Ode to Joey and Meredith: Finding Your Person

Sarah Manning '17, left, and Joey Kelley '17, runners and med students
Sarah Manning ’17, left, and Joey Kelley ’17, runners and med students

Medical school is hard. Really hard. Like running, it will take what you give it and you can always give it more (even if that isn’t a good idea). And although medical school may not always mimic Grey’s Anatomy, there are certain undeniable truths within that show, the biggest of which is that you have to find your person. This road is miserable and long and if you don’t have your people next to you, downright impossible. I am so proud of two of my people who will be running part and all of VCM on Sunday.

Meredith is not a runner. She’ll tell you that immediately upon broaching the subject. A yogi, a teacher, a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a Jersey girl. But not a runner. Still, Meredith bravely signed up for the half way back in January and I’m so proud to tell you all now that she actually likes it. She admitted that she looks forward to her runs. She even talked about her next half today. I haven’t told Meredith yet, but she IS a runner.

Joey was also not a runner. A bad ass lacrosse player, Joey is the girl you want on your kickball team or for any athletic event. As Meredith’s boyfriend remarked this spring, “if it’s athletic, Joey wants in.” Joey is in for the whole marathon and like so many former college athletes, is likely to have a great debut performance. She’s worked her butt off this winter, transitioning from a side to side carry of her arms from years holding a lacrosse stick to a form that looks downright practiced and professional. When we were running on the Causeway last week, I blurted out “you look like a runner!” And she does.

Running has always been my solace but what strikes me about these two amazing women is that they took a chance on running in a year where exhaustion is the only guarantee. They took a risk on distances far beyond keeping their hearts healthy. I couldn’t be more proud of them or excited for them.

Read more of Sarah Manning’s posts on her blog: Runner Under Pressure.

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