Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Timeless Message of Girls on the Run

I am so thankful to be part of Girls on the Run-as a girl, as a mom, and as a runner. I'm blessed to be able to experience the positive effects in the individual girl's lives and to observe that extend to their family and community.

A new season is starting and I will miss the girls who have 'graduated' and moved onto 6th grade. I'm hoping the Puget Sound area will grow enough to be able to offer Girls on Track for middle school and junior high when girls are really trying to figure out who they are uniquely and also trying to fit in- whatever that means.

At the beginning of every new session, I ask the return girls what they like most about being a Girl on the Run. Usually, they say the games and snack time and hanging out with their friends; and I think-isn't that what I love about being a Girl on the Run? Playing outside, 'fueling up' after a great run and being with my friends.

Next, I ask them to share a little about their favorite lesson with the new team members and it is during this time when I know that while running may not always stay with them, the message of making choices and transforming those into the best actions and outcomes will ring true.

At different points in my life, I have come back to: plugging into positive messages through visualization or meditation; reminded myself to own the choices I have made; sorting out emotions and understanding that all emotions are part of the human experience and it's healthy to feel them all; celebrating gratitude and catching myself if I start to take things for granted; putting negative self talk in the trash; fueling for health and "running my own pace" as that applies to the broad scope of life; standing up for myself and being assertive in a constructive, respectful way; and giving back to my community.

Empowerment- that's what I want for all girls.

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