Valerie Tyler Proves That Age Is Really Only A Number! The Only Limitations Are The Ones You Set For Yourself

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Podcast

Valerie Tyler is one of my former coaches. She taught me how to swim and how to overcome my fear of the deep end of the pool. A self-proclaimed tomboy, Valerie has been active all her life but she only got into running at the age of  50 on a dare.

Over the next 20 years, Valerie has run thirty-five marathons qualifying for the Boston Marathon four times. She also started competing in triathlons, also on a dare.  After she learned how to swim, she started with sprint triathlons. She progressed to the Olympic distance, 70.3 distance and ultimately to  the full ironman 140.6 distance. She even podiumed after placing second in her age group at IronMan Chattanooga. 

Currently, Valerie focuses on coaching other athletes wanting to promote good health to the next generation. Her business partner is Coach Mo, who was a previous guest. She also helped start the Southside CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association).

Her favorite mantras are;

 (1) Keep It Moving and stay active.

 (2) If I can set an example for a healthy lifestyle, my work is done!

 (3) Be bold and live life to the fullest in love, health, spirit, family, and friends!!!!

 (4) You can choose to be healthy and fit…it’s a choice!

 Episode Highlights:

  • Valerie grew up as tomboy, and always was active
  • Her motivation to remain active and help others.
  • Valerie becomes a marathoner on a dare.
  • Some memorable marathons, the good and the bad.
  • How Valeria  becomes involved in CARA
  • Valerie becomes a triathlon athlete, again, on a dare.
  • Some memories and tips from her experience competing in  triathlons.
  • Valerie is challenging herself in an endurance swim-  Big Shoulders.
  • She talks about her coaching journey.
  • Valerie shares some final words of inspiration.

Guest Bio

Growing up as a tomboy competing with her older brother, Valerie was always active physically.  She played baseball,  climbed trees, participated in tag races, played monkey bars, participated in long jumps along with mud biking, and on and on. Then she transitioned to African dance, ballet, and jazz in between, tennis, roller skating, skiing, and aerobic classes. She has always been active, always competing, and always challenging herself.

Fast forward to many years later, she was dared to run a marathon at the age of 50. Valerie really found her groove….so for the next 20 years, she ran 35 marathons all over the world and more half marathons than she can count. During that period, she also was approached by Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) to build a south side base leaving from LaRabida Hospital. So under pressure, Valerie founded that running group and built it up to sixty plus marathon members. During those 5 years of being the ‘Site Coordinator’ for CARA South Side, she qualified for the Boston Marathon 4 times, and led the 9:30 and 10-minute Pace Groups.

Valerie was dared to race in Triathlons at the age of 52.  Over the years, she has participated in many sprints, Olympics, Half Ironman, and 1 Full Ironman. She learned to swim, earned her Life Savers Certification, and began coaching swim lessons with Chicago Blue Dolphins. Her first Ironman at the age of 67 was in Chattanooga, and she placed 2nd in her age group behind a woman that had done 9 and this was her 10th competition. What a proud moment to be on the Podium and invited to Kona! However, she was one and done. Ironman training was by far the most difficult, challenging, and mentally draining experience she had ever done. She was exhausted but exhilarated enough for a lifetime.

In the past few years, Valerie has retired from Corporate America and earned certifications in Yoga, Personal Training, Fitness Training, and Nutritional Training. (She primarily follows a vegetarian diet with an emphasis on protein). She founded her own company, VTFit, 7 years ago and now teaches strength training on Zoom 5X a week with a base of approximately 60 students, most of whom have been with her for more than 3 years. She has received numerous first and second-place age group awards and hundreds of medals from racing events of all types.

As she moves into her senior years, Valerie feels the desire to extend herself and her energies into motivating and training the next generation. She was blessed to have an amazing racing career, and she wants to see more ‘people of color’ pushing the envelope and representing the US in marathons and triathlons around the world. So, she continues to train – coaching swimming and track under the guidance of her stellar coach, Mo Wills, of Infinity Multisport. This game is about ‘getting comfortable with being uncomfortable’ – his favorite saying.

Her favorite mantras are;

 (1) Keep It Moving and stay active.

 (2) If I can set an example for a healthy lifestyle, my work is done!

 (3) Be bold and live life to the fullest in love, health, spirit, family, and friends!!!!

 (4) You can choose to be healthy and fit…it’s a choice!

Connect with Valerie Tyler

 

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