It’s a long trek from the main campus to the maze of trails at the top of the hill. That’s just one of the reasons why senior Kelsey Drake wouldn’t live anywhere else on campus besides McReynolds Hall.
“From McReynolds, I put on my shoes and can be up there, go for a 20 minute run and come back — and it’s less than 30 minutes out of my day,” says Drake, a devoted runner and Head RA of the upperclass women’s dormitory. “It’s probably the only hobby that I fit in right now.”
This is an especially busy time for Drake. The international communication major changed her program last year from biology, and is now pushing herself hard to graduate this year in spite of the late switch. Furthermore, this 22-year-old has taken an unprecedented leadership role in the dorm — former McReynolds dean Bev Helmer was unable to return to PUC this year, and with no replacement to fill her post, Drake has stepped up to help carry the load. “Kelsey has been fantastic,” says Gena Cowen, the Graf Hall dean who is officially in charge of McReynolds during this transition year. “She’s competent, trustworthy, and has all the leadership abilities that we need.”
With all this going on, you can see why Drake would need a relaxing hobby to fill her down time. “When the stress builds up, running is a release,” she says. “I don’t run for speed. I do run for health because I realize that it’s important to be healthy, but mostly I run because it’s a release.”
But there’s an even deeper side to her running as well. “I refuse to run on concrete, and I refuse to run in a gym, because it ruins the experience for me, because running is something that’s spiritual,” she says. “When I get out there and it’s foggy in the morning and all I can see is a few trees on either side of the path and I’m running to Inspiration Point, it’s a time where I feel God, and I know his presence is there.”
With all the great but strenuous work she’s doing this year, it’s a good thing her source of release is just a few quick steps away.
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