Run, Selfie, Repeat-Interview with Kelly Roberts

The beginning of a new year is filled with tons of mixed emotions. After the excitement from the holidays wears off it can be challenging to get back in the swing of things. If you’re anything like me you walked into work that Monday after Jan 1 and wanted nothing more than to sleep for two more hours and finish off all of the delicious party left overs.

Sadly life must go on, but if you are looking for something to reignite that spark we’ve got it, and her name is Kelly Roberts. Runners, marathoners, fitness enthusiasts, and those just starting out, all have something to learn from Kelly’s story.
If you haven’t already checked out her fantastic blog, or heard her name in headline news across the channels, read below for what you need to know about this inspiring runner.

My story made headlines when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the NYC Half Marathon in 2014. I created my blog to help inspire others while making them laugh hysterically because laughing ( in my opinion) is the solution to everything. Run, Selfie, Repeat is bursting with humor and personal stories that give an insight into world of running and lead you to believe that just about anyone, regardless of their fitness level, can fall in love with running.

Photo by Samantha Caruthers

Any girl who can take “hottie hunting” and make it both a sport and deeply personal is onto something! This San Diego native was kind enough to share some of her journey with the Share it Fitness community and provides all of us with a little advice about how to make 2015 one for the books.

Photo by Samantha Caruthers

My main goal is to inspire others to care more about their physical and mental well being. I hope to entertain people and show them that with some effort, becoming a more active person can not only be incredibly fun but entertaining too.

Photo by Samantha Caruthers

Do you see yourself branching into different forms of exercise?

I hope so! I really want to do an Ironman. Spinning is my second favorite way to get sweaty and the swimming part seems natural to me; as I grew up in San Diego swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Ironman scares the living daylights out of me and sometimes I don’t think I could do it — but after I ran my first marathon, I told myself…

I am going to do a majority of the things that scare me.

So that is in my future (hopefully!)

Photo by Samantha Caruthers

What was the hardest part about making such a drastic life change?

The hardest part was sticking with it, especially in the beginning. I hated running. It was something I didn’t want anything to do with, but for some reason I started running and kept with it. I was really slow (like 12 minute miles) and that was a bitter pill to swallow. I couldn’t run a mile without stopping so that was a blow to my ego. But 3 weeks later, I was able to run 3 miles without stopping and the feeling was indescribable.

The greatest challenge in maintaining an active lifestyle?

I think it’s hard to balance an active lifestyle with a work and social life. I work about 10+ hours a day and I have to be smart and diligent about scheduling my runs or cross training. It’s so easy to want to just go home and sit on the couch after a bad day, but forcing myself to run always helps me shake it off much more effectively than sitting on the couch. It’s not impossible, it just takes effort.

Are there any social issues you really want to tap into?

I hate how society uses the words fat and skinny. I think it’s ridiculous and it gets under my skin when a friend or family member tells me I look skinny. For me it takes a lot of work to have a fit body and I spent so many years trying to lose weight in unhealthy ways. I would much rather have someone tell me that I look healthy, muscular, happy, or beautiful — those words make sense to me. I think that skinny and fat hold vague and negative connotations. Neither skinny nor fat is something I care to be called.

Your greatest reward?

The feeling I get when I cross a finish line. When I crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon I felt like my heart was going to explode because I was so overwhelmed. Running has done so much for me and it’s changed my life. It’s made me a happier, healthier and more confident woman and I feel empowered every time I cross a finish line.

Photo by Samantha Caruthers

Favorite not-so-healthy activity?

Cooking! I love eating. I seriously love food. My favorite thing to do is to cook for 10-20 friends and family members. I don’t care to go out to clubs; my idea of a good time is a dinner party that turns into a kitchen dance party.

What are some of the most common inhibitors you see when people struggle to start living the life they desire?

Doubt, insecurity, and shame. After my brother passed away I gained over 50 pounds and found myself weighing in over 200 pounds. I was ashamed to be seen at a gym. It wasn’t necessarily getting through a 30 minute bike ride that was difficult, but it was just walking into the gym and being seen amongst the chiseled bodies. I was so uncomfortable to be there, I felt like I didn’t belong. But I cared enough and stuck with it. Eventually it got easier and I got healthier. People who haven’t been overweight don’t understand that being overweight has nothing to do with laziness. It’s much more difficult and complicated than that. But you just have to care enough to make a change and enough drive to stick with it when it gets difficult.

Next marathon plan?

The only marathon I am 100% certain I am running in 2015 is the NYC Marathon but I want to find a marathon to run in April/May, another near my birthday on 9/19, Chicago in October, and NYC in November. I’d love to run a marathon in another country next year so fingers crossed that happens!

If you could sum up running in three words?

Inspiring, fun and “it hurts so good.” (OK more than three but the third is a saying…and I hate rules.)

Are there any values you feel like you have grown in since taking up running?

Dedication! I’ve never been as dedicated as I am since I trained for a marathon. Something that really resonated with me was how the pain made sense. I was grieving my brother’s loss and trying to figure out what to do career wise after I graduated from college and running gave me this pain that I knew only existed because I was getting stronger. Running is really very simple, you run a certain distance and slowly increase it until you run your desired distance. If you can get through the doubts, fears and discomfort then you can do just about anything. It’s addictive because you feel totally limitless.

Where does motivation come from?

I think it changes. I started running as a way to run from my problems but now many of those problems have dissipated. What motivates me is that I don’t feel like me when I’m not running (Which is so strange to say because only 2 years ago running was a foreign idea).

What qualities does it take to conquer your goals?

I think the only thing you actually need to do to conquer a goal is to take the first step — I call it the cliff. Once you jump off the cliff you have no choice but to either fly or fall. Then, even if you fall, there’s going to be another cliff. You just have to care enough to find a way to make it happen. Because if you don’t care, why are you even trying?

What are the most important values needed in living an active lifestyle?

I think positivity, an open mind, and a willingness to fail are imperative to living a healthy lifestyle.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your journey?

The most rewarding part is when people share their stories and journeys with me. Having people write me that I’ve helped them get active or try for their next race. It means something huge to me to have people reach out and tell me they appreciate my honesty and candid take on life, because it’s scary putting yourself out there like I do. It’s terrifying airing out what I considered to be dirty laundry for so long. It’s paralyzing putting my deepest insecurities or shame onto the internet so to have strangers write me and tell me they appreciate it and reciprocate with their own story is life changing.

What advice would you give someone looking to get out of their comfort zone?

JUST DO IT ALREADY! GET OUT OF YOUR OWN DAMN WAY! The time is never going to be right, you’ll never be “ready” enough, and all those fears, though they may be very valid, need to be pushed aside. Dare to fail. FAIL BETTER. In my eyes the only way you can fail is if you don’t try.

Best advice to give to someone who plans to never ever leave their comfort zone?

I would say it’s impossible because sooner or later you’re going to snap. It’s just a matter of time. So stop wasting it, do it now. Not tomorrow, not next year, right now.

What is it about #HotGuysOfTheNYCHalf that won everyone’s hearts?

I think it was just funny. It was something we’ve never really seen before and it painted running into a really positive light. It showed just how much fun running is.

What is most inspiring to you?

Everyone who uses running to get through hard times and then shares their story. Every time I read a my first half/full marathon story and listen to what people have gone through or overcome, it lights a fire under my ass. It’s a reminder that life’s hard and sometimes you have to search for a way to put one foot in front of the other. What better way to do it than running?

Best healthy living advice ever received?

Eat a cookie! Have 2 cookies! Stop stressing if you have a treat, enjoy the treat, and move on. It’s all about moderation.

Best healthy living advice you’ve got?

No matter how you look or feel right now, learn to love yourself. Don’t love what you think you will look like if you start running, exercising and eating healthy. Spend 5 minutes in front of a mirror every single day and list what you love about yourself. No critiques just what you love.

Worst advice you have ever heard?

Juice cleanses and the 1000 calorie diet.

Best kept secret to fulfillment?

Set a short-term goal like running a 10k or a half marathon, take it one day at a time and do it for you. Find a mantra or something that will keep you going when it gets tough. Share your success with your family, friends and on social media because you are doing something awesome!

What’s next?

Next year my main goal is to run a sub 4 hour marathon. I would love to take my hottie hunting abroad and continue to spread the word of Run, Selfie, Repeat. Most importantly I hope to continue to make people laugh and hopefully inspire people to try to fall in love with running. Only time will tell! Stay tuned!

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