Profiles of the Extraordinary – Mindi Schwab

Mindi Schwab at the Finish Line

I first met Mindi Schwab about a year ago.  We were both starting our graduate education in the Public Communications program at The College of Saint Rose.  I was fortunate to work with her during one of our classes.  I learned that Mindi is extremely intelligent, she is an excellent writer, and she can teach us how to reinvent our lives. How, you might ask, can an Ordinary Citizen like Mindi do that?  By running.  Yes, it’s mundane. Yes, it’s fairly common.  But, I find her story inspiring!

Allow me to share a story that I wrote about Mindi for our Fall 2009 semester “Interviewing” class:

Running with Mindi – Footfalls of Success

Mindi Schwab is officially a runner.  No, she has not set any world records.  She has not won Olympic Gold.  However, more significant than any race win, Mindi is reinventing her life just by lacing up a pair of running shoes.


Mindi is a young, married woman originally from the “Show-Me” state of Missouri.  She is well educated with a BS in Communications from Missouri State University, and she works as a writer in a public relations role.  Currently she is enrolled as a graduate student at The College of Saint Rose.  Her ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD in Communications and become a college professor.

How is she achieving that goal?  Part of her solution began over a year ago.  Mindi recognized the need for challenge and reinvention within her life.  She began training for a half marathon, a 13.1-mile race.  She successfully participated in a half marathon, running for seven minutes, walking the next three, and repeating that pattern.  After that achievement, many people might cross it off the to do list and move to the next task.  Mindi did not.  She set goals to continue her training, run the entire half marathon distance, and improve her race time.

Training & motivation

To meet her goals, Mindi trains regularly with a coworker.  She says, “Sometimes it is torture to run alone.”  Still, she runs four times a week.  Long training runs take place outside.  If it is raining, she runs indoors on a treadmill.  She follows a written training plan and admits that it can be easy to get frustrated.  To fight that frustration, there is much to motivate her.

She finds that running benefits her for a variety of reasons.  Certainly it helps physiologically.  Running also benefits her intellectually and spiritually.  It provides her with time to think, time to notice the little things.  Even watching something as mundane as a turtle crossing the road puts things into perspective and provides motivation.  Running often becomes a time of meditation and prayer for her.


On Sunday, September 20th, Mindi ran her second half-marathon at the Adirondack Distance Festival in Schroon Lake, NY.  Over 400 runners participated in the race that started at 10 AM under brisk 43-degree weather conditions.  Local residents cheered on the racers, and Mindi met all of her goals.  She ran the entire distance and finished in 2 hours and 15 minutes.  That is a full 20 minutes better than her previous race.  Success!

More importantly, Mindi is successful because she broadens her horizons and learns to think beyond her career path.  She says, “I want to remind myself that I am more than my job.”  She expects to continue running long-term and is motivated to build upon her momentum.  Doubtless, Mindi will continue to challenge herself and improve her life, one stride at a time.

Do you want to learn more about how Mindi became a runner and reinvented her life?  You can listen to me chat with Mindi on a October 31, 2009 BlogTalkRadio interview.  The 15 minute clip was created as part of our graduate level “Interviewing” course.

Profiles of the Extraordinary is a category within the This Ordinary Citizen blog.  It features Ordinary Citizens who show us what it means to be Extraordinary.  If you know someone who should be profiled, contact the author.

Photo credit:  photo courtesy of Mindi Schwab.

Leave a comment


  1. Wow! I am so glad you did a blog about Mindi. I met Mindi this year in our Crisis class and I love her! She is such a fun person to speak with and get to know. This blog really showcased a fun and interesting side. Thank you for sharing. I will mark my calendar for October to tune into the radio program.

    • I’m definitely gonna miss having Mindi in class. She always kept me on my toes. I’m sure that she’ll do well at UAlbany, though.

      By the way, the BTR show is already done (completed last October). If you click the link you can listen to the archived interview…


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