I'm Running New York Because I'm Stronger Than My Doubts and Insecurities

To say that it's an honor to be able to be apart of the Footlocker Five Borough Challenge during this year's TCS NYC Marathon is an understatement. Running is a source of empowerment and for me and running has helped me cope, transition, and find a way to put one foot in front of the other when I felt like I was drowning. 

My story is long, complicated and messy but it boils down to this; we're stronger and more capable than we think. Our limits are self imposed and it's up to us to find out just how strong we really are.

When I first started running, I never imagined that it would change how I saw myself and the world around me. I like to joke that I was just desperate enough when I first started running but the truth of the matter is that when I started running, I felt like I had nothing to live for. The grief I was living with after my younger brother Scott's passing was paralyzing. Despite having lost over 75 pounds and working tirelessly on positive self talk, I felt ashamed and embarrassed by my body. I struggled to believe that I was worthy of anyone's love because I didn't love myself. Running helped me realize that the boxes I put myself in weren't serving me and that it's never too late to make impossible, possible. 

Running helped me realize that there are some pains that are worth enduring because they mean that you're getting stronger. 

I never thought I'd be empowered by my body. Look around, when do you see women without a stereotypical athletic figure talking about their strong bodies? I'm a US size 8-10 and my weight fluctuates between 155-168 pounds. My fastest and strongest marathon time is 3 hours and 41 minutes and I'm done feeling ashamed by my stomach, my stretch marks, and my quads. Joining the #SportsBraSquad and shedding my own insecurities helped me feel proud and empowered by own strength.

Shame and embarrassment don't serve us. Strength doesn't look a certain way it feels a certain way. We work way too hard not to feel strong, confident and empowered by our bodies. Enough with the bull sh*t expectations. It's time to look in the mirror and believe that what we see isn't just beautiful, it's perfect.

Most runners are fighters. We've been to hell and back and we don't just run, we run with purpose. And that is why I am so honored to represent Brooklyn during this weekend's TCS NYC Marathon. I promise that my sports bra and I will make you all proud. 

If you're with me, it would mean the world to me if you could support my fundraising efforts for the life changing charity Save the Children by CLICKING HERE. No child should ever have to suffer and together we can make that dream a reality. 

Until next time, #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.