This Spring I will have been a coach for 10 seasons. Over the course of five years I have been a part of teams of girls transforming into confident and self-positive movers (runners, walkers, skippers, dancers). The greatest transformation I would say has been myself.
I started running when I got into college and over the years started going further and pushing passed what I thought were my limits. By my mid-20s I ran my first marathon. I was never the same after that. You can’t push yourself to the finish line after 26.2 miles and not realize that your own thoughts are what limit you.
I had heard about Girls on the Run from my running group and thought how cool it would be to have a program that would teach and train girls to run a 5K. Running had transformed my thoughts about what I could do and where I could go in life. I wanted girls to have that experience. I had no idea how amazing the curriculum was that we would follow in my first season.
I am not a teacher and I am not a parent. I hadn’t had much experience with kids before GOTR but the curriculum book laid out everything I needed to know and what we needed to do to take the girls through each lesson. The other coaches helped lead the lessons and I was able to help to support and then take the lead myself in teaching the lessons. The lessons are incredible! Each one touched on something that I had figured out but articulated it in a way that made it into a skill I could put in my toolbox. Yes, that’s right! I was learning along with the girls. Negative self-talk, SBLR (Stop-Breath-Listen, Respond), choosing your friends, being intentional. All of these ideas I had figured out but with each lesson these were reinforced.
Their journey through the season is my inspiration to continue my journey. Pushing my limits and not letting that little voice in the back on my mind hold me back. It is still there but now I have the tools to overcome it. These are the tools that we are teaching the girls each season. Showing them they are strong and have their own minds and that together they can achieve anything even when the goal seems too high or too far. The finish line is only the beginning!