Hey Shaylee, thank you for taking the time to speak with us.
What was your initial reaction when you saw a photoshopped picture of you being shared across social media?
I hadn’t been on social media all day and finally responded to messages from a friend I met when the initial photo was posted by Spartan last year. She, along with so many others, were outraged by the photoshopped photo. I was a little surprised that it had been done in the way it had, but it wasn’t as shocking to me. I saw numerous comments and posts like the recent photoshopped one on the initial spartan post (and believe me, they were worse), so I’ve already worked through that kind of bullying and hate. I’ve chosen to use it to fuel my fire to train hard and run more races. What was most shocking to me this time was the response from fellow Spartans, athletes, ocr racers. The outpouring of love, support and kind words was amazing.
Had “the website” reached out to you prior to using your picture? Did they reach out afterward?
No and no.
Technically, they should’ve reached out to spartan, I signed my rights to being used in Spartans photos when I ran the race.
Has Spartan Race reached out to you in any form? I saw a post that said they were giving you a free race pass but wanted to confirm…
Spartan race hasn’t reached out to me this time. They were amazing and gave me a season pass after they posted the real photo in December 2015. They wanted to help me achieve my goal of my first trifecta in 2016
Medal Whores(MW) athletic community gave me a free race and a few amazing individuals have offered me the same though!
Our MedalAddict community would like to know how to reach you? What is your social media info??
They can reach me through this Facebook account Shaylee Balls or on Instagram: @shayleebeefit
Any advice for Spartans dealing with cyber bullying?
The best advice I can give is to ignore those that cyber bully. If they’re making fun of you for a photo taken at a race, then they’re not a true spartan. That or they’ve clearly never gotten out from behind their computer and actually ran one. For those that are wanting to run a Spartan race and are now scared because of the bullying I received….please please please don’t let it dishearten you! This community is amazing, supportive and awe inspiring on all athletic levels. Don’t let the few bad apples ruin what could be a life changing experience. I invite any of them to come race beside me….I even invite those that did the bullying. We can both carry the men’s atlas stone and do the men’s herc hoist….
Thank you so much for your time. You are an inspiration….
Thank you so much!!! Im just me…but I’m glad This photo of me can inspire others! Plus it helps fuel my fire!