2022 #RunningForResearch: Lauren Hirsch

Posted:Tuesday, February 22, 2022

I didn’t start out as a massage therapist or a runner. I was a theatre student. I received a BFA in Theatre Arts Performance, studied in Moscow, Russia for a month, and did a yearlong apprenticeship with a professional company.

One day, I heard on the radio about a doctor making a difference in a third-world country and the impact she had on children’s lives there. I started to wonder about the impact I had on people’s lives. Was what I was doing actually significant and world-changing? Was there another way to interact with the world?

These questions would fill my head until I immersed myself in another play … until December 2017 when my roommates and I experienced a house fire that upturned our lives.

We moved around quite a bit during the following months as we waited for the repairs to be completed. Then one morning I woke up in the hotel bed and decided I was going to run a half marathon. I had barely thought about running before, so this was a big out-of-the-blue choice for me. Running became my stable point during this time and inspired me to try pushing myself in other ways such as becoming an au pair in France for a year and applying for massage school when I returned in 2019.

The fire cleared a path for me to make new choices, running gave me the courage to make them, and massage … well massage has changed my life. I feel like I am making a difference in my world now. I use science and imagination to help improve people’s quality of life.

I support the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF) because I believe that scientific research and education help improve the quality of massage therapy leading to improved quality of life for clients and therapists. MTF’s community service projects, the heart of the organization, bring this aid to communities who lack access and desperately need healing touch.

Now I am reaching another turning point in my life. On April 12 I will be turning 30 and I thought it would be a great celebration to end my 20s by running my first marathon for the Massage Therapy Foundation. Please support me as I work to reach my fundraising goal—any help is deeply appreciated!

Thank you,