I’m A Runner: Odette Blacklock

The Australian Survivor 2017 contestant is also a podiatrist and avid runner.

Odette Blacklock, Podiatrist and personal trainer, 33, Sydney, Australia

Some people may know me from season two of Australian Survivor. I am a busy mother, sports podiatrist, personal trainer, Pilates instructor, and founder and coach of Urban Run.

I originally wanted to be a PE teacher. I did my health science degree but there was a lack of jobs in my area. I wanted the stability to provide for my son. I felt sports podiatry complemented my love of running.

I started running when I was four years old. I stopped running and many other pursuits when I lost my mother at 14. I remember starting to run again many years later at the age of 22. I had become quite unfit, unhealthy and I was struggling with depression. I remembered how running used to make me feel as a child and I wanted to have that good feeling back in my life again.

To me, running is empowering. I have the power to test my limits, to keep my body healthy and to venture where I want to go. They say if you don’t use it you will lose it, [and running is] a way to show gratitude to the vehicle that is my body. It helps me in my daily life, because I find it to be like meditation.

You can go [running] anywhere, any time. You don’t need much preparation. They say you always find time for the things you love. I run whenever I get the opportunity. I also join in when taking my run groups.

As a podiatrist and runner I get to test shoes from many different brands. I had never worn Under Armour before and after being sent my first pair of shoes (Gemini 2) which I absolutely loved, I noticed the competition for the Under Armour Death Valley Run Camp [in the US] advertised on Instagram. The timing was perfect: I had just finished my masters, and I had family in America I had never met and was desperate to meet. I did everything I could to make my application stand out – you can still see the posts I submitted on my Instagram (@odetteblacklock).

The Under Armour Death Valley Run Camp last year was the most gruelling run I have ever done and I learned so much about myself on that run. I became aware of the self-talk that had been holding me back over the years and the pain I endured on the run really helped me to change that. I developed a mental toughness that made me see my potential.

The only time I have a bad run or day is when I’m not listening to my body. I know then that other areas may need some attention. I usually put more focus on recovery in the form of rest, stretch and nutrition. The most important lesson I have learnt is don’t beat yourself up, as long as you continue to try, it’s a good day.

It is very important to get to hear your own thoughts and a solo run allows you to have that time. But I absolutely love to share the run with others [too], as it’s a great way to strengthen friendships. When I run with a friend or with my crew we are always beaming with positivity and good vibes.

As I just got back from Survivor I need to get my training back to where it was.

Most of the time I run with music and I always bring the beats on the UE Boom portable speaker to run crew. I will always be busting out dance moves or rapping in between sets. I love listening to hip hop when I train.

Odette Blacklock was a contestant on this year’s Survivor on Channel Ten. Off-screen she is a podiatrist, and owns Athletic Medic Podiatry Clinic in Sydney.


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