saucony just had their Endorphin Speed 3 drop which features more cushioned for everyday wear. The new Endorphin Pro 3 dropped early this month.


Find | MiMi Melvin

Find | Saucony