Girls on the Run

Dec 20, 2013
Tagged with: Girls on the Run

What lessons has exercise taught you? In my blog posts, I tend to always go towards the “feelers”–as in I like to explore meaning or purpose behind working out.  I can’t help it.  For me, working out is about so much more than staying fit!

This fall I had the opportunity to coach a Girls on the Run team.  If you do not know what Girls on the Run is, I will provide you with a brief and inadequate description of what my fall looked like (my words just cannot do the program justice).  For ten weeks, I met with a group of 3rd through 5th grade girls on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a community site (meaning my girls came from different schools).  We met to—you can probably guess this—practice our running, but running is not the main focus of the Girls on the Run program.  Every practice, we completed a lesson that aims to prepare the girls for life and teach them the power in standing up for themselves, feeling confident, and embracing diversity while celebrating our connectedness.

One of our lessons was on gratitude.  In this exercise, the girls divided into two teams and ran a relay race.  As a community site, this task often became problematic as cliques would arise and girls wouldn’t want to be apart from the girls with whom they went to school.  It was always a great time to remind them what it means to be inclusive!

For this relay race, each girl had to run to a coach and write down a word that began with one of the letters that spells out the word gratitude. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can relate to every word they came up with (especially that A word… one time for all the awesomeness in the world!).gotr

Now, when you look beyond the cute writing and misspelling, I cannot help but get a little sentimental.  I have this posted above my desk, because I wanted to be reminded of my girls and their own gratitude.  My adolescent years were not that long ago, and I still remember some painful memories.  Working out was a huge coping mechanism for me during these years, but my body image was so warped!  Now, instead of focusing what I wish I could change with my health, I focus on the qualities for which I am grateful.

What are you grateful for when it comes to your health?  Is it your ability to fight through tough workouts? Is it your body’s natural metabolism?  Maybe it’s your super defined calve muscles! Whatever it is, I hope you realize how special you are, and if you need a pick me up, just find a girl on the run… She will likely remind you to love yourself, celebrate your gifts, and remember your potential!


The opinions expressed here are solely my opinions and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Girls on the Run® International.


Author: Julia Venable