Anne Mahlum of [solidcore] Will Never Live Life in the Middle

anne mahlum solidcore

Anne Mahlum could write a book on audacious goals. First, she went from running a regular route past a shelter to launching a national non-profit, Back on My Feet, that uses logging miles as a way to combat homelessness. Then, she started a chain of fitness studios—[solidcore]—that’s gone from two locations to 68 and counting since just 2013.

And oh yeah, she’s also run a marathon on every continent—including, most recently, Antarctica, where she took on 26.2 miles with just seven weeks of training. 

Next up, she’s aiming to run the Rock n Roll Marathon in Washington, D.C. That might not seem so bold, until you learn that she was in a serious jetski accident last summer that left her with a compound fracture in her femur. That means she’ll be lining up for the race less than 10 months later—but she won’t be alone, as more than 600 people have pledged to train and race with her, as part of a team she’ll calling [stronger] together 2020.

When I talked with Anne for this episode for #WeGotGoals, it’s clear that she’s highly motivated by a desire to share something she’s passionate about, whether it’s running or recovery or a killer strength-training workout. In this episode, she talks about how she’s learned to listen to her inner voice, embrace her values, and prepare for setbacks ahead of time, so she can continue to move forward. 

We discuss:

  • 2:31: How she took Back on my Feet from idea to reality
  • 6:38: What made her decide to move on
  • 8:51: How she’s learned to listen to her intuition and get in touch with her values
  • 12:59: The narrative that keeps many of us from going for big goals
  • 14:24: What [solidcore] is and why she feels so strongly about spreading it across the country (and beyond)
  • 21:46: How her identity as an athlete is fueling her recovery from injury, and why the marathon goal has been so critical
  • 25:50: Exactly how she’s approaching rehab, both physically and mentally, to achieve that goal
  • 27:52: Why preparing for the worst actually helps her do her best
  • 33:32: Her big goal for the future of [solidcore]—100 studios by the end of 2020—and how she’ll get there
  • 35:02: The one line she’ll never say in business
  • 40:00: Her biggest pieces of advice for overcoming obstacles

Links/resources we mention:

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About Cindy Kuzma

Cindy Kuzma is a freelance health and fitness writer and a contributing editor at Runner’s World magazine. She grew up in Texas and moved to Chicago to earn her master’s in journalism at Northwestern University; once she saw the lakefront running trail, she decided to stay. She’s finished 19 marathons and also loves lifting heavy weights, yoga, live music and running to the Green City Market from Andersonville and taking the bus home with a ridiculous haul of fresh veggies. Cindy is the producer and co-host on aSweatLife's podcast, #WeGotGoals. She’s written for Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention, Shape and other publications as well—you can read her work at