Being a part of the University of Vermont College of Medicine Running Team has had a profound impact on my first year of medical school. Too often, medical students get sucked up in their studies, and it is pretty easy to lose your sense of self, your passion for hobbies you once loved, and your connection with the community around you. The running team has shown me just how easy and important it is to stay involved and connected. From my first week at the Student Interest Group Fair, I instantly fell in love with the running team. These individuals had such a strong sense of pride in what they accomplished last year, raising a tremendous amount of money for Steps to Wellness, an oncology rehabilitation program supported by the UVM Cancer Center, and participating in one of Burlington’s largest community events. I cannot wait for the marathon to take place May 24th, as I have been waiting for this experience all year.
Through my involvement with the team, I have been able to keep running and exercise a priority in my life. The scheduled weekly runs ensure I meet my running goals, and they get me outside, active, and socializing with other runners. This dramatically increases my sense of well-being, improves my mood, and has definitely contributed to my success in medical school. Earlier this winter, it was nine degrees outside on an early, icy Sunday morning. The last thing I wanted to do was go for a run, but being involved with the team forced me to get out there. It ended up being a pleasant and relaxing run, which gave me the energy and focus to be productive for the rest of the day.
I have established a great sense of community through the running team too. I have made friends with my running mates, and I have gotten really close with the other leaders. But more importantly, my involvement in this team has opened me up to the larger sense of community in Burlington and beyond. I was able to tour the Steps to Wellness facility and see just how strong of an impact this organization has on cancer survivors in the community. It was inspirational to see and hear stories about how regular exercise through the program has improved their quality of life, as well as created a lasting support network. I am proud to be directly contributing to their success and to allow the program to continue to change people’s lives. I look forward to getting more involved with this organization.
Lastly, the Vermont City Marathon is a huge event for the state of Vermont. I cannot wait to participate in this huge event May 24th, being cheered on at the sidelines by community members, and knowing that I am participating in something so much larger than me, the College of Medicine, or even Steps to Wellness. All of the participants in the marathon or relay teams have their own stories, motivations, and journeys that led them to this event, but we can all come together as one to accomplish such an amazing physical feat.
The UVM College of Medicine Running Team will be participating in the Vermont City Marathon May 24. Learn more about the team and support the cause.