Valentine’s Day was a SWEET way to start my first day as a Girls on the Run Coach! As I walked onto campus, I was greeted by nine giggling girls, decked out in pink and red, licking heart shaped lollipops, and sharing Hello Kitty cards. I’m not sure if it was the candy, cookies, or cards, but the energy at practice was amazing. The girls were so excited to be back for their second week of practice, eager to learn new lessons and play games.
To kick off practice, each girl proudly shared her GOTR name: Stellar Stella! Kind Kailey! Awesome Annabell! “What should my name be?” I asked them. They shouted, Radical Regan! Rhino Regan! Rockin Regan! We finally all agreed I would be Running Regan. :)
As practice continued, I found myself humbled by the girls’ maturity and motivation. The topic of the week was Self Talk. We discussed how to turn negative talk into something positive. When asked for an example of negative self talk, a few girls raised their hands. Upon asking for an example of positive self talk, nine little hands shot up in the air. Everyone had a positive, uplifting statement to share.
I was most surprised when the girls were running their laps. Well, more like running, tip-toeing, hopping, skipping, and dancing, but we were movin’! Instead of reaching out to the coaches to be their running buddy, the girls reached out to each other. During Processing at the end of practice, each girl had an opportunity to share about someone who supported her. Some girls named family and friends outside of GOTR that inspired them to be their best, while others named new friends from the team that had helped them reach their lap goal.
As both a member of Gamma Phi Beta and an avid runner, Girls on the Run brings together two components dear to my heart; running and confidence. Running has not only given me a strong community and incredible support system, but has also helped me realize strength and spirit within myself. Even after just one day of coaching, I see this same spirit within each girl. With every lap, high five, and giggle, these girls are taking important steps toward reaching their full potential. The girls are already setting and exceeding lap goals. They are forming bonds and relationships while cheering and encouraging each other. There was no shortage of energy awards, no lack of star power. With just one practice, these girls have reminded me why I love this organization.
Inspired by their eagerness and thoughtful contributions to team discussions, I am excited for this season, to see these girls grow both individually and as a team. I can’t wait for lap goals to be exceeded, hugs and high fives to be plentiful, and to see GOTR girls smiling faces as they cross the finish line in May. It’s true what they say… Girls on The Run IS so much FUN!