This Isn't What The Running Community Stands For

A lot of runners struggle to understand why so many people struggle to embrace the identity of a runner. Or feel like they can be apart of the running community. We live in fear that "real runners" will turn to us and tell us that we don't belong. That we're slow or that we aren't invited to the running party. 

And the truth is, those people exist. There's a small portion of the running community that does, in fact, consider themselves better than the rest of us. 

And that's OK. Here's what we need to remember, it's a hell of a lot harder trying to belong or prove yourself than it is to give yourself permission to be your best. 

You have nothing to prove to anyone, ever. Is it motivating to prove to yourself that you're not a quitter? Or that you are stronger than you ever thought possible? Hell yeah! The only person you're in competition with is yourself. 

And should you ever have to come in contact with anyone in that small group who tries to shame you or push you out, hold them accountable but try to remember that hurt people hurt people. It's not a reflection of you, but them. 

You belong. You deserve to be here. You have nothing to prove. 

This is a comment that was made on a picture I posted to Instagram of myself and two friends finishing the Rock N Roll Philly Half Marathon

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It's scary. It's disgusting. And it makes me sick. The man who made the comment has apologized for making me feel unsafe, and for that I'm grateful.  

Threatening to physically harm someone is dangerous, reckless, and it's disgusting. Even if it's a joke (looking at you Donald Trump). 

But it is a really important reminder that even though there will always be bad eggs in every community, we need to find ways to embrace them instead of shaming them. We all deserve to belong. 

Shame is a dangerous, dangerous thing. I hope everyone tries to remember that regardless of how frustrated you get, there's another human on the other side of the screen. Even if you don't see eye to eye, you can always find a way to speak respectfully to one another.

Name calling and threats are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. EVER.

That's not what the running community stands for.  

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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.