Have y’all heard of Girls on the Run? It’s a pretty neat organization, I think. Their goal is to inspire girls to take charge of their lives and define the future on their own terms, while incorporating running and fitness into the program. I think it’s unique in the way it combines fitness all while empowering young girls to be proud of who they are and encourage each other. I try to stress that in every practice…to encourage each other and build each other up and focus on the positive rather than the negative. Some of the girls have caught on, some of them only come because their parents make them…but that’s ok!
I heard about this organization a few years ago but never had the time to dedicate as a volunteer. Luckily, now I do! So on a whim I signed up to be the head coach of a group of 11 girls ranging from 3rd to 6th grade at an elementary school near my house– with no experience doing anything like this whatsoever. Can you say nervous-nelly?
I love it. We meet twice a week before school/work and at the end of our season we’ll all run a 5k together. Practice starts off with an activity related to the lesson for that day. Lessons can range from helping the girls learn how to manage their emotions to having healthy nutrition habits. After the lesson is when we get down to business with the running. Each girl has an Identity Card that they use to track their progress on. They set a lap goal for the allotted time and then record how many laps they actually run. Some of the girls love to run and others only do it because I tell them if they don’t then they will have to do burpees.
At the end of each practice we pick a girl to receive the energy award. This girl is usually someone who really participated in the activity and made a really great effort during the run. But of course, we are fair and will make sure every girl has received the energy award by the end of the season…don’t worry! The girl who wins the award for that practice then stands in a circle and everyone does a special cheer around here. Take a look at the video below to see them going bananas during the energy award today 😉
It’s been so much fun to be a part of this! Whenever I leave practice I always wonder if I was as funny as they are when I was their age. I asked the girls how their spring break was last week and one yelled out “I was in Baltimore and saw TWO guys sleeping on the street!” She was so surprised by it! Which, I guess is a good thing. They crack me up and I love spending some of my mornings with them.
We’re running our 5K on May 16th, so I will be sure to report back with how my girls did!
Happy running, y’all!