This is running, shared with a design eye and a scientific understanding of the body, for mental and physical health.
Claire Mueller is a brand storyteller with an extensive background in the fashion industry who was born creative, but definitely not a born runner. She discovered the transformative power of running later in life, and wants to to share the joy of getting up, lacing up, and getting out there with anyone who thinks they can’t.
Running literally changed my life...
Like many people in the creative industries, athleticism didn't resonate in my formative years. Running was something sporty people did, and I definitely wasn’t, so the experience was always undertaken begrudgingly.
I grew up in Perth - the most isolated capital city in the world - then absconded to Melbourne to chase the creative dream where the demands of a deadline-heavy, late-night industry resulted in a largely sedentary lifestyle. Fatigue, anxiety and stress levels were high, but seemed normal. It was all work, sleep, party, repeat – fashion was life, 14hr days were regular, exercise didn’t factor – brilliantly unhealthy, but I neither cared nor understood how poorly I was functioning.
In 2012 everything changed. My father had been battling cancer ever since I’d moved away, and time was up. I dropped my life and headed home to help provide palliative care. The experience was a shock in every way – watching someone I'd always known to be unerringly strong lose control of themselves, moving back to a city I’d actively escaped from, leaving behind work, networks, relationships…my reaction under pressure is to get on with the job, but the visceral reaction was to leg it – so I ran.
For someone who had never, ever had any inclination to exercise and actively avoided running (I had literally verbalised that my knees weren't built for it) this was unprecedented, but I listened to my body and did what it told me. The reward was incredible – clarity in a time of chaos, headspace like I’d never achieved before, complete transformation of my body from something I despised to something powerful. I kept running, slowly further, slowly faster, and continued to benefit physically, mentally, emotionally…so I haven’t stopped since.
Caring for my father made me value life and, experiencing firsthand the profound power of movement, I wanted to help other people make the most of it. I embarked on a radical career shift and started a degree in Physiotherapy. Design is, after all, all about problem solving – I learned how to apply those skills to the human body as well as the creative world.
The creative pursuit pulled me back - but I'll never stop running. The in-depth understanding of anatomy, physiology and hands-on healthcare has given me a unique perspective on what makes it such a powerful tool for physical and mental health. Running changed my life.
...and it continues to do so.
After making the shortlist from 60,000 applicants worldwide for the Asics #BeatTheSun challenge in 2016 it became apparent that my personal experience had the potential to inspire others to find the joy in running.
In 2017 my story took me trackside at Breaking2, Nike's epic Moonshot attempt at the sub-2-hour marathon, sharing the surreal experience with runners - from enthusiasts to champions - from all over the world.
I've had the pleasure of sharing conversations on KMs with people I'd never meet in my 'normal life'; an engineer studying medicine, a politically-minded baker, a vegan personal trainer who DJs records at the weekend, and running with all these people made me sure of one thing. It's never just about running.
As an aestheticist who never connected with traditional sports marketing I hope to use my strong creative background to share health education and inspiration in a way that will resonate with other non-athletes - who can be safe in the knowledge that the advice given is backed up by a detailed understanding of the human body and how it moves.
Think you can't run?
Think again. We were literally built for this.
Claire’s run tips are based on personal experience, backed up by a detailed understanding of anatomy, physiology and biomechanics through her studies in Physiotherapy.