Joining in on today’s Wednesday Word fun with Deb Runs. When I saw the word “teach” for today I immediately thought about my recent experiences coaching Girls On The Run. Sometimes without even realizing it, the teacher becomes the student.
With the start of the new Girls on The Run season just around the corner, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my experiences as a coach the past 3 years. In case you are not familiar, Girls on The Run is much more than a running program. We meet twice a week after school not only to run but to learn skills that will help them as they enter their teenage years. Our season ends with a 5k race with the other schools in the area.
We participate in activities and conversations about some of the following:
-Problem solving skills
-Self esteem building drills
-Healthy eating & exercise
Last spring as we got closer to our 5k race date, many of my girls were on par to really crush their time goals. We worked on trusting their training, race anxiety and knowing that they were prepared for race day. The week of the race, one of the girls approached me and asked if I would run with her at the race. She explained that she really wanted to beat her time from her previous race.
I had just recently run a race right around her time goal but I immediately worried about whether I would be able to do it again. I asked my junior coach, a teen on the high school track team, if she would run with her instead. I doubted myself and I didn’t want to disappoint her by holding her back.
Fast forward to race day. I was feeling pretty good and set out to just enjoy the day the cheer on my girls. As I approached the finish line I looked at my watch only to realize that I was going to finish about 15 seconds ahead of what her goal time was. I crossed the finish, turned around and saw the two of them finish the race right behind me. She achieved her goal and was very happy.
That day, I realized that she taught me the exact lesson that I was trying to teach her! She trusted her training, ran her race and achieved her goal. The teacher became the student that day.