How I Cope When Life Derails

I would be lying to you if I told you this second part of my trip was planned. Originally I was scheduled to fly back to NYC last Thursday back to New York but some lemons arose and I decided to enjoy make my lemonade in sunny Southern California with my family and friends.

I grew up in a suburb and there's a group of about a dozen of us who got to grow up together and I still consider them my best friends. Our group has been through a hell of a lot together from deaths, addictions, mental conditions, divorces, relationship ups and downs and just dealing with growing up. This has been one of those trips where I had to tell the story of what's been going on to all my people over and over and over again at least a dozen separate times. I love getting their different opinions on what I'm going through because they all bring different insights that I wouldn't think of myself. They know me probably better than I know myself and aren't afraid to tell me what's on their minds which is helpful when all you want to see is the best case scenarios. It's sort of like a bandaid approach, ripping it off and moving forward is always better than slowly suffering.

I invest 100% of myself into everything I do because I hate regretting anything. From my work life to my love life, everything I do I try to remain open, transparent and 100% vulnerable. But hearing everyone's different opinions and viewpoints re-affirmed why it's so important not to play by some made up set of rules. By leaving everything on the table, even if things didn't work out the way I had hoped, it's infinitely easier to cope when you aren't left with would of, could of, should of's.

But even after giving everything, I often find myself asking what now? Life is such a mystery. It's this huge, precious gift that I still find myself taking for granted despite my best efforts to live every single moment like it's my last. I look at what has happened to me in my life, both the wonderful and the tragic, and I don't think I would have made it if I didn't receive this gift:

What do I want?

How do I feel about it?

How do I get it?

When I was in college, my mentor Alexandra Billings gave me a strategy to employ whenever my life derails. First I ask myself what do I want. This is the feeling you get in your gut. It's that visceral pull that is associated with your intuitive self.  Then I move on to how do I feel about it. This lives in your heart. It's where both your most painful heartbreaks and greatest joys live. Next I ask myself how do I get it? This lives in your brain and it's how you use logic to establish a plan of attack. When you put the three together, you end up with your objectives.

From feeling thirsty and going to get a glass of water to trying to conquer your happy ending, everything we do is motivated by our objectives. Marrying the three helps me take a step out of logical land, where I love to live, and into balance land. I often let my head dominate everything I do and forget to check in with my gut and heart. Life's absolutely terrifying and when I find myself overwhelmed, it's the only way I can convince myself to start putting one foot in front of the other. There are no promises in life but if you give 100% of yourself to everything you do, at least you'll never find yourself looking back and wishing you could have given more.

I'm headed back to NYC today, but for now I am sitting in a bikini, eating In n Out and enjoying my last few hours with my best friend Raven and her puppies. Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.

 

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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.