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The Insider

The Insider: Nai Vasha

The Insider BY mattie kahn 10/29/2015


Nai Vasha is here to tell you not to settle. As the creator of Undo-Ordinary—an attitude, a brand, a magazine—she travels the world motivating people to run better (and stronger) and to live smarter. She doesn’t “Just Do It.” She does it all. Catch up with her here (you’ll need to pick up the pace a bit).


Q: How do you define “Undo-Ordinary?”


A: It’s the idea that you’ve been given ordinary expectations of what you’re able to achieve in life, and you flip that to do more and go beyond. It’s a philosophy that’s flooded into the magazine and our meet ups with runners all over the world. It’s about sharing the same mindset and spreading a message of doing it all. Because you can. If you have a sound mind and body, do it while you can.


Q: How would you explain what you do to a kindergartener?


A: I basically do what kids do all day in school for a living—arts and crafts.


Q: How does #athleisure make you feel?


A: It makes me feel a little weird, but that’s just hashtags overall. I think whatever you want to label your lifestyle should work for you. Cool. Rock with it.


Q: When you’re not getting your heart rate up, which clothes make you the happiest?


A: Sweatpants. And a blanket. Anything that’s going to make me feel like I’m in the womb. That’s all I want.


Q: Can anyone run a marathon?


A: Yes. It’s a mental game. If you see it and believe it and feel it, you can do whatever you want to do. I’ve told myself “no” plenty of times. I even told myself “no” on a recent Sunday morning before I ran a marathon. You just have to say “yes,” and you just keep saying yes until you finish. And then you’re like, “Oh, I did that.” Everyone can feel that and dedicate that time to their body and their mind and self. I literally Forrest Gump-ed my way to becoming a runner. I did not plan this. Running marathons was not on my life list of things to do—ever, not ever. And I don’t know what happened, but I’m happy that it happened, because I needed something to fight back at me and to give me a little tension. I always get my way, and running doesn’t give me that chance.


Q: How do you balance your time?  


A: Work like the rest of the world and be on military time. Once you understand how many hours you truly have in a day, you can learn how to divide those hours into the projects that you see fit. Yeah. There’s eight hours for work. There’s eight hours for play. And eight hours for sleep, if you make it.


Q: How many minutes do you spend getting ready in the morning?


A: I spend a full 10 minutes taking a shower and about five minutes getting ready. I think that’s the only ritual I really practice every day—enjoying my shower and treating it like a spa every single day. I do deep breathing with eucalyptus oil in the shower and then just Dr. Bronner’s soap. I’m really simple—a little eucalyptus on the body and peppermint oil on my hands. And then I can follow up with a little avocado oil on my skin. It’s a quite lovely way to start the day.


Q: What’s your next fitness goal?


A: I really need to stretch my body out. I’m going to submerge myself in yoga, to find more ways to increase my stability and length. I’m very lanky, but I’m not as flexible as I should be because I carry my stress from work in my hips. It’s the one thing you have to do after you run, but I never want to because it hurts. So, stretching—that’s the next goal.


Q: When did you last feel like a foreigner?


A: Every time I run through Queens, where I live. I find a new neighborhood where everyone speaks a different language every single time. I love that about New York.



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