Each week, teachers led a group of fifteen third – fifth grade girls through discussions and activities designed to help build their self-esteem and connect them with a positive community of girls. They talked about how to deal with gossiping, being left out, and ways to build self-confidence. Along with this social piece they built in a running program -the end goal being a 5k event. Every girl needed a partner to run with them.
On Sunday, Sophie and I participated in the Girls on the Run 5k event together. I followed Sophie’s lead in how to pace ourselves – and we walked most of it, with some running sprinkled in. We listened to music, we talked a little bit, and held hands for most of the time. Cliff and Katie were there to cheer us on, loud and proud with cowbells and a handmade sign. For the last leg of the 5k, Katie joined Sophie and me and we crossed the finish line, all three Lazenby girls together. It was really hard not blubbering with pride.I am impressed by Sophie’s eight year old tenacity to be a part of a program that met twice a week for ten weeks, culminating in a 5k. I am so grateful that my daughters have a program like this available to them. I would have benefited from a program like Girls on the Run when I was eight.
The other great boost the event provided was to get my butt out there again, running on a consistent, weekly basis. I didn’t start running until last winter and when I tried it, I found it empowering to pound away, pushing myself and get sweaty and my heart pounding. The fact is as long as I have music pumping away in my ears, I will run – and I love it. It is simple and it makes me feel good.
So here’s to Girls on the Run, the teachers who made it happen and the girls who participated and completed this incredible program. And here’s to pushing myself a little bit harder.
Katie looking up to her big sister. Sophie showing off her medal. And the sign made by Cliff, decorated by Katie.