Vulnerability

                          The face of vulnerability.

                          The face of vulnerability.

Here is what I am working through today, being vulnerable. I’ve wrote about this before but when I find myself struggling with vulnerability, I turn to Brene Brown’s Ted Talks and l read my journals from my studies with my mentor Alexandra Billings.

When I was in college I had a mentor named Alexandra Billings who profoundly changed the way I lived my life and approached my art. I spent semesters, summers and nights working with her and she gave me one of the most powerful gifts I have ever received, a chance to be vulnerable. She would tell me, “If it’s true in your life, it’s true in your art.” Right before my brother Scott passed away I was accepted into the Steppenwolf Summer Theater Intensive. Our first day of class was two weeks after his funeral. It was a blessing to be surrounded by a caring ensemble and a creative environment where I could safely funnel my grief, anger, and desperation in a positive setting. Alex defined authenticity, honesty, courage, failure and vulnerability for me. I was drowning in insecurity and change and for the first time in my life I couldn’t contain the things that were happening to me. I was always very secretive and selective about what I shared about myself because I was so afraid of being judged. But when Scott passed away, all bets were off. I couldn’t even think to hide my devastation and the flood gates opened. It was the best thing that ever happened to me because holding back was exhausting. I gave up worrying and listening to that little voice in my head that stopped me from being open with people. It was the first time I let myself be completely uninhibited by my given circumstances.

Then I graduated and I left my perfect safe little bubble at Cal State Long Beach and I found myself holding back again. Being unconditionally vulnerable scares the shit out of me. I am struggling with being open with the guy I am seeing and it’s driving me insane. I can feel myself holding back. So I turned to my vulnerability gurus for a little wake up call. Alex used to call these breaths of clarity “shattering” like you are looking in a mirror that is slowly chipping away.

Here is a Brene Brown treasure of wisdom that really resonates with me, “When you get to a place where you understand that love and belonging, your worthiness, is a birthright and not something you have to earn, anything is possible… And if you don’t understand shame and you don’t have some shame resilience and awareness, then you cannot be vulnerable.” Ughhhhhhhh damnit Brene Brown! I feel like I am climbing shame mountain and the end is nowhere in sight. I have no clue why I am so afraid to just share the things I want to share. They are my identity. What’s craziest is the only person I am fighting and judging is myself. It’s so much easier to juts say yes to the uncertainty and lean into the discomfort. So I’m drawing a big fat circle around that and I am just going to keep leaning into shame mountain. Love is a fickle thing boys and girls. But like Shakespeare said, “The course of true love never did run smooth.”

Alright, enough of that. I had to get this off my chest because my head is going to implode. Let's talk about today's drills! I found this really really really awesome site called Runners Feed that has a ridiculous amount of awesome resources. So today's drills comes from them.

1. Quick Steps

"Quick Step should be a sharp and purposeful movement. Every 3rd step requires you to cycle through with what I like to call a quick step...focus on driving the knee upward while getting your foot off the ground as quickly as possible. The steps in between the quick steps are simply taking the heels off the ground. View all the training drills at http://runnersfeed.com/"

2. Straight Leg Bounds

"Straight Leg Bounds help to increase stride length. It also serves as a means to activate the ankles, glutes, and hip flexors. The goal is to land on the balls of your feet and spring forward while keeping your legs straight. Remember to swing arms as you would while running normally. View all the training drills at http://runnersfeed.com/"

Alright friends, drill it out. I gotta say, I am pretty stoked to start incorporating these drills into my weekly runs. I get to run 8 miles and I couldn’t be happier about it. I need to run and run far. (I’m being slightly over-dramatic but I am going to give myself a pass because this doesn’t happen often.) I'm gonna sprinkle these two drills into my workout tonight so I will let you know how it goes tomorrow. There's more drills coming tomorrow but if you have a favorite, send it my way! RunSelfieRepeat@gmail.com Until tomorrow friends, #RunSelfieRepeat.

1 Comment

Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.