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Run This World Podcast – 78 – Marie Brown the Little Engine That Could

Marie Brown is a great example of living in the moment and taking responsibility for yourself. At 18, Marie enlisted in the military. Her childhood dream was to be a soldier. She joined the Military Police and at age 20, she was deployed to Iraq. When she returned, she suffered horrible physical and emotional aftereffects and was eventually diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome, Menniere’s disease and PTSD. But the toughest part for her was that she was honorably discharged from the military, officially ending her dream, and she needed to redefine herself.


Marie is open and honest about her issues and her recovery. At 4’11” and 95 pounds, Marie is accustomed to being underestimated. Regardless of her setbacks and issues, Marie’s strength, determination and positivity shine through. As she sought to take back her physical power, she found the magic of running and sometime after that, she discovered the fearlessness of flying on the trapeze. Marie is an example of someone who could have simply curled up into a ball, bemoaning her situation but instead she chooses to live fully engaged in the moment, despite what her diagnoses say she should be able to do.



Today we talk about:

  • How she was abandoned at a Salvation Army clinic in Indonesia and later adopted by a missionary couple from the USA
  • Her early childhood years living in rural Indonesia and her childhood dream to be a soldier
  • Enlisting in the military at age 18
  • Deployment to Iraq
  • How to react when you are underestimated
  • Chronic illness: Gulf War Syndrome, Menniere’s disease
  • Running & Trapeze: the importance of trying new things and setting goals
  • Recovering from trauma: Therapy is not a bad thing!


There are so many things about Marie that I appreciate. Her story reminds me of the concept that “everyone is fighting some sort of battle.” Marie literally fought battles in the military. And when she came back, she fought battles with her own mind and body. I love that she defines herself as a warrior who has learned to remind herself how strong she is. As she says when the going gets tough, I’m the little engine that could. I think I can I think I can. I want to repeat her final nugget because I think it’s important. It truly sums up the kind of person Marie is and the kind of person we could all strive to be. When hit with something tough, “Don’t deny the diagnosis. But try to defy the verdict.”


All right everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in today. You are all amazing people. I have this podcast so that I can help spread the love and inspiration I see in people around me. And because it connects all of us in some small way. Because we’re all making our mark in this world and we are not alone. Okay everyone, on that note, you know what time it is, It’s time to get out there and run this world. Have a great workout and I’ll see you next week.