The spring Girls On The Run season just flew by and the 10 week season is over. I’ve now been coaching for about 3 and 1/2 years and each season’s end is a little bittersweet for me. In case you are not familiar with the program, let me just give you a little background on how our Girls On The Run program works.
Girls On The Run
Girls On The Run is not just a running program. Each practice we have a planned lesson that might focus on friends, standing up to bullies, decision making, self respect or stress reduction techniques to name a few. The first half of our meetings are spent with activities and games that incorporate that week’s topic. The girls are encouraged to speak their minds and balance differing viewpoints.
The second half of the lessons are run coaching and all of the girls work together towards achieving the goal of running a 5K together with the other teams in the area. We usually run between 1-2 miles each practice. I love to see the girls bonding as a team and encouraging each other. My hope is that the friendships they have made through running will give them a bond to take into middle and high school.
I over see the program at our elementary school and this season we had 52 girls ranging from 3-6 grade. As my background is in adolescent psychotherapy ( I have an MSW), I prefer to work with the 6th grade girls. I often joke that they are old enough to be able to give meaningful feedback to our discussions but young enough to still think I am pretty cool and open up to me. Ha ha.
Some of the girls are a little nervous leading up to race day but when the day came, they were excited and ready to go. Our team met up right before the start for a last minute pep talk and then we were off.
I love to see their faces as the cross the finish line with huge smiles and feelings of satisfaction. Trying not to get too sappy here but it’s really an emotional event to see so many young girls running this 5k with their moms and dads. This year I saw so many dads out there running with and supporting their girls athletic pursuits. Who knows maybe I am inspiring the next generation of my Moms Run This Town group.
I am really going to miss these girls. Can’t wait until next season so we get to do it all over again!
Linking up today
AnneMarie, Nicole, Jen