What Are You Running Away From?

When I first started running, I had a really hard time finding anyone who was going through what I was going through. No one seemed to be struggling or running from their problems like I was. And I get it, it's hard to share the not so glamorous parts about ourselves and running. It's not easy to write down and share your deepest fears or shame for all the world to see. 

But I've found that the more I share the things I feel most insecure about, the less power my insecurities have over me. It's like ripping off a bandaid or jumping into a really cold body of water. It's terrifying at first but once the moment passes, you realize you really didn't have anything to be afraid of in the first place.

Before I became a blogger, I tried to control what people knew about me. I only opened up about what needed to be shared because I was afraid of being judged. It was exhausting. When I started Run, Selfie, Repeat, I found a way to share the parts of me I'd always been afraid of talking about, namely, what I was running from. I quickly realized that I was never actually alone. 

At the shakeout run I hosted with Finish Line Physical Therapy before this years New York City Marathon, my friend and producer Mayuran and I shot interviews with runners about their running experiences. One of the questions I was most excited to ask was, "What are you running away from?" because, let's be honest, we're all running away from something. 

For most of us, we started running as a way to run from our problems. Then, in what felt like a total plot twist, running turned out to be the solution to whatever problem we were running from. I always tell people that even though running may not actually solve your problems, it's always a step in the right direction. The first thing you need to do is realize that whatever you're running from isn't something to be ashamed of. Shit happens. Life is really, really, really f*cking hard. Running helps. It just does. Just remember that you're not alone.

So, what are you running from? 

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.