“I don’t know where the desire to win comes from other than the desire to just feel like I’ve done my best and to know that when it’s all said and done that I can’t really have any regrets…The ability to go hard and to hurt yourself, yeah, I think some athletes have it better than others—and I would put myself, maybe I could at times, go fairly deep—and I don’t know really where that comes from. I think it’s one of those things where it was more of a desire just to know I’ve done my best, and if my best wasn’t good enough, which in many times it wasn’t, that’s OK, because then I could walk away and be like, ‘Well, that’s as good as I am.’ And I think knowing that can give any athlete a little sense of peace or a sense of calm.”
Keith Kelly and I go back 20 years to when we were both competing on the New England collegiate racing scene. He was an NCAA Division I national Cross Country champion at Providence College and I…well, I participated in some of the same events that he did from much further back in the field. We struck up a friendship a few years later when we both started working in the running industry and our paths have been criss-crossing ever since.
In addition to his individual NCAA title, Keith was a 5x All American at Providence, he finished 24th in the senior men’s race at the 2001 World Cross Country championships, and he won the Irish national cross country title in 2009. When his competitive running career got cut short due to injury, he got into cycling and rose through the ranks to race as a Cat 1 within a year of putting himself in the saddle. Now 43 years old, Keith works as a Global Run Marketing manager at New Balance.
In this episode, Keith talked to me about athletic career, his extensive injury history, and when he knew running was something his body could no longer tolerate. We discussed his interest in cycling, how he channeled his fitness and competitiveness into his new sport, and what he misses most about running. We also talked about how the pandemic has affected the running industry, how super shoes are changing the sport, and a lot more.
This episode is brought to you by:
— Goodr: Goodr sunglasses are don’t bounce, they don’t slip, they’re polarized to protect your eyes, and they come in a nice range of styles and fun colors. They’re the most affordable performance shades on the planet with most pairs costing only $25 to $35 bucks a piece. If you want to support the podcast and treat yourself to a pair of goodrs, head over to goodr.com/MARIO or enter the code MARIO at checkout for FREE shipping on your first order.
— Girls on the Run has been inspiring girls to know and activate their limitless potential and boldly pursue their dreams. On Thursday, March 25 at 7 PM EST—just a few weeks from now—you are invited to join an exciting 25th Birthday virtual event celebrating the inherent power and courage of girls. Join me and RSVP today at gotr.gives/TMS. The event is free to attend, but donations can be made and special add-on packages are available for purchase such as a copy of Hoda’s newest book and a pair of GOODR sunglasses customized for Girls on the Run.
Complete show notes: https://themorningshakeout.com/podcast-episode-149-with-keith-kelly/
Sign up here to get the morning shakeout email newsletter delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning: www.themorningshakeout.com/subscribe/
Support the morning shakeout on Patreon: www.patreon.com/themorningshakeout