How Can This Happen?

This weekend in Orlando Florida, 50 people were slaughtered in a night club. 50. 50 human beings were murdered. It's a senseless and unthinkable act that could have been prevented.

I can not pretend to understand why anyone would want to fight gun reform. While I don't understand why anyone would want to own a gun, I respect the fact that their outlook is different than mine and that banning guns entirely isn't a viable solution to our problem. I understand that people want the right to own and carry a fire arm. Just because I don't understand or agree with it doesn't mean that I think they are wrong. I can disagree but still respect their second amendment right. But it's disappointing to read that so many people do not believe that the accessibility of fire arms aren't a part of the problem. Gun violence is an incredibly complicated issue. There is no black and white answer. But guns are a piece of the puzzle and we are being selfish and closed minded when we fight reform.

In 2009, I received a traumatic phone call that forever changed who I am as a human being and my life as I knew it. My Father called to tell me that there had been a tragic accident and that my Brother had passed away. Every time I read about a shooting, I think about the families and friends who had to get that phone call. Or worse, read their loved one's name on a list. I think about all the people who will never get to hug their person again. All the holidays they have to try to celebrate and get through in spite of their loss. The hell that is sitting somewhere when a tidal wave of grief comes out of no where and catapults you into a level of grief that is so overwhelming and paralyzing that it makes it hard to get through the day. Because the grief they have to live with doesn't go away. It doesn't get better or less intense, it will stay with them and be apart of them forever.

I always want to ask the people fighting against gun reform how they can put themselves and their needs before so many people who are being robbed of life. How they can put their desire to hunt or to "defend them self" before all of the lives tragically stolen. I want to ask these people if they have lost someone suddenly and unfairly and if they know what living in spite of an unthinkable loss is like because if they did, I can't imagine how they could sit by while people all over the country, are losing their loved ones to gun violence. It doesn't make sense to me that anyone who knows how terrible it is to move forward when you've unfairly lost someone could fight against gun reform.

My heart breaks for all the lives lost to gun violence. For all the loves, memories, milestones, and laughs that those murdered will never get to experience. And my heart shatters for all the family members and friends who now have to try to survive their tragic loss. Because their lives will never be the same. Every day will hurt. Every. Single. Fucking. Day.

It's unthinkable. It's unfair. And we need to figure it out. It won't happen unless we come together and listen to both sides and then put the greater good first because people are being slaughtered and we're not doing anything about it.

Life is precious. Tomorrow is never promised. Never miss an opportunity to tell your people you love them. You never know when it will be the last time.

Stay strong Orlando. I wish I could do more. My heart hurts with yours. And I will stand with you until we can figure out how to make the change we so desperately need. 

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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.