Running The Coping Mechanism

When life gives you lemons and then squeezes those lemons into your eyes while simultaneously pulling the rug out from under you, it's hard to figure out how you're going to make it through the day. Running is always billed as a way to stay healthy or as a way to get in shape but I think running's mental benefits far outweigh the physical ones. Here are 9 times I'm grateful I found running:

When I'm Anxious.

Sometimes the only way to escape the feeling that I'm being buried alive is to just get up and go. One of the only ways I can actually escape my inner monologue is by running until it fades away. Running has been the fastest and most efficient way to get my anxiety to subside.

When I'm Having A Terrible Awful Shitty Horrendous Day.

Bad day at work? When everything that could go wrong not only does go wrong but self implodes -- I thank my lucky stars that at 6:00pm I get to take off and run as far in the opposite direction of work as possible. Sometimes I cackle like a crazy person for added affect.

When I'm Frustrated.

Whenever I'm about to boil over and flip my lid, I think "Hey girl. Now is a great time to take a step to the side before you burn this place to the ground. Why don't you go do that thing where you run? Sounds like a better idea than what you're thinking about doing right now and it doesn't involve ending up in jail." Sometimes when I'm so frustrated that all I want to do is get in bed and pull the covers over my head or find a way into the witness protection program, I put on that really angry angsty playlist and I run hard. Exhausting myself physically is always so much better than doing it mentally.

When I'm Feeling Lost.

Lose your way? Not quite sure what you're doing with your life? Do you look in the mirror and not recognizing who you see staring back at you? There has never been a more perfect time or excuse to sign up for a half marathon and start running towards a physical finish line.

When I'm Heartbroken.

Is your heart shattering in a million pieces? Go run. The reason I ran the New York City Half Marathon and took those selfies with hot guys was because the relationship I was in was falling apart. But your heart is a muscle and it will only get stronger if you run! It's science! If you've ever tried running while you're crying you'll know that it's not easy. But not only is it cathartic to get moving when you feel empty inside but you have an active way to move through your heartbreak.

When I'm Grieving.

There is absolutely nothing worse than having to deal with a loss. Pain changes you and being able to do something physical that was painful but in a way that I knew was helping me get stronger made sense to me. Now whenever I slip into the rabbit hold of grief, I put on some sunglasses, lace up my shoes and I run. Being outside and moving forward does wonders if you're grieving.

When I'm Experiencing Doubt and Low Self-Esteem.

The pride, gratification and sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing a finish line is unparalleled. If for some reason you are experiencing doubt, go find your limits and push through them.

When I'm Stressed.

Stressed out? You'd think adding one more thing to your already overloaded plate would push you over the edge but running does the opposite affect. Not only will you have more energy to combat that stress but you'll be more proactive about planning ahead and scheduling to make sure you get those runs in.

If I'm Feeling Betrayed.

What do you do when you've been wronged? When you feel like there's no one on your side? You run! Why? Because the only person you can count on to take care of you is you. And the best revenge is strength, success and an endorphin high so go do something kick ass like run a half marathon and humble brag that you're a bad ass.

Life isn't easy and it never gets easier but when life gives you lemons, GO FOR A RUN. You don't have to be athletic or in shape to get started. All you have to do is take that very first step and then the next one. It's just one foot in front of the other. Download RunKeeper, get a training plan, sign up for a race and get going. 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.