Keilynn Hopkins

Friday, February 13, 2015

Q. Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do for a living?
A. My name is Keilynn Hopkins. I grew up on various military bases in Germany and Italy. Currently live in New Jersey, USA. I am a Registered Nurse by trade and graduate student studying Advanced Practice Nursing Science.

Q. How do you balance your exercise regime and your professional life?
A. I work two 12-hour shifts at the hospital, spend three days at different clinical sites for school, and one day is reserved for class. Balance? Exercise is a priority so I either work out immediately before or after my work or school obligations.

Q. When and why did you start running?
A. In high school I ran with the Cross County team during the fall to winter season. In the spring season, I would run the middle distance races with the track team.

Q. What motivates you to go out there, when you do not feel like it?
A. My mind requires variety. I try to run various trails to stay motivated. Sometimes that means that I will travel up to an hour to a new location on my days off. I have also made it a habit of registering for races, throughout the year, that enable me to visit different locations. 

Q. What is the longest distance you have run? 
A. A few years ago I ran 50 kilometers as part of a trail race. The distance doesn’t seem so far when you run on various terrain. I couldn’t imagine running the same distance on roads.

Q. What gives you the confidence to run in the streets?
A. I consider myself a trail runner. Being a trail runner requires more than just the knowledge of certain routes. My confidence has grown over time as I have gained an understanding of various natural elements. 

Q. What do you think about the lack of exercise among the youth?
A. The lack of exercise in youth is a travesty. As a clinician, I am now seeing teenagers with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and Benign Essential Hypertension. This was previously unheard of 10 to 20 years ago as those diseases were seen only in the adult population. 

Q. What was your best running experience?
A. My best running experience has always come from running with the Uptown Gentlefriends, a local running group. The laughter and shared joy of running beats any race that I have ever run. 

Q. What was your worst running experience?
A. My worst running experience occurred in High School during a track medley race. I ran in the last leg of the medley, the 1600-meter portion. There was no way around it, the other teams were faster in this portion, and two teams lapped me. This cost us first and second place. The bleachers were filled with fiercely competitive parents. Their complaints and bemoaning crushed my spirit as I crossed the finish line. 

Q. How do you push through the pain?
A. Pain is an excuse. I understand my body and know when it is good versus bad pain. The good pain feels great. It means I am pushing my limits. Bad pain, like a joint, has only required a period of rest so far. Fingers crossed.

Q. What advice can you give somebody who wants to starts running?
A. Starts slow. Walk and incorporate running into your distances. The endurance and speed comes in time. 

Q. Which social media sites are you on and how can one follow you?
A. Instagram – @keilynn.hopkins

My best running shoes are… 
... it depends on the terrain. Right now, I am a fan of Brooks and Merrell brands.

I love running because...
... it frees my mind.

Injury is...
... something I avoid like the plague.

My body is...
... meant to push limits.

My running playlist has...
... afro beats, techno, and 1980s to 1990’s rap.

I hate running...
... when I’m sick.

Pain is...
... a part of the game plan.

The road...
... long and interesting.

Sweat is...
... necessary.

In the future, I would like to run...
... in the Colorado Mountains.

Indie means...
... you run to your own beat.


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