Health & Wellness

Your Best Running Friend

By Chloe Rosen ’11

Hi, my name is Chloe Rosen, the runner formerly known as Chloe Lewis (class of ‘11, woo woo!). At William and Mary, I was lucky to spend the best four years of my life making the closest friends, taking thrilling classes, performing at PBK, and learning that I liked grits, especially with cheese. I also learned that I loved running. 

So, you’re probably reading this like, oh yeah, I sort of remember her (or maybe you don’t at all, which is totally fine), didn’t she give tours or something? Yes, yes, I did. But that’s not the point. The point is learning to love running at W&M changed my life and put me on a trajectory towards the career I have now. But more on that later. 

Here are the spark notes: (which I never used in college, honor code, people!) In my sophomore year, I began running in earnest with a Timex watch that just told the time, an iPod mini loaded up with a lot of punk rock. My favorite route was from Bryan down Richmond road to the turn for the back way to the gym and then to Bryan through campus. I had no idea how long it was, but I always felt like an olympian every time I ran it. 

Fast forward to 2017. I’ve graduated with my master’s degree in telling fart jokes for a living, and I have run a handful of half marathons, 10ks, 5ks, and even a triathlon. I even have, wait for it, running friends. 

In 2018 I decided to run my first marathon. Training for a marathon is like having a full-time job on top of your full-time job. So, while I trained a lot of the time with friends, I also ran for hours, and hours, and…hours by myself. I started to write jokes about what was happening to me during marathon training—the chafing, the hunger, the lost toenails, you know, all the real glamorous stuff. 

Then one day, shortly after successfully running the Chicago Marathon, I was joking with a running friend of mine, and he asked me what I did with all the jokes I wrote in my head while I ran. To be honest, I wasn’t doing a lot with them at the time, and it seemed like maybe I should. So one thing led to another, and the Instagram account, Your Best Running Friend, was born. 

Your Best Running Friend (@yourbestrunningfriend) started as an account to put the jokes and characters I wrote in my head on the run. It was an amalgamation of the “every runner,” it was as far away from me personally as you could get. But then, in the absolute dumpster fire year 2020, I realized as auditions ground to a halt, I desperately needed a place to be creative, an outlet that was more about me and my running experiences, something a bit more personal. 

So, two years and a ton of jokes and personal insights later, this crazy journey has allowed me to make over 12,000 new online friends (WHAT?) and partner with incredible brands like La Joie Skin Care, Coros, and Goodr, to name a few. I feel so lucky that I followed what started as an excellent way to clear my head and feel unstoppable in college turned into a way to be creative daily, push me out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and find my voice. 

And look, I am by no means a “good” runner (what even is a good runner, anyway?) I run because I love it, I don’t pay attention to my time, and I will probably never win a race. But if you’re scared to do something, I urge you to step up to the starting line and race towards your dreams. I did, and you can run towards them too. 

Follow along with Chloe on Instagram, connect with her on LinkedIn, and support her Etsy shop.

Grad School Health & Wellness

More Life

By DeLauren Olivia Davis, M.Ed. ‘18

Whether you’re gearing up to finish a strong third quarter or refueling yourself to start the academic year 2021-2022, I hope that you’re taking care of yourself. Since we were slammed with the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 it feels like “self care” has become a frivolous buzz phrase to throw around when convenient. I do my best to take it seriously, remember it’s origin in meaning and assign it value in my life. In doing this I endeavor to model it so that others feel empowered to do so themselves.

My transformative journey to self care started at William and Mary (W&M). Like most TWAMPS (Typical William and Mary Persons/Students) I double majored in academics and a robust extracurricular life. I often tell people that I experienced two full burnouts as an undergraduate student. This isn’t a point of bolstering pride for me, but it is more so a testimony that there was a crucial life lesson for me to learn. Attending a public ivy league institution and being a campus leader for countless student organizations (I literally can’t keep track of all of the campus engagements that I found myself in) is no easy feat. It was simultaneously fulfilling and unsustainable— as are many things that we enjoy but over indulge in. The symptoms of my burn out were failed and withdrawn classes, neglect of family and friends, lack of regular physical activity and healthy eating, absence of financial and spiritual discipline, excessive stress and anxiety… the list goes on and on and on.

At this point you’re probably wondering… “Where is/are she/they going with this?” I promise the silver lining is coming soon.

After graduating and continuing straight to graduate school I was forced to take a hard look in the mirror as round three of burnout was both quickly and surely approaching. In that short summer post undergrad when I moved to Athens, Georgia for my graduate studies, I didn’t make any major changes other than that of my physical environment (shout out to my Georgia Peaches and Bulldogs).  Grad school is hard enough by itself. Being at another prestigious institution and in a top nationally ranking program didn’t lift any of the pressure that I felt to succeed. My burnout symptoms continued, and that caused me to search for the source of this workaholic ailment.

It is much easier to care for oneself when you can identify the cause of your lacking. As I found myself reflecting on my time at W&M (I do this quite often) I learned that I tied my personal value and worth to my productivity as a student and as a leader. This is a huge no-no. You are worthy of care of yourself and from others for merely existing. This was the lesson that took me a concentrated six years of failure to learn. In March 2020, I took a decent enough stance to make a change in my life because I had the gift of the absence of certainty as it pertained to my human existence. To this date, I have survived the first global epicenter of COVID-19 and I’m currently surviving in the epicenter of the United States of America. Self care is crucial to me more than ever because of how uncertain our time on this Earth has become.

I leave you with this advice: Whether you’re an aspiring W&M student, current student, young alum or seasoned alum, please take care of yourself. It will have the most positive ripple effect into all aspects of your life in ways that you might not be able to imagine at this point. If you don’t know where to begin, go back to the simple things that made you happy as a kid. Was it a favorite tv show? A song? A hug? A piping hot dish of Grandma’s mac n’ cheese? Find your inner child and care for him/her/them. You’ll find that things in your life will naturally begin to align. I leave you with this timely quote from Chaz Miller @cdiddy77, “The most important reason to live in the moment is that nothing lasts forever—enjoy the moment while it’s in front of you. Be present.”

Connect with DeLauren on LinkedIn or email her at or