Hi everyone! It’s Friday AKA time to link up with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar for another Friday Five! This week we’re talking about sharing the running love, and it’s perfect timing because tomorrow is my very first 5k as a coach for Girls On The Run! GOTR is an awesome program that teaches girls in 3rd-5th grade how to be amazing, strong, and confident girls while also helping them train for a 5k. It’s my first season as a coach and I’ve been having a blast! I obviously love teaching life skills (I’ve been doing it at various jobs for years), but my favorite part of the program is where we get to run together as a group.
Sharing my love of running with my GOTR team has been an awesome experience because:
1. I get to teach girls valuable life skills through running. Pushing through the fear of joining a new team, the discomfort of training, and the nervousness of preparing for a race are skills that will prepare these girls for future struggles in life. We spend a lot of time making parallels between running and life, and my goal is that they’ll leave this program feeling stronger and more confident after reaching their goal and will be ready to take on the world!
2. We value going at your own pace. Sure, we’re all running a 5k this weekend that is open to the general public and it’s called a “race”. But we don’t focus on the racing aspect at all – we encourage our girls to go at their own speed so that they can finish feeling like they tried their best! We discourage comparing girls to each other, and don’t focus on speed in practice. There will be tons of time for that in the future!
3. Running becomes a team effort. Running is a solo sport right? Well, up until a few weeks ago I would have said yes! But I’m learning that having a supportive group of runners who are preparing for the same goal as you is so helpful! At GOTR we spend so much time cheering each other on and encourage positivity and support as important qualities. I’m looking forward to cheering on a lot of runners with my running buddy this weekend as we make our way through the 5k!
4. We mix things up. When adults run, we go out and simply run. When we run at GOTR we make it way more exciting! We set lap goals and then have girls keep track of their laps with “bracelets” (pipe cleaners and beads), we play “running hangman” where girls have to guess a letter and if it’s not in the secret word they run a few laps, and we use fun games to sneak in some unexpected running. For example, sometimes the girls aren’t interested in doing the planned track workout…but they’ll do a running scavenger hunt (run to something red and do 10 jumping jacks, run to a friend and give them a high five, etc.) or play some form of tag instead. As long as they’re moving and having fun we’re pretty happy!
5. GOTR is so much fun! This is the official GOTR motto and I love it! Running is so much fun and I don’t know where I’d be without it in my life. I love that I get to share my love of running with a younger generation and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of these girls at future 5ks!
Tomorrow our team is running in a local 5k and each girl on my team will be paired up with a running buddy to help them get through the race successfully. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to run with one of my students and help her accomplish a goal that she’s been working on for the last few months! Every GOTR girl gets a medal at the end of the race and I’m so excited to have been part of their journey to earn that medal! Look for a recap next week, and make sure to check if there is a local GOTR chapter near you that might need running buddies for an upcoming race!
How do you share the running love? Have you ever participated in a GOTR event?