Runner Stories

Kelly Tan

On race day 2015, more than 7,000 women were running beside me on Memorial Drive in Boston. From retired Olympians and visually impaired athletes to first-time racers like me; we were as varied as the reasons that propelled us forward that day. I was inspired to challenge myself after learning that my late undergraduate advisor Dr. J, an avid runner, was strolling hospital grounds post-chemotherapy as a form of exercise. Since I was 17 years old, my depression has always told me I wasn’t good enough to achieve success whether in running or in academia. Dr. J’s spirit to engage life even in its last moments reminded me that our lifetime was finite, pain is temporary, but regrets will follow us to our graves.

This year, I’m training to run faster than I have ever ran. I run from depression. I run from grief. I run from stress of a PhD program. I run from self-destruction. I run for a better future for me and all the people around me.