Running Wasn’t On The Four Year Agenda, But Barry University Thought Differently

Gabbie Kinsey’s take on committing to Barry University for cross country and how she uses social media to help others.

Lindsey Smith, Arts and Entertainment Editor

   Gabriella (Gabbie) Kinsey has one main goal: to take her own experiences and inspire others. As a senior in high school, she has taken to social media and running to change the stereotypical stigma surrounding exercise. With relatable posts, motivational messages, and exercise tips, Gabbie aims to inspire and create a new wave of workout determination because, as Gabbie puts it, “‘you have to start somewhere.’” 

   Freshman year is a transition period by anyone’s standards, but for Gabbie, it was beyond just transitioning into high school, it was also about finding her footing in a new sport; the PPCHS track team proved to be just the challenge for her. Now, as a senior ready to graduate high school, running is more than just an after school activity, it will occupy her next four years at Barry University.

    “Well, I got a random phone call from my coach with the news that Barry University was interested in me. At first I thought to myself, ‘no way, literally, there’s no way, this has to be a joke!’” All humility aside, Gabbie was a front runner distance athlete at PPCHS, and a runner that set new school records, while coming close to old records. If her cross country season wasn’t indication enough, her track season sealed the deal with a well under six minute mile and sub-13 minute two mile. “It had not even crossed my mind to run in college, I didn’t think I was on that level (let’s face it, we all struggle a little with imposter syndrome)…” It’s the relatable comments that take a hit at the lack of self-confidence most individuals have when it comes to working out that sets Gabbie apart, and is the exact force that drives her social media influence. “…Once I met with my future coach at Barry, and toured the school, it hit me standing there in the courtyard. This is it! This is what I have trained and worked so hard for, and let me tell you, that was a feeling I’ll never forget. To be given an

This is it! This is what I have trained and worked so hard for, and let me tell you, that was a feeling I’ll never forget. To be given an opportunity to continue my sport that I truly love, while also receiving an amazing education is priceless!

— Gabbie Kinsey

opportunity to continue my sport that I truly love, while also receiving an amazing education is priceless!”

   With a commitment to run at Barry university, Gabbie explained that her success is not only a reflection on her hard work, but she also attributes it to the people who supported her the whole way through, including her biggest supporter and motivator: her mother.

   “[My mom] had me at a very young age and watching her set goals and always obtain them has been a huge motivation for me.” Gabbie explained that no matter how hard things seemed to be, her mother always seemed to defy the odds and conquer it. “There’s nothing that she lets stand in her way, from personal or professional goals she tries to achieve. For me, that is always something I have strived to do, just from watching her succeed.” 

   While Gabbie tried other sports like soccer and dance (among others), running was an instant joy and Gabbie explained feeling the “‘oh, this is it’” moment with her first pair of running shoes. From that moment on, her mother was there every step of the way to help her achieve her goals. “She always shouts from the sidelines at meets, ‘you think you’re done Gabbie, but you still have 60% left in your tank!’ I have literally seen her from the corner of my eyes running alongside me as I stride to the finish line!”

   But running for a division two track team and achieving her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner will not be an easy feat, yet Gabbie is well prepared to meet the challenges and conquer them, just as she was taught to. “My long term goals for track/cross country are to hit new personal records… I am also interested in seeing how I will juggle such a stressful schedule with college both academically and athletically. But, I’m so up for the challenge.” Aside from running, Gabbie plans to work alongside her parents at their Cosmetic Dermatology office. 

   As goals are set, they are only as practical as the effort behind them, but for Gabbie, the motivation to accomplish them is not a problem. “Let’s face it…We aren’t always 100% motivated!” It’s a statement that others know all too well, but Gabbie has established tips and tricks to help ease others, and herself, through the process. 

   “First thing I always make sure I have is… a good playlist! There’s nothing like music that thumps in your headphones to really get you going! Second is a cute gym fit. I don’t know what it is about putting together something new to wear to the gym/runs that just gets me pumped and ready to crush my workout. Finally when all else fails… Mindset! Mindset is honestly everything!” Your mind will give up before your legs is a common phrase known to most distance runners and is painfully true at the last few miles of a long run, or the last few meters of a race. But, as Gabbie puts it:  “If you tell yourself you can’t do something well guess what? You can’t! But if you are your own personal hype man, honestly the skies are the limit! Speaking positively to yourself is an amazing thing to stay motivated!”

   Taking her achievements, her goals, even her bad days and tough runs, Gabbie has accumulated a social media presence that is aimed at making others feel like they can do anything too. “I always express to my audience ‘you have to start somewhere.’ I film workout routines, track related content, nutrition support, etc. hoping that in some way someone out there can relate and be motivated by my everyday posts!” 

   As a future PPCHS alum, Gabbie is ready to graduate and take the world by storm one run and one post at a time.