Today’s guest is someone that I’ve gotten to know a little bit recently, but I’m looking forward to diving deeper into her story today.
Not only is she a fellow runner and running coach, but she’s also a Charge Running coach as well.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles and talking shop with fellow running coach Shelby Schmidt.
On The Outside Looking In
Shelby Schmidt didn’t begin running until after she was married.
She would often see people running and think that they looked healthy and must have their life together.
Shelby wanted those things for herself, but she soon found that running wasn’t easy to get into.
When she first began running, she didn’t have any friends or family that were involved in the sport.
Other than bowling growing up, running was the only other sport that Shelby has ever stuck with.
Prior to becoming a runner, Shelby was a competitive bowler for the better part of her life.
At one point she was ranked in the top 50 in Florida.
Bowling was something she enjoyed for many years and she also happened to meet her husband doing what she loved.
Convenience Was a Factor
Shelby experienced a bit of a rocky start when she first began running.
In the early stages, she had to force herself to get out the door for a run, and rarely did she enjoy it.
Shelby can’t pinpoint exactly when she began to enjoy running, but it was around the time she completed her first 5k.
She signed up for the race envisioning it as the epitome of her running career.
Shelby had one goal and that was to run the entire race without walking.
Once she accomplished the thing she didn’t think she could do, it made her wonder what else she was capable of.
Shelby will be the first to admit that one reason she initially stuck with running was because of the convenience factor.
Now she runs solely for herself and enjoys running for what it is.
Always Say Maybe
Shelby is a firm believer that everyone should have a place in the sport.
Running can sometimes have an elitist aspect to the sport.
If someone doesn’t look a certain way or run a certain speed they can be perceived as not being a “real” runner to some.
Shelby wants everyone to enjoy the sport and tune out how they may be perceived by others.
Over the years, Shelby has learned the hard way to never say never.
Every time she has said she would never do, a distance, race, etc, she is proven wrong time and time again.
She completed her first triathlon a few weeks ago and enjoyed being a beginner at a sport again.
Shelby now lives by the motto, “always say maybe.”
Don’t Be Afraid To Fail, Be Brave Enough To Try
Shelby has been running for over 8 years, but only recently has she begun coaching other runners.
She always loved the idea of becoming a coach, but she never had the courage to take the leap and try.
The pandemic was a turning point in her career.
Stress was piling onto Shelby due to her job, so she made the decision to give her notice and pursue a career in coaching.
Since that moment, she has worked hard to find her place in the running industry.
Shelby ultimately found success by trying to make running inclusive and being true to herself.
Shelby has always been a confident person, but that confidence has evolved over the years.
By putting herself out there as a coach, she has learned to develop a thicker skin to criticism.
She is aware that she is not everyone’s “cup of tea” and she is okay with that.
Like so many others, Shelby has found that running has a positive mental effect.
Shelby does find a problem with the phrase, “running is therapy.”
It is a heavy phrase to unpack and it often begins when running is simplified to be enough to fix everything.
Running/movement is just one tool in the toolbox to address mental health issues.
She encourages others to not feel guilty if running doesn’t solve all the problems and to seek out additional support/resources.
Shelby has been a coach with Charge Running for about 6 months.
Charge Running is an app that connects runners with live runs and a variety of coaches.
A group run allows the coach to talk in real-time to you while providing a sense of community.
The goal for Shelby during her classes is to leave everyone a little better than when they started.
Shelby has loved making connections and helping runners improve.
Coaching has also had a positive effect on her.
She has finally accepted the importance of easy running while also focusing on her running form.
Most of all, Shelby runs for herself and continues to reach for bigger and bigger goals.
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