Let Allyson Felix Teach You How to Instagram

  • Ice Bucket Challenge

    Because social media isn’t littered enough with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I’m all down for the cause, and it seems pretty much everyone who is anyone — from LeBron to Lady Gaga to Britney Spears to that guy on my Facebook that I have no clue how I’m friends with — is doing it. You should too. It shows you are up on pop culture, that you don’t live in a cave, and that you can have a little fun. All important.

    Don’t go overboard, though. This isn’t about showing off. Unless you’re James Harrison.

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    Sneakers

    If there’s one thing any warm-blooded young sports fan needs on their Instagram, it’s sneakers. If you’re not up on the culture, don’t try to play it off or start throwing in random hashtags. We’ll call you out for being fake. We’ll snuff it out. Do your research, rock what you love, and if you have the chance, show off a little flavor.

    To her credit, Felix is actually a big-time sneakerhead. As the hashtag notes, her kick game proper, like right here with the birthday-edition LeBron III.

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    Stunt

    If you’re heading out, for example, to a Beyonce concert with celebrities like Candace Parker and, err, Shelden Williams, make sure you take a minute to post up. Can’t be missing out on posting those outfits, especially if you’re rocking the Riccardo Tisci x Nike Air Force 1 collab. Of course, this can set you up for some big fails but I think Allyson speaks for everyone here: Swing big, miss big. The ‘gram isn’t the place for the meek.

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    Travel

    I can guarantee your life isn’t as exciting as Allyson’s is, but hopefully it’s also not as dull as the average person’s. If it is, well, you got a lot of work to do. One way to spice up both your life and your Instagram presence is a little travel. Go overseas. Go to the Amazon. Travel the States. You could be like Felix and head to Monte Carlo and take a shot like this, and you’ll start reeling in comments like “OMFG unreal!!” and “Ur so lucky wow that’s so cool” and “Gorgeous!” It’s a cred booster.

    Real talk: You only live once. You should enjoy it. And you should share it.

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    Smile

    Super corny, I know. But it works. Trust me on that. Plus, who’s seriously out here trying to mean mug in every picture? There’s a time and a place for that and this isn’t 2003.

    Of course, I could be lying and maybe I just came up with this to post a picture of Allyson Felix in the Red Octobers. Up to you whether to believe me or not.

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    Post Quotes

    “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. –Arthur Ashe” … -@af85

    For some reason when you post quotes people view it as some confirmation that, okay, you know what you’re doing with this thing here and that, yes, you deserve to get that follow and oh yeah have all of these likes. I’ve never posted a quote, and maybe that’s the reason why I haven’t reached 1,000 followers yet? (I have no shame.) Allyson knows what she’s doing though, like that time she honored Maya Angelou and got well over 5,000 likes.

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    Stay True To Your Roots

    Felix was born and raised in Cali and went to USC. She’s Los Angeles to the bone, and constantly reminds her followers of that on the ‘gram. Whether you’ve stayed in one city your whole life, or you are — like me — a nomad who seems to move every other year and has lived in what feels like every single state all up and down the East Coast, you should stay true to your roots. It’ll ground your account and let your followers know your “story.” Everyone loves them some hometown pride, and the ‘gram is the perfect place to flaunt it.

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    Food

    Here’s the thing about posting food on the ‘gram: It’s super easy. Anyone can do it. I’m telling you, I don’t think I’ve seen a bad food photo yet. It’ll leave you looking like Rachael Ray and your followers feeling some type of way. I can’t cook at all, roll with the PB&J diet, pasta on the weekends, and wow if I cook some jambalaya I’m feeling myself… and even I look good on there.

    You can also cheat and post those plates you get when you’re eating out too.

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    Working Out

    Felix gets an edge here because she’s an Olympic track and field athlete, and one of the most decorated females we’ve ever seen. For more of us, we gotta be careful what we put up on the ‘gram in this regard while Felix automatically looks cool no matter what. She’s fit. She gets laced with gear and sneakers we’ll never get our hands on. And she’s doing it in front of thousands of people, rather than at her neighborhood Planet Fitness.

    Food on Instagram has a much bigger rep than this, but just like in real life, you need balance. If you post that package of strawberry frosted brownies that you smashed on Saturday night, Sunday better not feature you laying in bed.

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    Selfies

    …And last but not least. Yeah. You know you can’t skip out on a selfie here and there. (Unless you’re GRRM.)

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When we recently counted down 10 female athletes that you needed to follow on Instagram, there was only one name we knew had to be on there: Allyson Felix. The U.S. track and field star, and the winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, Felix isn’t an expert on the ‘gram because she has nearly 140,000 followers (and counting). She’s an expert because every one of her images features her stunting. It could be sneakers, vacation, doing something none of us could ever dream of, or even the occasional cooking adventure… Felix is batting 1.000.

With summer all but over, now is the time to really step up your game. Summer makes us all look like Ansel Adams, but in the fall you’ll have to work much harder to keep your Instagram looking fly. Let Felix help you out.

Follow Sean on Twitter at @seanesweeney