One Week From Today, I'll Be In Chicago

I spent my morning watching the first few episodes of BQ or Bust and I have to say, I found myself both laughing at how palpable my fear was those first few weeks. 

When I decided I wanted to BQ, I decided to vlog so that I couldn't control what I shared with you. I wanted my Run, Selfie, Repeat community to be able to watch me struggle, crash, burn, and fight. When I write, even though I strive to be as open and vulnerable as possible, I still hold back. I can't hide from a camera. 

It started this year when I watched my friends run the Boston Marathon. And after the race, I was talking with them about whether or not I would ever go for a BQ and I told them that I would never be able to run that fast. I made a promise to myself back in 2014, after I ran my first marathon, that I would attempt anything I told myself that I couldn't do. Then I watched Beyonce's Lemonade and I was so moved and inspired that I filmed the first video, put it out onto the internet that I was going for it, and then quickly found a coach who believed in me. 

I was really worried going into the training last April that a lot of people wouldn't be able to relate to my journey to BQ. I never related to faster runners because that was never something I wanted to do. But once we got going, I quickly realized that it doesn't matter if you're training for your first 5K or if you're hoping to BQ, we're all pushing through the same doubts, discomfort, and mental blocks. It's not about pace or how impressive of a runner someone is, it's about challenging ourselves and then not giving up.

Any goal worth accomplishing isn't going to be easy. I've learned more about myself these past six months than I think I have in my entire 27 years on earth. Things I thought I had long put behind me reared their ugly heads. I found new strength and love for my body when I launched the #SportsBraSquad. I realized that I use training for marathons as a way to avoid pursuing relationships. I learned that I'm a really selfish friend and that I am really, really bad at putting other people before myself. 

It's hard to find a good work life balance because my work and my life both revolve around running. I don't consider myself a professional athlete but running is both my source of income and the thing I do to cope with my grief and be happy. I never thought I would one day run a 5K yet alone be a figure within the running community. In the past month, I was named one of the 20 women who are changing the sport of running by Women's Running Magazine and one of the influential and inspiring runners under 30 by Competitor magazine.   It's surreal to sit on lists with professional athletes when all I have to offer are my jokes, my story, and my vulnerability. 

When I announced that I was going to try to BQ, I didn't think I was going to do it. I thought I was going to give it my all but ultimately prove that some people just aren't capable of running fast and that it's OK to just run for fun! I thought I would hate every second of it and be able to turn around and say once and for all that running for fun is infinitely better than running for time. But I've learned that you can have both. The beautiful part about running is that it gives us a way to both have fun and push ourselves to places we didn't think were possible.

Getting active and healthy were never things that I thought I would enjoy. But here I am today, an athlete and I'm still having fun. I've learned how important it is to trust and believe in yourself and that "impossible" is often just another word for "fear". That it's only when you stop trying to figure everything out and trust yourself and the process that progress happens. And I learned how dangerous it is to define yourself and the things around you. 

There's nothing wrong with running and walking just to be able to say you can or that you did. There's also nothing wrong with waking up one day and setting out to see just how far and fast you can go. Do what's right for you. Just make sure that you're pushing yourself just outside of your comfort zone. It's in discomfort where change lives. 

Only 9 days to go and I couldn't be more ready or more excited. I'll see you soon Chicago. 

kelly roberts

Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.

PS -- Will you be in Chicago? Join me October 8th for a fun #SportsBraSquad shakeout run!