Girls on the Run Spring 5K

I have been fortunate enough to be a Girls on the Run coach for three seasons now.  GOTR is a nonprofit organization that offers curriculum-based, healthy lifestyle education in the form of an after school program for elementary school girls.  I have had a blast being a part of this program, and this season a lightbulb went on for me and my coaching experience became even more meaningful.  We had many girls returning from last season, and it was so rewarding for me to see them grow and change in the course of a school year.  The girls have so many smart and inspiring insights about the lessons, and it is truly a joy to get to know each of them and discover their unique personalities, perspectives, and individual struggles that they overcome.  Through GOTR the girls learn a lot about the qualities that make each other unique, the importance of teamwork, the impact of choices in life, and issues affecting the greater community as whole.  I learn so much from the girls as well and am often amazed at their comments and ideas.

The running component is really just a secondary aspect to the program, but I was really proud at how hard the girls worked with their running this year.  We usually reward the girls for laps run at practice, and many of them learned to find their own pace to allow them to be successful.  (The 3rd graders still have some work to do on this...)  Today the girls celebrated their hard work by running the end of the season 5K!  Each girl was assigned a running buddy, and all of our girls made it to the finish line.  I was the buddy for one of our very athletic and intelligent 5th graders, and I was so proud of her pacing, her perseverance on the uphills, and her determination. She finished in 32 minutes!  We don't emphasize time with the girls, but she did amazingly well.  I believe that I feel a small percentage of what the parents must feel to watch their children succeed after dedicating so many hours to nurturing them and giving them the tools for success.

I look forward to continuing with my same group next season!


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