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“Life Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint”

A former Division 1 athlete rises to the top in big races after deciding she wanted to start running and training for marathons—some of the biggest, most exciting ones across the country.

How fitting is it that a physician whose favorite inspirational quote is, “life is a marathon, not a sprint” would finish among the top 100 women in the 2018 Boston Marathon—which just happened to be only her second marathon ever—and the 2018 Chicago Marathon?

Maxey Hebert, MD, an Urgent Care Physician at Children’s at Hudson Bridge, admits she is still new to running. Until the summer of 2016, she’d spent most of her life in the pool as a competitive swimmer, including time as a Division 1 athlete during her undergraduate years at William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. She started running, she says, “Because I knew I wanted to start training for something, and running is the easiest and cheapest thing to do!”

When she took to the roads, it was clear she would rise to the top. Her first marathon was in March 2017, when she qualified for the Boston Marathon by finishing in 3 hours, 5 minutes. She later finished among the top 15 amateur women runners in her first AJC Peachtree Road Race on the Fourth of July.

The long hours spent in medical training prepared Dr. Hebert well for running marathons. After graduating from William and Mary, she earned a Master of Public Health from Tulane University, attended Ross University for her medical degree and completed her residency at East Carolina University. “I pursued pediatrics because being able to take care of children is truly a gift,” she shares. “They look at the world so differently than adults.”

Dr. Hebert believes that personal well-being is the most important thing in one’s life. She admits she had little time to focus on wellness during medical school and residency. “But now that I have settled into my career, I am able to take care of myself first,” she says. “I run while my sons are sleeping or at school, and I leave my evenings when I am not working at Hudson Bridge free to spend time with them, doing homework, reading books or playing board games.”

For those thinking of starting a workout or running program, Dr. Hebert simply says, “Don’t be afraid to start! Anything you do today is more than you did yesterday. Find a friend to hold you accountable and to have fun with. If you take care of yourself first, you can better take care of those around you.”

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