Girls on The Run
This spring was my 5 season coaching Girls on The Run. Again I coached the 6th grade girls and we used the middle school program called Heart and Sole. I love working with the 6th grade girls for a number of reasons.
First, they are old enough (11-12 years) to really want to be there and want to participate in the lessons. Secondly, they are young enough to still respect my authority and look up to me as a coach. In my former life as a psychotherapist in an eating disorders clinic, this was the age that most of my clients were and I feel very comfortable with them. Middle school can be such a challenging time for girls especially today with so much pressure to be older and so much social media.
If you are not familiar with Girls on The Run (GOTR), the program is about so much more than running. GOTR is about finding ways to stand up for yourself, team building, strengthening support systems, learning about commonalities and diversities, realizing you are stronger than you thought and stepping out of your comfort zone just to name a few. You can find out more about Girls On The Run here.
Many of the girls have referred to our lessons as “group therapy” and in a sense it is as the practices offer the girls a safe place to talk about whatever is on their minds while gaining support from their peers.
Throughout this season and last, I’ve watched my 11 & 12 year old girls mature and grow both physically and mentally. I really have become so attached to this group it’s going to be hard to finish up the season. I’ve watched them work a lot harder this spring on their running and they have truly amazed me by how much progress they have made.
A few of the girls that were walking most of last season’s laps are now pushing themselves to complete self set goals each week. They have bonded as a team and support and encouragement to each other at practices.
The highlight of our 10 week season is the 5k which was last Sunday. All 10 of my girls arrived with smiles on their faces ready to take on the 3.1 miles. I am thrilled to say that all of 10 of them completed the race with their own PR’s. Proud coach moment indeed.
Coaching these girls has honestly become one of my passions. I love to see them grow and learn skills that they can take onto Middle and High School with them. I like to think that I am grooming them to be the next generation of my Moms Run This Town group.
I am always surprised by how much they teach me as well and I am sure going to miss them next season.