What makes Girls on The Run, So Much Fun…for me?
People always ask me “What is it?” when I tell them I am a coach. Followed by “Why do you coach if you don’t have a daughter in it?”I could give the technical definition, “Teaching life skills through interactive lessons & running games. We teach them to understand themselves, to value relationships and teamwork, and understanding how we connect with the world…”. If I told you that, it wouldn’t even hit the tip of the iceberg.
Have you ever watched a kid feel defeated because they couldn’t complete something all the others could? Me too, and that sucks really bad! Do you ever see young kids with their heads buried in video games constantly and wished someone would just take them outside to get some Vitamin D and burn off some energy? Maybe more importantly, Have you ever had the chance to change the way a child looks a situation or relationship that may not be the greatest, and give them coping or communication skills to get through it in a more positive, less dramatic way?( I have 3 older sisters so I assure you, the world could use a lot less drama;))
If you had the opportunity to do this, would you seize it?
Not for yourself but for the population coming up after you? I look at it like this: We have all seen the show “What would you do?”, Right? People put in ugly circumstances to see if they would stand up for what they believe in, speak up for others in need, or communicate that something isn’t right. We all sit at home saying “I would have totally told that girl not to drink that spiked drink!” or “I’d say something to that kid so he doesn’t get into that van with that weird guy…”.
THIS. IS. MY. CHANCE!
Every Monday night, I make my healthy snacks for our Tuesdays practice, read this weeks lesson plan and think on how I can relay this advice in the most down to earth, fun, relatable way as possible. This is sometimes harder than it may seem! These girls really just need a light heart and an adult they can trust to be open, honest & be in a judgement free zone with. So, for that hour and a half at practice I’m not a business owner. I’m not a clock watcher. I’m Miss. Marcy. I’m their brainstorming buddy. Their motivator. Their run parter.
This all started for me with Rebekah. She needed a run partner last fall and I volunteered to join her. I didn’t know her or how well she would run. “Here goes nothin’…”, Right? Rebekah was truly amazing! She gave the race her all and we finished strong! After some post race snacks and a couple pictures, she asked if I would run next season with her, I was honored and excited. By the next season I had been contacted by the Jamie, the coach at Elmhurst Elementary, she asked if I would be willing to Volunteer some time and co-coach her team. I obliged.
I learned so much in my 1st season.
Things don’t always go as planned. Weather doesn’t always cooperate. Kids REALLY don’t like eating healthy snacks, and sometimes, little girls forget to bring running shoes. Then? BAM!!! Right when you think they aren’t listening and that everyone hates running, you notice strides that have been made, a girl who could barely run a lap is leading the pack, unlikely friendships have been formed, and that the most shy, quiet girl is now a jabber jaw with about a million pounds of confidence beaming out of her!
I never in a million years would have guessed that this group of sassy, very silly, million question having, long winded story telling, vegetable hating, leg hurting, patience testing, raw, beautiful minded, creative little ladies would have such a HUGE impact on how I think, act, and portray myself as an adult (because sometimes I really do just wanna be negative nelly when things don’t go my way, and I DO wanna scream at people, lock myself in my bedroom and eat a quart of ice cream until the mood passes!!) Yes, these 15 8 & 9 year olds have tweaked me. All, for the better.
I hope so badly, that they are learning and having as much fun as I am!
Oh and that 5k at the end? It’s really just the biggest fattest bonus you never got on your paycheck.
Want to volunteer for Girls on the Run? Go to GirlsOnTheRunNWOhio.org/Volunteer.