Beatie Deutsch is a champion distance runner. Her story is truly amazing. After getting married at 19, and having 4 children, she realized she had lost the natural fitness of her youth and decided to set her sights on a marathon because it would be a big enough goal to keep her motivated. She ran her first marathon surprisingly fast in 3:27. Two years (and her 5th child) later, she won her first marathon in 3:09. Just a year later, in 2019, she surprised everyone by winning the Israel National Marathon Championships in 2:42 the 5th best result of all time for Israeli women.
That’s all amazing, right? Who else wants to PR by 27 minutes? But here’s another cool twist on her story. Beatie is an Orthodox Jew. Her faith anchors her guiding principles, one of which is that she is required to dress modestly. That means covering her body below the knee and through the arms. We all know as athletes that we are often looking for every possible advantage to shave off seconds. This usually includes wearing streamlined clothing, especially at the highest level of elites. One would think that modest clothing would work against that concept.
But here’s the deal on Beatie: she wears long skirts and full length sleeves – and it doesn’t hold her back. In fact, her faith is her advantage. As I write this, she is recovering from her first ever 10k on the track which she finished in 35:15 – the 6th fastest time in history for Israeli women.
Today we talk about all things Beatie including:
- Growing up an Orthodox Jew in New Jersey
- Heading to Israel after high school to study
- How dating works as an Orthodox Jew
- How her religion guides her life decisions both big and small
- What it means to be an Orthodox Jewish runner: What are the requirements & how do they affect her running?
- Why she started running & her early success
- What’s in the future? Olympics, Ironman & more
One of the reasons I do this podcast is to expand my own world, to learn about other people’s experiences, and how they find joy and fulfillment. Beatie’s world is certainly new to me. I don’t have any close friends who practice orthodox judaism, so some of my questions about her background may come off as nosy, but I was truly just curious, especially about things that relate to human relationships. What I love so much about Beatie is this. Many people would look at her faith as something that probably holds her back from achieving her potential. But she sees it as the reason she is able to find happiness and success. As she so succinctly puts it, “Fear holds us back. Belief moves us forward. What do you have to lose?” Hold that question close my friends. What do you have to lose?
For more on Beatie Deutsch, the first thing to do is get over to Instagram and follow her at @marathonmother as well as her facebook page. She posts frequently with thoughtful insights that I believe are relevant to all of us as we overcome our challenges and pursue our greatest goals. All right that’s it. Time to turn off the pod and turn on your mojo and get out there and run this world. Have a great workout and I’ll see you next week!