Girls…Running…And Me

 

I have just returned from the 2012 Girls on the Run Summit, which took place this past week in Tampa, Florida.  The Summit is similar to what other organizations refer to as a convention.  We attended general and specific break-out sessions, had opportunities to go on group runs/walks and practice yoga together.  We shared meals, snacks and a sunset cruise.  We heard very good speakers, made new friends and snatched some sunshine.  As a board member on our Northwest Indiana Council, I was grateful for the opportunity to attend.  

What is Girls on the Run?  GOTR is an after school program for girls in grades 3 thru 5, that incorporates running to help prepare girls for a lifetime of self-respect and healthy living.  This interactive program focuses on building self-esteem and improving emotional and physical health.  Each 12-week session (one in fall and one in spring) is led by trained female coaches that guide and mentor girls through a fun, uplifting and specific curriculum.

Life lessons include dealing with body image and the media, resisting peer-pressure, making healthy choices and contributing to the community.  Along the way, the girls train to walk or run a 5K event together.

I am not a runner and I have only raised boys, but I know what a challenge it can be to be a girl.  What a positive effect this program could have on a little girl who wonders if she is worthy of love…self-love and love from others.  GOTR has served over 400,000 girls since the first season in 1996.  If you are looking for a cause to help fill your life with purpose, GOTR is a great place to begin your search.

“The greatest act of bravery is simply being ourselves.”  Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run

For more information, go to www.girlsontherun.org and www.gotrofnwi.org    

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