Sunday, May 15, 2016

Girls on the Run Practice 5K (5/5/16)

You know about Girls on the Run?
It's a really great self-esteem program for girls third through fifth grade. From the Web site:

We believe that every girl can embrace who she is, can define who she wants to be, can rise to any challenge, can change the world. Can.
Mission: We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Vision: We envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Core Values: 
  • Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making
  • Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
  • Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions
  • Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
  • Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
  • Stand up for ourselves and others

I learned about this program years ago when my cousins participated. They pair up girls with women "running buddies" for the culmination of the program: a practice 5K and then the final 5K. I was a running buddy five years ago. Then this year I received an e-mail stating that 170 more running buddies were needed for the upcoming events! My calendar was free, so I signed up again.

I'm assigned to Cooper Mountain Elementary School, and our practice 5K was May 5. I arrived to find my team excited, positive and ready to run!

We started with some warm-up exercises and then hit the streets around the school. My girl is fifth-grader Miriam. She's a strong, natural runner who's not afraid of hills! We chatted away the time as we did the triple-loop through the neighborhood and wooded park. After it was over, she challenged me to run back to the school - up a big hill! She did great!

Times have changed since my last Girls on the Run experience, and they now ask that we not post photos of the girls on social media. So here's our official practice 5K photo:
I'll let you guess which is me and which is Miriam :)

Knowing how clique-ish school can be, I was thrilled to see how each girl was cheering on each girl - no favoritism here. And as the slowest girl came around the corner to the finish, they all gathered to usher her in. So inspiring!

Our official 5K is this Saturday, and I know Miriam is ready! :)

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