Saturday Spotlight- Kelly Carey

Name: Kelly Carey
Age: 23
Hometown: Holbrook
Current Town: Holbrook
Occupation: Analyst
Pets: Mika (almost 1-year-old miniature labradoodle)

I will start by saying that I am not very good at talking about myself, even though I REALLY know how to talk. Get me on a “good” day and I will talk about anything for an unnecessarily long amount of time. I’m basing this off of Lisa Sala and Keri Wylie’s posts because they brought me into the Warriors earlier this year and I try to follow in their footsteps with anything running related.

I have lived in not only Holbrook, but the same house my entire life. My dad started off his law enforcement career with NYPD and retired a few years ago as a Detective Lieutenant from Nassau County after 20+ years on the job. My older brother followed in his footsteps and joined NYPD last year and became a member of Nassau PD this summer. My mom is a dental sales rep with GlaxoSmithKline and has been with the company for over 20 years.

I was always into sports as a kid. Over the years I did soccer, gymnastics, several types of dance, roller hockey, figure skating, and cheerleading. That’s not including all of the “at home” camps my brother made me do for lacrosse, karate, and a plethora of other sports he could beat me at. I was a really small kid and fit in pretty well until the end of elementary school. I hit puberty, was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and became the target of many bullies in the span of just a few years. I quit gymnastics, which had been my favorite sport because I was “too big” compared to the other girls that I competed with and I was really hard on myself. Cheerleading started to become big on LI the summer I was going into 6th grade and I told my mom I wanted to give it a shot. Now I know you’re probably thinking, “Yeah let’s put the chunky ball of anxiety with a bunch of cheerleaders! That’ll be great!” But, to everyone’s surprise, it was one of the best things to happen to me. I actually found that the sport accepted people of all sizes, despite what you might think about cheerleaders, and I had some amazing coaches and teammates who changed my life. I cheered on an All-Star (out-of-school travel competition) team from 8th to 11th grade, and I cheered for my middle school, high school, and college teams. All together I cheered for 11 years, and that clock has started ticking again because I recently joined an adult team.

As I said before, when I was younger I was really small, and as a result REALLY fast. I used to just run around the soccer field sometimes not even paying attention to the game. However, as I also said, I got chunky and as a result REALLY slow. I hated running. With a passion. However, during the summer before my senior year of high school I started forcing myself to run almost every day and it became a little more bearable. Then I started college at LIU Post in the fall of 2013 and joined the cheerleading team. My coaches’ favorite thing to make us do when we messed up was run – and that happened a lot… So rather than fight it, I embraced it. I actually started to enjoy running and how I would feel after a run was complete. However, this was not the biggest factor that influenced my new found love of running. The biggest factor, or factors, would be two people. I met Lisa during sophomore (?) year of college. We were both studying forensic science and learned pretty early on that we made a great pair. Lisa was really great at knowing what to do, and I was really great at listening to her tell me what to do  But in all seriousness, we both pushed each other to be some darn good students and we had a great time doing it. We went on to be lab partners in every class we had together throughout our college careers. LIU Post was also how I met Keri – she would help set up the labs for our forensic science classes. One day Lisa told me that her and Keri started running together, and then I would see them running the track while I was at cheer practice. As Lisa mentioned way back when in her WOTW post, Keri’s office was the hang out spot and as Lisa and I became better friends I found myself spending more and more time in there getting to know Keri better as well. Eventually the two of them somehow roped me into running the NYC Turkey Trot with them in 2016. The race ended up being the same day as the last LIU Post football game of the season (and therefore the last football game I would cheer at), so we ran the 15K race in the city and I rushed back just in time to cheer the end of the game. I was extremely sore, but also hooked. I went on to run some of the Winter Series races with Lisa and Keri and my racing experience grew from there. I ran my first half marathon (Brooklyn Half) back in May and I will run my second in a few weeks at the Staten Island Half. I will also be running the Bronx 10-Miler tomorrow. By the end of the year I will have the NYRR 9+1 qualifications under my belt and the next big goal will be the 2019 NYC Marathon. Running has not only brought me an outlet for my anxiety and a way to stay healthy, but it has brought me incredible friends and a new way to challenge myself. Running has taught me that I can push myself way beyond what I thought my limits were and just how strong my body can be. Although it can be painful (and at times absolutely miserable), I am extremely grateful for the joy running has brought me.