Yesterday was our final 5k celebration for my Girls on the Run team. These awesome girls have been working for 10 weeks to train to complete a 5k. I touched on what Girls on the Run is in this post, but a quick recap is that it’s a 10-week program for 3rd-5th grade girls to learn life lessons through running. We meet 2 times a week and have a lesson (about bullying, gossip, being able to choose your friends, values, community, etc), then use running to reinforce those lessons and build strength and confidence in each girl.
I’m gonna miss being “Coach Whitney”
The morning was beautiful and sunny and each girl arrived decked out in their GOTR t-shirt with their running buddy in tow (each girl had an adult running buddy to run with them and encourage them along the way). Our assistant coach waited at the finish line to give each girl her finisher medal and I went about halfway down the course to cheer the girls on.
Our pictures that we crafted during our last practice.
It was so fun to see each girl running with her buddy and to cheer them on! I’m not normally in the cheering section of a race and it was a lot of fun to encourage the participants along the course. I know that I means a lot to me to hear a “Great job!” or “You can do it!” when I can’t feel my legs or when I’m just sure my lungs are going to explode, so I tried to be extra encouraging.
After the race, which one of my girls won (!!!!! SO proud of her!), each girl and her running buddy wrote thank you cards to each other, they each received a cinch sack full of goodies, they got to pick an article of Nike running clothing to take home and they got their participant t-shirt, certificate and medal. Talk about swag. These girls go hooked up!
Then it was time to go. This was our last meeting as a team and it was sad to say goodbye to each girl. They worked so hard over the season and grew a ton! And, ya know what, the lessons we studied over the season were super helpful to me too! There were times I found myself pushing through a tough run or telling myself I’m awesome when I was feeling less than confident, drawing on the hard work and wise words the girls shared during practice. I’m really hoping I can coach again next year.
Has anyone else coached a Girls on the Run team?