Thursday, March 4, 2021

Featured Follow: Robert Raymond, @running_fatass

Today's Featured Follow is another Instagrammer I've followed for years. While I originally found Robert's page when I was looking to diversify my IG feed a bit by branching out from my typical follows (fit, fast, and female), I definitely stayed for his humor, his attitude about running, and his perseverance.
Robert's profile is more adult-oriented and irreverent than others I've shared, as you probably could have guessed from his handle. His stories are always full of memes spanning the spectrum from punny and silly to borderline R-rated. His grid, on the other hand, is a testament to his hard work to lose weight through his lifestyle change - with some humor thrown in, of course. You really feel like you're getting a full picture of his personality, which I love.

Following Robert is like following your goofy neighbor. When you want a break from following elite accounts and you just need to come back down to earth and feel like you can relate to someone going through the grind just like you, Robert's your guy.
Getting to Know Robert 

Can you share a little about yourself for readers who aren’t familiar with you?
I was born in New Hampshire and moved to Florida when I was 12. I've been married for 20 years with two kids and two dogs. I’m a HUGE football fan (Go Patriots)!
What’s your favorite race distance, and what is the first race you’d like to do when races open up again?
I don’t think I necessarily have a favorite distance, but I love the challenge of 13.1 Miles. I was registered for my first Full in January 2021 (Disney Full) but it was canceled. That’s the one I really want to do!

What does your running look like these days?
Probably the best it’s looked since I started. My mileage and pace has been consistent and I’ve remained fairly injury free.

What role does running/fitness play in your life?
It’s my “me time” stress escape.

The Deeper Stuff

What is your running origin story? When did you start, and why?
I got started on a “dare” from friends on Labor Day Weekend 2015. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and they dared me to run the Inaugural Disney Star Wars 10k with them. I had never run before but took the challenge. I started training in December 2015 and was hooked. Once I started seeing the weight come off (I’ve lost nearly 100lbs since starting) I knew this was a lifestyle change for me.
Share your hardest running moment.
2018 Gasparilla Half when my calves started cramping with about 3 miles left. It hurt to run so I had to basically walk the last 5k. I was so disappointed that my body failed me, but also proud that I finished. 

What is your proudest running moment?
Crossing the finish line of my first Half Marathon in 2017.

How has running/fitness changed your life?
It has made me much healthier and has brought some amazing friends into my life.

What is a non-running accomplishment you’re proud of?
Being the first in my family to graduate college.

Favs and Feedback

What is some advice you’d give someone who is interested in starting to run?
Never compare yourself to others. Work at your pace, your timeline. Don’t get caught up in what others are doing and feel like you have to match them. The only person you should feel the need to beat is yourself.

Do you have a favorite running item or article of gear to recommend?
Alter Ego Hats, Balega Socks, HIND running shorts.
What is your preferred running shoe?
New Balance 860s. 

Recommend an essential accessory you think every runner needs.
Whatever form of hydration accessory you're comfortable with (a handheld, pack, etc). 

Can you share a fellow runner or athlete you love to follow on Instagram?
I enjoy following @bbeckering.

Robert is definitely an inspirational follow and earnestly supportive of his fellow runners, but he's also funny and blunt. What makes Robert such a great follow is that he's relatable. Follow him here for a refreshing change of pace.


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