We have a new girl on the team and I wondered how she would feel and fit in as we are three weeks into the fall session and the girls have started bonding and forming friendships.
We asked the girls to introduce each other and take turns telling her about what we do and what it means to be a Girl on the Run.
We have covered some great material. We discussed replacing negative self-talk with positive self-talk. This lesson included a fun, symbolic activity where the girls wrote on index cards all the bad stuff that they sometimes think
inside and they would run around the track and put it into a big 'Negative' trash bin, hopefully throwing it away for good. Then we replaced those cards with positive expressions and the girls would run around and share those with anyone they passed while running. I was alarmed to see how many girls wrote 'I am fat.' These are 3rd, 4th and 5th grade girls. And I realize how much Girls on the Run
is needed to combat all the artificial programming of what is considered beautiful. It was inspiring to see the difference in the girls
as they started running on positive...a lesson I know I need to remember.
One of the main messages of Girls on the Run is choice. As we talked about nutrition and fueling a healthy pace, our physical and emotional health, the application is, we have the freedom to choose. There was a particular statement in the emotional health lesson that I highlighted in bright pink:
"there are no good or bad emotions...it's how we respond to the emotions we are feeling that is good or bad."
It's a statement that is logical, but I know I am guilty of thinking things like..."I shouldn't feel like this" or "It's terrible to be upset, mad, angry, hurt" or the big societal taboo "that feeling is politically incorrect." We encouraged the girls to write in a journal when they feel down or sad or to talk to someone they trust, both choices that recognize and define the emotion.
Yesterday we talked about beauty. We traced the girls on large sheets of paper and helped them write inside their silhouettes all the things that make them beautiful. I looked over at Lennon (the new girl) and she had written, "I'm supernaturally weird."
I think she is going to fit in perfectly.
I hope this imprint will stay with them long after they graduate from Girls on the Run.