Three years ago Melinda Vernon made the switch from runner to triathlete and has never looked back. Melinda competes at an international level but unlike her competitors, she relies solely on her vision as she is profoundly deaf in both ears. Recently we caught up with her to find out what motivates her to find her strong;


What’s a typical day like for you?

My weekdays involve getting up at 4.30am for a swim, bike or run session. Sometimes it’s followed by gym or a short recovery, then I head to work (I work part time as an Occupational Therapist specialising in pain management at nursing home facilities around the Gold Coast). Then afternoons involve another training session. My weekends involve full on Saturday morning brick sessions followed by a recovery afternoon. Sundays are pretty chilled days aka recovery day!


What shoes are you wearing at the moment?

I am loving the Saucony Triumphs in Everrun version. I wear them for most running sessions – they feel like clouds on my feet! For my tempo/speed sessions I prefer the lightweight trainers – Kinvaras to enable my legs to tick over at a faster pace! For racing I prefer either the Kinvaras or A4 grid type (depending on the course and surface).


What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

From past experience, to me, it involves looking after your body (having a regular stretching/ conditioning routine in place) and completing a consistent block of training – then the results speak for themselves.


What would be your ultimate achievement?

I would love the opportunity to compete at an Olympics/ Commonwealth Games – being hearing impaired and competing at this level would be a great achievement in my eyes. I have come close to competing at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games for the Track and Field 10,000m (2 seconds off the qualifier!)




How do you set your goals?

My long term goal has always been to compete at the Olympics/ Commonwealth Games. However, every year, I set short term goals for the year, whether it be to improve my swim, bike or run legs. Or have a good strength and conditioning program in place to stay injury free. I set target race goals to achieve outcomes in order to qualify for major races such as World Cups/ World Series Triathlon races.


What was the best advice you were ever given?

You are in control of your own destiny – if you want it, believe in the process and go for it!


Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?

I know it may sound weird and yet so simple,  but I love the Energizer battery advert motto: “Never Say Die!”


If you weren’t a Triathlete what would you be/do?

I think I would still be involved in another sport at a competitive level – competitiveness is in my blood! And I would be working in a helping profession like I am now, whether it is being an Occupational Therapist or Nurse. I love helping others – it’s such a satisfying and rewarding experience especially while I have experienced it first hand throughout my life, being hearing impaired.


Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I view my hearing impairment as an imperfection – something we all have, whether it’s a physical or intellectual disability, or a personality trait such as having OCD or an annoying habit, or a introvert or extrovert personality – all these imperfections shape us all for who we are.

In regards to being active, enjoy what you do, get outside, embrace nature and #FindYourStrong 


A big thanks to Melinda for taking time out to give us insight into her world and we look forward to seeing you achieve all your goals in the year to come.


To keep up with her progress you can follow Melinda on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter 


If you liked this article you may also like running the Olympics with Jordan Gusman or Ask an athlete 5 minutes with Michelle Hauschildt



Written by | Sharmayne Chand