Revere’s Kelley Proves Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way

By Cheyanne Fullen

In April of 2014, Lauren Kelley arrived at a turning point in her life.

“For many years, I was physically present for my family, but not mentally. I lived a self-centered life-style to maintain a vicious drug and alcohol habit,” said Kelley. It wasn’t until her daughter gave her an ultimatum: to choose her habit or her family, that she began her journey toward recovery – a journey that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of her family and her passion for running.

Lauren Kelley throws the peace sign up to the camera as she runs along the pathway at Deer Island.

“I knew I was going to take running to a whole other level when I grew a love for meditating. It was my way of releasing negative energy and getting the gratification I yearned for as a recovering alcoholic,” said Kelley, a Revere native who ran her first Boston Marathon in 2019, and plans to run her second one in October.

Within the last seven years, she has completely turned her life around. What started as way to combat her addiction has turned into a passion that deepens with each mile and each drop of sweat. While studying to earn her Master’s degree, which she completed in 2018, Kelley realized that challenging her mind was a fulfilling way to receive the satisfaction that her addictive personality desired. “I understood that this method was going to help me in my recovery journey and I developed an urge to hit the pavement and run,” said Kelley, “I began with three to five mile runs, but the addict in me craved more.”

In 2017, she ran her first half marathon. Guided by music and deep meditation, Kelley uses running as a way to battle her inner demons. “Mile by mile, my mind takes me down memory lane,” said Kelley. “Flashbacks from the wreckage of my past re-surface while I run off the pain, guilt, and shame until the present begins to feel close. When I arrive to where I am today in my thoughts, the negative feelings turn to feelings of relief, forgiveness, and pride,” she said.

On April 15, 2019, on the five year anniversary of her sobriety, Kelley ran the Boston Marathon. As she crossed the finish line, her entire family was on hand cheering her on. She did it. All she had worked for came to culmination in that one moment. “It was a euphoric and exhilarating feeling,” remembered Kelley.

Today, she continues to maintain her sobriety not only for herself but as a tribute to her loved ones, who stuck by her even in the darkest of times.

“Being a mother, running marathons, and getting sober have been some of the most pivotal experiences in my lifetime and have shaped me into the person that I am today. I can honestly say that getting sober has been the hardest of those three, but has also allowed me to experience my love for running and being a mother in the most loving and fulfilling way,” said Kelley. On August 14, 2021, she runs the Beaver Canyon Marathon in Southern Utah. She will run her second Boston Marathon on Oct. 5, 2021.

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