If you’re a runner who also browses TikTok, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of @mrs.space.cadet, a.k.a. Erin Azar, a 39-year-old mother of three who’s taken the running world by storm. Her quirky, lighthearted videos have inspired amateurs and Olympians alike. Unlike other fitfluencers, though, it’s Erin’s relatable, real-life, unglamorous approach to the sport that makes her content so appealing. In this delightful and uplifting Runner’s World profile, Jill Waldbieser gets to the heart of what motivates Azar. As an amateur (and very occasional) runner myself, I’ve never felt more validated.
“People see someone who’s not super skinny and think they must be running to lose weight,” she says. “They’ll comment to the effect of, ‘You’ve been running for three years and you look the same.’” But Erin’s goal is health, physical and mental, not a certain physique or number on the scale. When she did focus on weight loss, running didn’t bring her any joy. “Eating pizza and drinking beer made me happy, so I decided to just be happy.” Besides, she adds, “you can’t train for a marathon and try to lose weight. You have to eat so much.”