Saturday, April 28th was the end of a beginning for me. I know, that is written so horribly wrong at first read, but I’ll explain. Four years ago Jarret and I bought a house together. We were so excited. It was spring and I was so ready to get outside. I awoke one Saturday morning really early and was eager to get Jarret up to go on a walk with Dexter and I. Saturdays together were more rare at the time due to my old job. I dragged him out of bed and we started on our first Spring time morning walk. We walked down the street and to our bewilderment a rush of young girls in yellow shirts start whizzing by us. Some simply in shorts and the yellow t shirt with ponytails bobbing behind them. Others with spray colored hair of pinks, greens, blues, sparkles…. Tutus adorned around their waists, pigtails, etc. The list goes on. It was so exciting, a 5k was being held in our neighborhood, but we were curious. Why so many little girls? I turned to google later that night and found out about Girls On The Run. It is a wonderful program that helps young girls not only prepare for a 5k, but helps them learn to be a more confident girl.
Now, I never ran a 5k in my life. I liked to pretend that I liked to run, but I couldn’t even run a mile. Seeing these little girls inspired me, if they could do it, I could do it, right? Well, fast forward one year and Jarret and I signed up for our very first Girls on the Run 5k together (Jarret had done many 5ks previously). I practiced and practiced and when the day finally came… I ran one mile and had to walk. I felt so defeated, but Jarret (being my own personal cheerleader and having never left my side even though he could have ran) reminded me that I ran one mile, finished with a walk, and that I never would have even signed up for a race in the past. He was right. Girls on the Run was at least about moving and trying. Well, I was motivated. I practiced long and hard all year long and when the next race came… I finished it.. running in 40 minutes. Yes that is slow to some, but I did it. I ran the whole time. Then the following year came and I finished it in 28 minutes and ran other 5ks that season.
A couple of months ago I received an email that a school in my area was going to lose the program if they didn’t get a coach. Well, this was it, my calling. I waited too long to get up and run, so now was my chance to give back. I signed up and had a team to coach. Talk about scary! I have no kids and am not the first to jump at a chance to baby sit. It was a learning experience (not going to lie, frustrating at times), but it was so fulfilling. Especially when race day came and one of my girls who hates to run, finished. This season I also met a wonderful woman who I am so grateful to have in my life now, Ginger. She became my co-coach. Her daughter, Izzy, was part of our team and she is absolutely my long lost little sister. So many great times came out of this season (and some tough ones – learning to deal with different moods of 4th and 5th graders). So… April 28 was the end of my first season, but the beginning of a future with Girls on the Run… I’ll be coaching in the Fall again.
I can go on and on, and I know you’ve read a lot, but I wanted to share a post that a father of one of the girls from my same Girls on the Run county wrote. If you ever wanted to truly understand a great program, Eli will leave you understanding (and probably tearing up because he is quite a father and writer). Click Here For Post
Here’s a couple of pictures from the day: The first is Jarret and I after we just finished the race, the next is of two of my new favorite people Ginger and Izzy, and the third is Ginger and I (coaches!!!). (Pictures courtesy of Ginger’s awesome personal photographer.. her husband Jason)