Presented by Race SLO


Robby McLaughlin

From Robby: I was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, and grew up quite the butter ball. Being overweight was very hard on my confidence, especially since the rest of my family were all stud athletes. I didn’t understand why I got the short end of the stick, so around 10 or 11 years old I hit the books on diets and exercise. I went through all the fad diets at that time. Saving up my quarters to ride my bike to the grocery store to buy Slim Fast were some of the more embarrassing moments of my life. Till this day, I still don’t think my family knows about that.     

I started running every night after dark so no one would see me (I knew I was young and I felt like others would judge me for it). I did push-ups and sit-ups every night before bed. I would also go into the garage after my brothers went to bed and try to lift what they left out on our gym equipment. Often it didn’t work out in my favor. 

In high school I came to realize I was pretty strong. I loved football practice even more because we got to lift after. I started winning strength competitions and broke the high school all time record for strength.  

After high school I joined the Army because I thought I would be good at it. I kept running and lifting, learning a lot. I had a few serious back injuries but wanted to stay active, so I studied different ways to be strong and still be able to run. Even though I was told that one can either be big and strong, or thin and fast, I didn’t accept that. I broke the Alaskan PT (2 min of push-ups, 2 min of sit-ups and 2 mile run) record for the Army.   

During my deployments I kept on my journey of learning. Spare time in the desert consisted of reading whatever magazines we had over there. The occasional internet time was usually reading blogs on bodybuilding.com or lifting. I was determined to be the strongest yet fittest person I could be.  

I was on a semi-pro football team for a short time and became the strength and conditioning coach for a local high school, and for my battalion training soldiers for missions and to pass their PT test. After the Army my drive did not let up. I kept competing in every strength sport I could, as well as triathlons.   

I did not love one specific sport but yet I loved all of them. I knew there had to be something out there that had the best of all of them. I never found it, so I created Headstrong Fitness in my garage.   

My main education comes from experience and injury. I have felt pains in just about every joint and learned how to work around them, fix them and find out why they happened, which has allowed me to share my passion of fitness and help as many people as I can to reach their goals. 

Website: HeadstrongFit

Instagram/Facebook: @headstrongfit

For the full, unedited, interview on YourTube CLICK HERE. 


 About the Host: Samantha Pruitt

Female Entrepreneur, Endurance Sports Race Director & CEO of Race SLO, Endurance Town USA Podcast Host, Headstrong Endurance & THRIVE Adventure Coach, Founder of the Women’s Race Director Collective, Ultra & Adventure Athlete, Mom & Wife. Age 49 but in process of becoming Fierce at Fifty! 

IG @thesamanthapruitt


 Producer: Travis Ford

Travis is a recognized leader in social media and digital marketing on the Central Coast of California. Enhancing his digital marketing insights, Travis spent 11 years in television marketing, helping to craft dynamic stories with major franchises & brands. His experience, creativity and passion for emerging technologies make him the perfect addition to this team. 

IG @travee


 Podcast Edited by: Alex McCracken