Angela Mockford is the perfect example that it’s never too late to start paving your way toward a healthier and happier life.
At 39 years old, Angela set out on a mission – one that likely hits close to home for many runners. She wanted to lose weight and become healthier. Her goal? Lose the weight by the time she turned 40 the following year.
It’s been 14 years since Angela made that promise to herself. And she’s kept the weight off.
How has she done it? Running has been a major motivator and driver in improving and maintaining her health. Angela recounts, “In my wildest dreams (all those years ago), running marathons was the farthest thing from my mind.”
And ironically, as a child – Angela states that she wasn’t particularly athletic. She has distant memories of tap dancing, track and field, basketball, volleyball, skiing, and curling. But none of them left a lasting impression or made its way to the top of her interests list.
It wasn’t until she made the decision to improve her health that exercise really stuck. And with her doctor’s blessing, Angela walked her first half marathon in August 2007.
However, it wasn’t an entirely smooth ride. Angela says, “My back seized up as soon as I crossed the finish line. I had a flood of emotions mixed with back pain. Yet that half marathon was instrumental in shaping my future – in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the time.”
In 2010, she began running. And she considered it a progression to what she was already doing. She elaborates, “Everything I have done has been driven by becoming a healthier fitter version of myself……in those early days, I especially was focused on making sure I’d gone to bed every night knowing I’d done my best being a healthier version of me.”
Angela faced another hurdle; a leg fracture in August 2011. Post-recovery was when she began to get more serious about running – starting in January 2012.
Yet, she’s persevered. She’s run numerous 5 and 10 kilometre races, and over 10 half-marathons across the west coast.
In 2015, she attempted her first full marathon. With severe cramping, Angela was forced to halt her race at 28.29 kilometres. But failure wasn’t something that she saw as an obstacle. In 2016, she went the full distance. And she wants to beat her own time with a future goal of completing another full marathon.
Angela cites running as a stress release, a relaxation technique, an adrenaline rush, and much more. She adds that she also runs, “Quite simply, because I can!” As aforementioned, she’s gradually progressed through 5 km, 10 km, and 15 km distances to half marathons and full marathons.
And since then, she’s become an inspiration for others. People look to Angela for guidance in keeping the weight off long-term. She demonstrates that it is possible not only to lose the weight, but also to change your lifestyle for the better – no matter where you’re starting point is.
Angela embraces this fact. 3 years ago, she participated as a motivational speaker for the Learn to Run group via The Running Room. She states, “At 52, I am in better shape and health than I was at 39.”
She also claims that she will always be driven by the desire not to go back to the weight she once was. She’s had younger friends pass away with weight as a factor. And it serves as a reminder that she’s doing the right thing.
Angela has also had friends change along the way with her. Her family has further played a major role in motivating her. She says her mother’s inner strength and determination, as well as her sister and dad’s sense of humor, passion, focus, and drive, have all played a part in who she is today. Angela adds, “My grandma (nearing 103) has been a source of strength and inspiration also.”
Angela’s family doctor of more than 30 years has further played a key role in pushing her to improve her health. She further credits her trainer for cheering her on and for driving her to be the best version of herself.
When asked if she has any race traditions, Angela replied, “It’s eating a pasta meal at Chianti’s the night before.” She adds that she also arrives 30 minutes prior to starting on race day. During the race, she listens to music on a low setting. And afterward, she fills up on some much-needed H20 and goes for a massage to promote recovery and healing.
And as far as the future is concerned, Angela says, “(I’ll) take it as it comes. I don’t want to miss out on living today!”