The Build with Mai

Pruzan speaks with Brooklyn-based runner and DJ Mai Shoshani (@mshoshh, @itsnumai)

What gets you moving?

I naturally have a lot of energy. It's a mix of that and being connected to nature–finding how I can feel alive without consuming. I always aligned well with sports; it was the place I shined really well. Running specifically is really a way for me to get going and kind of lose myself. It's a mix of releasing energy as well as losing myself to the environment. Sometimes you just want to let go, and I do feel like I have the possibility to do that. The best things in life are free, and with running, you could go anywhere and you don't need anybody. You're not dependent on anything. I just love that idea–it's so simple.

How did you get into running?

I started playing soccer at the age of like five or six. Cardio was always a thing that I trained for and I’ve had stamina since I was young, so that helped me transition into running. I picked up running in Tel Aviv. The boardwalk there is incredible–the view is just stunning. So I took advantage of living by the ocean and would run with one of my good friends. 

It started as a hobby and a way to just be fit. Then when I got to New York, I started perceiving it as an actual lifestyle. I had a family friend who ran a marathon and I was always so intrigued–something about running a marathon made me feel like this is something I definitely need to check off. 

I started really getting into it two years before COVID, then when  COVID happened, I was training for my half marathon and it got canceled. It was a whole different experience that kind of kept me hanging for a moment. That whole year and a half of hesitation really made me shift my view as to how I want to be seen as a runner and what a marathon is, actually.

What’s something you learned during your journey of training for a marathon that you would love to tell other runners?

 For me, it's about not losing yourself to the competition. You see the results and they are rewarding, but the most important thing for me was knowing that there are going to be days and moments when your body's not going to reciprocate or injuries come up, and it's really a mental game. You just have to keep on going. If you're okay with yourself and accepting that there's going to be times that you're not going to achieve things, it's okay because [the value of what you’re doing] doesn't come down to that. 

It's really doable–you just have to keep on pushing yourself, not giving up, and not looking down on yourself when things go south for a moment. I think it's really easy in a marathon, especially for the first time, to over-train. So, be easygoing on yourself. It's a lot at once; it's the mental prep as well as the physical prep. Just know that you're pushing your body to limits it's never been before and it's okay [for things not to] go as planned sometimes.

When you're out there and you're really looking for the answers, it's there. It takes a moment to get there and to listen to your body and know which coach [for instance] is right for you. Not every coach is going to work for everyone, so you really need to listen to yourself, and I think that's the most important. I just listened to my gut and I think it helped me to get to the end of the line.

What advice would you give to someone who's losing themselves to the competitive aspect of running? 

[In my case,] I had to really connect with myself and realize why I love the sport. In the beginning, I had such a high because I was really good at it. My body pushed itself to points where I could work on speed, and I just saw such good results. I thought, “okay, this is why I want the reward” and I want to feel good about myself. 

Then when the marathon came up and I got injured while training,  it really played with my insecurity as a runner and as an athlete. I wasn't able to tap into things and was thinking I can't run, or I can't get to Boston. It took a moment, but through the process, I learned to accept different rewards. Just knowing that I'm capable of running and making it to the marathon was enough for me. 

I was so in love with the end results at first, then I realized that even if I don't get to the end results, I'm okay with the process. And I think that's what made me enjoy is just being present, enjoying the long runs–like when you're burnt out in the end and you end up in a different borough with like 15 random runners at 7am, or when everyone's hungover walking around Brooklyn Sunday morning and you're with 25 people about to run from Williamsburg to Far Rockaway Beach. 

The end result is amazing, it's like the cherry on top, but it's really not about that. And only when you go through it can you start appreciating that.

Describe your ideal run.

Beach runs are my favorite–especially the fact that it’s a bit more challenging on my feet. It's fun to mess with my calves a bit. But running along the beach and getting lost in the sunset is just so relaxing. It's insane. It's like you're pushing yourself to limits, but you're also losing yourself to such an amazing view. It's the best of both worlds. 


What do you like to wear?

I'm all about shorts. If it's somewhere warm, i’ll wear  just shorts and a sports bra. I definitely love to dress in layers if I'm running in New York. I like the idea of just being hugged by fabric. It's really nice. On my upper body, I prefer a tight fit. It feels like you're compressing it and helps obviously with the cold weather.

What were your first impressions of Pruzan? How would you describe the pieces you’ve worn?

The material is incredible. That's definitely what caught my eye, and the fact that it's so minimal, but classy. 

Every time I dress in like all these [other logo-centric running brands], I just feel like a running ad. With [Pruzan], I'm comfortable and I just feel kind of naked because it's so soft, and you don't have all these name tags on you. That's what I really liked about it. That's what caught my eye even in like Brooklyn when you guys were displaying it. 

The shorts and the top were super comfortable. It feels like a perfect combination of style and comfort. It's a mix that gives me high end, but it's also not trying to be too sexy, and I kind of mess with that. I like that.

What fills up your cup, in New York or beyond?

Mindfulness, wellness–which is pretty hard to capture in New York. For me, it's really connecting with my body in so many ways, but specifically with sports and any type of low impact connection, like through yoga or breath work. I lose myself, I push away from society, and I'm just so internal. Being someone that gets hyper sensitive to my environment, to have those outlets is so important in New York. 

It's just cool because there are so many ways to play with your body. You could challenge it with sports and then relax it with music and then heal it through breath work. It's all about really getting creative with yourself. 

Going through my twenties toward maturing, I started realizing I really want to know who I am. I really want to connect with myself. I want to understand what I like, what I don't like. Even with running, you have to really understand your body because if not, you're screwed. Once you become a bit more sensitive, it's easier to understand yourself and really just everything just becomes more clear. But it takes a moment to get there. 

What do you want to focus on as a runner in 2024?

Now my focus is working on my gait, and then getting my body to feel that easiness that I did in the beginning of my training. So it's about slowly getting back into my prime. That's what I'm excited for, but also not in an aggressive way. 

I’ve tasted what it’s like to be on top and then also to get injured. I think it's exciting for me to come back and see where I'll be. I'm lucky I have a great coach that I actually met for my first marathon. I'm excited knowing that I have good tools, and to see where it will take me. 


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