Dear Dude Who Wrote "Don’t Run a Marathon"

Dear dude who wrote "Don't Run A Marathon",

Dude. What is up! You sound angry, are you OK? How much time and research went into that piece? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but anyone who wants to run a marathon can not and will not be dissuaded from running a marathon. I hate to say it, but writing that piece was probably a waste of time (and I know how strongly you feel about wasting time). 

Personally, I never saw the hundreds of hours I spend training for marathons as a waste of time. If anything, it gave me a reason to wake up in the morning and an excuse to say no to the endless happy hours or weekend's spent in bars drinking. You think running a marathon is extravagant? Spend a few hours with some of my New York friends. They drop $250 drinking and dining every weekend. Now instead of flushing money down a boozy toilet, I run marathons and I get to spend my time with a diverse group of people who are committed to bettering themselves in every way possible. I prefer the latter to the former, but that's just me.  

Dude, I feel like I should let you in on the secret. Ready? No one runs a marathon to get likes on a social media post. No one runs a marathon so that they can bask in the support of thousands of spectators. No one runs a marathon to actually lose weight or to find their purpose. Those are all KICK ASS side effects that come with training for and then running a marathon! (OK fine, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that a part of me was motivated to finish my first marathon so that I could walk into a super bowl party and tell my ex that I ran a marathon after he broke up with me. But that was mid race motivation, not the reason I decided to run a marathon. I regret nothing. The look on his face made every single awful step worth it.) 

Running a marathon is a very personal experience and it's not up for debate. You don't choose to run a marathon, you feel compelled to. Running a marathon saved my life. Had I not run a marathon, I'm not sure I would have found a reason to live. Had I not run a marathon, I doubt I would have found the courage to pick up and move to New York City. Had I not run a marathon, I don't think I would have learned how to look in the mirror and love what I saw. Had I not run a marathon, I'm positive that I would have packed on the 75+ pounds I gained after my 16 year old brother tragically passed away. Should I keep going? Because I can keep going...

I guess I don't understand what the goal of your piece was. I mean, if someone really loves doing something or feels compelled to run a marathon, why tell them that their goal to be a better person is invalid? If anything, go after the people holding themselves back, too afraid to take life by the horns. I was one of those people and I can tell you that it sucks. It's a terrifying, depressing, and paralyzing existence and I feel a lot happier working to put my strongest foot forward than I did spending my time trying to keep up with the Kardashians. But again, to each their own! Who am I to tell someone how to live their life? 

You call training for a marathon a wasted opportunity. I don't think you quite understand why people run marathons. It's not about training to do something hard, it's about pushing yourself and proving that you're stronger than you think. Ask anyone who has trained for and then run a marathon if the experience was even close to what they expected and I guarantee that you will get a "F*CK NO". You spend hours upon hours outside of your comfort zone when you train for a marathon, how could you not walk away from the experience enlightened and changed?

Dude, if someone has decided to run a marathon, there is nothing you can do to convince them that it's a bad idea. I get where you're coming from but like I said, you're wasting your time. Time that could be spent, to borrow your words, "Acquir(ing) a new language, learn(ing) to code, becom(ing) a better cook, master(ing) swing dancing, finish(ing) a draft of that novel". But I run marathons (last year I ran 3), work a full time job, find time to be with my friends and I'm halfway through the first draft of my first book! OH AND I dance more than anyone I know. So there is enough time to have it all because if there's one thing runners are good at, it's time management. But you wouldn't know that because you don't run.

Sorry you wasted so much time. :(

Best,

-- Kelly

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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.