Then, as a grown up woman, she moved to New York to further her education and experience in the fashion industry.
Needless to say it, as almost everybody dealing in the fashion business, Agata has been very active on the social side. I mean, that’s big part of that industry: shows, shootings and - most of all - huge parties.
However, she comes from a family of very sporty people and, having that heritage in her DNA she just need it a little push and make something that, even to her, few months earlier seemed unachievable.
But, let’s start from the beginning...
Your father, the Italian part of the family, is a very active person, right?
Since he was a kid he’s been very into sports, he has been in the Italian ski team and also in the Italian golf team. He practiced and, still practices, snowboarding, rock climbing, windsurfing and recently he took up surf. I would say that he spent most of his life doing sports.
What about your mom?
She’s very gifted but she rather occupy her life with spiritual and mental dilemmas...but she’s very into nutrition. She’s vegetarian (sometimes...) and [Agata giggles] also was into organic food much earlier than the organic trend became a trend.
What about your brother and sister?
My sister is a very good runner while my brother is an awesome surfer.
So were you black sheep of the family?
Well that is really funny; because I’m very good at sports and always done sports more than them but for some unknown reasons I’ve been always labeled as the lazy one...then also my lifestyle has not improved my image as an active person. But, to be honest that is totally unfair because deep inside I’m an health freak...well not exactly, let’s say that I do care a lot about eating healthy food for instance and I’m also aware of how food and drink can affect or even compromise your body and, as a consequence, your general health.
Let’s talk a little bit about your lifestyle, your are a fashion photographer and stylist, right?
Is it really a crazy world? As almost anyone who’s not in that business believes?
Yes it is. Hours are crazy and there is the PR part of it, that basically comes down to going out and drinking. As an example the first photographer I trained with (a very talented artist) would literally bring booze to the shoots and I would start mixing drinks at 10am in the morning.
Kind of crazy...
I mean it’s not always like that but it’s still kind of crazy...the whole fashion world can go to your head pretty easily. It’s not what you would call a healthy scene.
So you need something to keep yourself centered?
Yeah, your family and your old friends become very important because they give you the real stuff like: “Dude, you’re drinking too much, stop it!”. While the people you’re surrounded with in that industry usually are in the same boat as you are so they lack prospective.
Besides friends and family, can sports be helpful?
It can definitely be helpful but that is not how I get into it.
Still one day, not long ago, you registered for the NYC Half Marathon, how that happened then?
After all those crazy parties, one day I woke up and was very ill as in I to go to the hospital. I was diagnoses a whole bunch of different crazy things and they basically told me that if I wanted to live I had to quit the craziness and stop cold turkey, drinking and smoking (I have never and will never do drugs so that for wasn’t for me an issue, fortunately).
So for me the parties were over, as in that I would go but would forfeit early when everybody started getting drunk and drinks would start floating on my clothes. I’ll be home and wondering what the hell am I going to do with all this energy?
Let me elaborate this a little bit more, when I go out I dance a lot, that’s how I have fun so, if you take dancing all night out of the equation, I had to much energy left in me.
Then I decided I needed a sport that who suck up my energy but I didn’t had to enroll in.
Because I couldn’t afford to spend too much money on it and, most of all, I don’t really enjoy going to the gym. Also, it was nothing I was seriously planning on doing. Just one day I looked for my running shoes and decided that I wanted to go for a run.
So you went for run and then?
And then I went for another run and the I told my co-workers: “Hey, I went twice for run in three days and I already up my time!”
So you were proud of your goal?
Not proud, I was more like hey look at that, it felt kind of cool...
So what was the next step?
My co-worker was like: “I did two half-marathons and a full marathon why don’t you do it?” And I was like: “Yeah, right!”. Then you came along and said: “You should do an half -marathon!”.
I remember that part...
And then we went to the runners shop to get me new shoes. There, inside the bag I found a postcard advertising a team and training half-marathon meeting for the Lukemia and Lynphoma society.
The funny thing is that I’ve never heard of an half-marathon and then all of a sudden in a week I heard about it three times...I interpreted as a sign of faith and decided to do it!
So you started training?
Yeah....well no...I mean there were the holidays and I went back home. But when I came back to New York at the end of January I started training for real.
Setting up goals?
Yes, at first my goal was just to be able to complete the half-marathon, alive is possible and on my own two feet. But then as I kept running and running and getting better I thought maybe I can finish the half-marathon in two and a half hours.
Then you came along again and you said “You’re gonna do it in two hours easily” and I thought “Whatever!”
But then it just kind of made sense...and also I was cleared and not sick anymore, so I could drink again but I got so into being healthy that I would not drink or go out the day before training. And training was Saturday at 8:30am in the morning...I leave you to do the math.
From partying to healthy?
Well, an old dog doesn’t learn you tricks but yeah I did...I was good.
What about on the day of the race?
I was very nervous about the race. I was thinking “Will I be able to make it?” But then on the race day I was like: “It’s just another jog in the park, take it easy and it will be alright and for the love of god do not stop running until the finish line and I’ll make my dad very proud!”
And you did your father proud...right?
It was my mantra and yes, I completed the half-marathon in 1:59:26 (yes, yes as you predicted under two hours), got my medal, a black toenail but most of all I achieved this goal that just few months earlier I never thought it was possible.
Was your father really proud?
Yes a lot, very much. Actually I’m the first half-marathoner of the very hugely sporty family. I made it before everybody else. The black sheep has become the roadrunner...what about that?
What is the one piece of advice you feel like giving to a person that wants to do it?
To just go for it and do it. Be confident in your body, believe you can do it and you’ll be able to overcome yourself and reach goals that you never thought were possible.
Some final more “standard” questions we like to ask to all our interviewees on TheIronYou. What is the first thing you do in the morning when you wake up?
Check my emails and drink a lot of 2% reduced fat milk...I’m addicted to milk.
That’s your breakfast?
Usually my breakfast is a fat free Greek yogurt with a banana.
When you have a craving for something what do you reach for?
French fries or anything with salt. I love salty stuff!
What about sweets?
Not really...maybe honey or something with caramel but I’m not into sugary things at all.
Let’s say you had a huge dinner last night, what do you eat today?
I’ll go for greens. I love green salad with olive oil. No dressing just straight olive oil and salt. Salads make big part of my daily nutrition.
Are you going to do an half-marathona again?
Maybe...I start to miss the feeling of being part of a race and this thing that you never thought you could do in your life and it’s overcoming yourself.
What about a full marathon?
I’ve seriously been thinking about. I’m just scared that I will lose all my toenails...otherwise I’ll probably give it a shot someday.
Thank you so much for your time Agata, hope to see you soon and keep running!
If you wish to contact Agata or get a glimpse of her works visit: www.agatasegafredo.com