LIVESTRONG.COM traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to meet with Congresswoman Mia Love, a Republican representing Utah’s 4th district as part of our Stronger Women interview series.
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In 2018, women make up a mere 19 percent of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives, while they are more than 50 percent of the population. Love is the first black female Republican elected to Congress. You can view the legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Love here.
What’s Holding Women Back From Elected Positions in Government?
“There are a lot of people out there who will say — just because you’re a woman — that you’re not experienced enough,” Love says. “I dealt with this a lot, even though I had this well-rounded background in marketing and in running a city (as mayor of Saratoga Springs), when I was running for Congress.”
According to Love, life experience in your community also has a value when running for and holding a political office.
“People will tell you that you’re not experienced enough,” she explains, “and I have to say that just living in a place and sending your kids to school, going to the doctor’s office, shopping at the local grocery store, putting gas in your car — you have enough experience to know what’s going around and to know what to do and how to fix it.”
Love encourages women to step up and lean in.
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not qualified or that you don’t have the experience,” she says. “Because if you find something that you really want to do or fix, lean into that and go for it.”
What Are Love’s Wellness and Fitness Routines?
Getting out into nature and camping with her family is a passion for Love.
“My husband and I love bringing our kids to the mountains because they’re away from social media and we’re just with each other and we’re talking and they [the kids] can’t get away from us,” she says. “There’s nothing better than quality time without cellphones, where you’re literally one-on-one with your kids and your family.”
Love is one of the few Republicans who have addressed the importance of protecting the environment and climate change.
“A lot of us don’t feel as individuals that we have a responsibility to make sure that we take care of this land,” she explains. “I think it starts from the individual. When we go camping, I make sure that I tell my kids to leave it better than we found it.”
The fitness passion that also gets her outdoors and into nature is trail running.
“One of the reasons why I started running is because I love trail running, she says. “My dog runs trails with me, and it’s just peaceful.”
She also has a love for essential oils and mentions diffusing lavender oil and frankincense in her house.
How Are Members of Congress Staying Fit?
Love works out and goes running with other members of Congress.
“I work out with representative John Ratcliffe,” she says. “It’s actually a little safer for me to run with somebody.”
She aims to start her day with a 6 a.m. run.
“If I don’t run, I’m not having a good day,” Love explains. “It gets my mind set and gets me energized to deal with my day.”
What is her typical course?
“From the Navy Yard to the Lincoln Memorial and back is just over six miles,” she says. “So if I have an hour I can do it.”
See more of LIVESTRONG’s Stronger Women interviews.
About the Author
JESS BARRON is Editor-in-Chief and GM for LIVESTRONG.COM, a leading healthy lifestyle website with more than 32 million unique monthly viewers. In addition to LIVESTRONG, her writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Fortune and MyDomaine. She has been interviewed about her advice for female entrepreneurs by Inc., HuffingtonPost and FabFitFun. Jess has appeared on MSNBC, CNN and ABC News and has been a keynote speaker at Health Further and a panelist at SXSW, Create & Cultivate and Digital Hollywood. Follow Jess on Instagram and Twitter at @jessbeegood!