Ciara is truly a jack-of-all-trades, one of the Zensah Ambassadors who continues to inspire us every day with her creativity, perspective, honesty, and magnetic energy. She's a vivacious runner and podcaster valuing hard work and fun! She’s always ready to throw motivation your way when you need it most. Her infectious positivity and ideal balance of fun and dedication in her social presence, podcast, and running practice makes it clear why she doesn't just survive, she THRIVES. Get it? Because her podcast is Run, Thrive, Survive? Yes, it's safe to say, we're just a little obsessed with her!
Read more about our conversation with Ciara in this special Mental Health Awareness Month edition of Limitless Looks Like below and see why Limitless DEFINITELY Looks Like Ciara Carter.
ZS: What is one thing you want people to know about you?
CC: I love to laugh, run, and just have fun! And I might talk too much!
ZS: How did you get into running? Why do you run?
CC: I started on a treadmill, which grew into an addiction after my first road race, but it really came down to running kept me going through the bad and good times. I struggled with an eating disorder and felt completely alone and became isolated. While people blamed my eating disorder on running, I turned running into my strength. I used to run to learn about myself, to improve my mental health, and to find a life that I wanted to live surrounded in an amazing community! Not to mention, I think running teaches us how to keep going even when it is hard because in the end, you’ll be so happy you never quit! Endurance sports are powerful!
ZS: May is mental health month and you’ve been open about the importance of mental health for thriving. Your IG bio says, “Running Miles & Talking about my feelings for mental health awareness.” Can you talk a bit about what mental health awareness means for you?
CC: I want people to know they are not alone when it comes to mental health. I believe the best way to not be alone is to connect and talk with someone that listens without judgment while you organize the thoughts in your head. With this, I believe mental health is something we should focus on- just like our career, our health, or eating daily. Without proper mental health it’s hard to succeed at what you want!
ZS: We’re big fans of your podcast, Run Thrive Survive. Can you talk a bit about why you started a podcast and what you’re looking to accomplish with the podcast, overall and with every episode?
CC: I started Run Thrive Survive to help people know they are not alone when it comes to their health! I always focus on what would I have needed hear when I started my journey, because I did it in an unhealthy way mentally and physically. I never wanted to hear other people made my same mistakes. It took me a while to understand my mental state was just as important to keep healthy as my physical state. Giving people a place to feel accepted and understood through stories of others and tips that are going to help them excel every day is important to me!
ZS: What does a balance of emotional, mental, and physical health look like for you?
CC: I see a balance of emotional, mental, and physical health as a means of reading body language. I can tell when I am out of balance or struggling mentally when I tend to be more closed off. When I do feel balanced, it looks completely different in a way where I imagine myself walking into a room, open, happy, and engaged with others in conversation feeling like my best self. Knowing the idea of your best self and how close you can be to that favorite version of you is important!
ZS: How do you run your life and not let life run you?
CC: Rituals and Habits. It sounds boring but the rituals are the process and the habit of doing them every day help me feel happier, more engaged, and feel that I can make a bigger impact when I follow my rituals. These rituals I have are running (or resistance training), breathing exercises, and writing down daily goals in that order in the morning before leaving the house. I find after giving myself that time, I can handle anything the day throws at me with a clear and grounded mind, all from small rituals in the morning!
ZS: What do you have coming up that you’re excited about? Can be a running goal or a life goal!
CC: I am always excited about life! But did just get accepted into the NYC Marathon, and I am now looking forward to NYC, Chicago, and hopefully Boston in spring 2023!
ZS: You’re one of the most creative voices in the running industry right now. You’re plugged into all of the social media channels and consistently creating innovative content, from podcasts to Tik Toks. When do you feel most creative and how do you get inspired to be creative?
CC: While I’m driving in my car blasting music on commutes! I have always played out scenarios in my head when listening to music. When I have the music loud in the car I can come up with some fun ideas! It’s where almost all the ideas for my podcasts and Reels have come from, it’s most likely a song that reminded me of a struggle I had that I can help others with!
ZS:What are your Zensah must-have products? Why?
CC: The Grit 2.0 Running Socks (no show)! I go through socks fast as a runner, they LAST forever, they make your feet feel unstoppable (if you’re a runner you understand this feeling) and everyone that I’ve ever gifted a pair has become obsessed with them too! It’s a runner thing to really fall in love with a pair of socks.
ZS: What is one quote you live by? Or a personal mantra? (can apply to running or life!)
CC: My favorite running mantra is “Run with your heart not your legs” legs give out faster than the love you have for running!
ZS: What is your favorite place you’ve ever ran?
CC: Egypt! I mean, how is it not cool to run around another country with Pyramids?!
ZS: What other hobbies do you love (in addition to running of course)?
CC: Although I live in Florida, I’m a HUGE snow skier! Paddle boarding and podcasting keeps me occupied between trips!
ZS: Where can people find you? (On social media and at upcoming races!)
CC: @Runthrivesurvive on all socials! I’ll see everyone at Chicago and NYC in the fall!
ZS: Zensah’s motto is #withoutlimitz meaning we want you to feel limitless in everything you do. We have a campaign called “Limitless Looks Like This” because limitlessness can look different for every person. Limitless might look like finding balance, reaching goals, acing the race you have coming up, or manifesting your future. What does limitless look like for you?
CC: My limitless looks like unlimited daily energy. With unlimited energy you can do ANYTHING that you set your mind to. I never want my health to be the reason I have to skip out on life’s adventures!