Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Can You Inspire Other Runners to be Joyful, Healthy, and Confident?

 
 
The other weekend I was asked to volunteer for the Girls on the Run 5k. I didn't know much about this organization but knew I would be available to help out. After volunteering I learned much more about it and may even look into how to become a coach for it.

Their mission states, "We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running."

For those of you that don't know about the Girls on the Run program it's an non profit organization for young girls to help with self esteem and to boost their confidence.  It gives them a sense of accomplishment knowing they can do anything they put their mind to.

The students meet twice a week after school for 10-12 weeks. This is when you are met with your certified coach. The coaches can have anywhere from 8-20 students in their group. The students range from third to eighth grade. At the end of their program they run a 5k race. The coaches even get to run with their students during the race.

There are also buddies that help out. These people are not certified to coach, but they can still help them reach the finish line. They are paired up with a student to run with them during the race. They can be anyone from a parent to a friend, or someone you may have just met throughout the program. I was talking to one of the ladies that wasn't sure where she was suppose to be in the corral. She said she was suppose to be a buddy, but when she arrived they didn't need her, so she was just going to run the race for herself. I didn't know that anyone could just sign up for the race. Even though their primary focus are young girls, anyone can run it, even boys.

 
 
We arrived at the event very early. I think it may have been even a bit too early because we had a while to wait before the start.  We were there by 7am and the race didn't start til 8:30. We first picked up our volunteer shirts and waited until we received further instructions on where to go. We were told we were going to be corral control. Oh boy! How was this going to work with almost 2,000 girls? Well it actually went very smoothly.  There was a sign for each corral and your bib should have a letter on it and that is what corral you should be in. If they didn't have a letter on their bib, they could go in any corral, or in the last corral which was E. Erin and I were the ones holding the rope at the back of D and the start of E. Well as the time passed we realized there was no one wearing an E on their bib. That must have been the overflow. Our job was easy enough!  Just brought up the last corral which was D. Each corral was set a minute apart and before each one there was a chant "Girls on the Run is so much fun."

After the race began we walked over to where the finishers would come through to hand out waters and fruit. I was hoping to hand out the medals. I had asked one of the volunteers about that and she said I believe their coaches do that after they finish. We watched the first couple people finish and then we headed home. There was a little boy that finished in about 23:00 minutes.  I saw his mom afterwards and asked how old he was and she said 8 1/2. I thought wow that is so great! I also talked to another little girl and asked if this was her first race and she said "no". She was hoping to do better than her previous time of 29:00 minutes. I thought to myself wow these young girls are so ambitious!
 
Do you consider yourself to be inspiring?  Do you think you would enjoying being a coach or volunteering in some way?   ~L
 
Don't forget that there is still time to join the Summer Run Scavenger Hunt, if you haven't already.

52 comments:

  1. Ahh, love that you volunteered at a GOTR race. As you probably read, I was a buddy at our local race recently and had a blast running with Lucas who was part of the Stride program. We had a bunch of super fast runners and my friend's son ran a 22 something as a under 9 runner. Wow!

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    1. It was a lot of fun. I hope to be a buddy sometime at one of the races.

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  2. Girls on the Run is a wonderful organization - I love that you volunteered with them! We don't have one in our area, but a local group is attempting to start one up. Great post, sounds like you had a good time!!

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    1. Thanks. It really is a great program. I hope they get one started.

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  3. I love the idea of GotR. I don't know if we have groups where I live but it's wonderful to get people out and running, making it fun.

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    1. It boost young girls confidence so much. There are so many places the program is coming up. You can go to their website and they will be able to tell you where the closest place there is one to you.

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  4. I coach a beginner 5k program and they are so inspiring! I love seeing how far they have come and it is such a rewarding feeling! Girls on the Run is awesome! Good for you for volunteering! :)

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    1. How fun that you get to coach. I would love that if I had a more of a set schedule for work.

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  5. That's great that you were able to volunteer with Girls on the Run. I just heard about the organization recently but it sounds like a great group!

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  6. Thats a great read and an awesome program. Thanks for volunteering at it too.

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  7. So funny. I was just having a conversation with someone about people posting before and after photos on the internet in the hopes of inspiring others. I worry about people who deem themselves "inspiring" I'm not sure you can really decide that. It's up to someone else to decide if they find you inspiring. All you can do is share your story and hope to appear to have some type of humility. Otherwise, it's just bragging and seeking attention.
    As far as an organization seeking to inspire, I think that's different. An organization like GOTR or Girl Scouts doesn't seem like they're trying so much to inspire as to educate and empower. They seem to want to give the girls the tools to succeed. Maybe it's a minor quibble over terminology, but that's how I think of it.

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    1. I believe the GOTR program does help build their self confidence. Knowing they can do anything they put their mind to.

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  8. What a terrific initiative. You are perfectly positioned to inspire these youngsters. Can't wait to read more about your involvement with this organization. Go girl!

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    1. Thanks. I hope to get more involved in future races.

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  9. Volunteering is always so fun and rewarding! So glad to hear that you had a wonderful experience with GOTR!

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    1. Yes I agree. Volunteering can be just as fun as running the race sometimes. And you don't have to worry about certain things before the start:)

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  10. I have heard of this organization a few times over the past month or so, it sounds SO awesome! I'd love to volunteer to do something like this, giving back, running and inspiring young kids is amazing!

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    1. You should volunteer when you get a chance. It was a lot of fun!

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  11. I have not heard of this organization before, but I love it. Girls struggle so much through those grade school years and having positive women around to support them and encourage them is such a wonderful thing! I'll have to see if Houston has a program like this!

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    1. It's a great self confidence booster for young girls. I'm sure a big city like Houston has to have a program close to you. You can check on their website.

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  12. I love GOTR! Such a great organization. Volunteering is always such a reward too. Great job!

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  13. Working towards a 5K race sounds like a fun goal for the girls. Hopefully, they'll have fun and enjoy being active in later years, too.

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    1. Yea I hope so. Who knows some of those girls could go on and be great marathon runners:)

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  14. I wanted to help that organization out - love what they stand for - but they don't have one near us out in the country :(

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    1. Oh no sorry to hear that. Maybe they have another similar program in the area.

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  15. We have a Girls On The Run chapter in our area also. I think this is a great program. Our daughter loves running 5 and 10ks with me and I love having her as a partner:)

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    1. When I was volunteering I saw so many girls running with their mom. It was so nice to see that:)

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  16. I have heard of this organization before, and I applaud their message and mission statement!!! We really need more companies like that out here! I think it would be great to have a job in a company like that. I have a friend here locally who works for a non-profit that does something similar on a smaller local level here, and she absolutely loves her job. It's really become a part of who she is, and I have seen so many positive changes in her because of it. She's asked me to volunteer on the weekends, and I hate to admit I have always been busy just because most my weddings are on weekends. But one day I really need to set aside some time and give it a try!

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    1. It was so nice to be able to volunteer. I hear you with working on the weekend. I am always doing that too. But that particular weekend I was not and when my friend ask me to volunteer, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.

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  17. I was a coach for GOTR this past season... I have mixed feelings about it. If you want an "insider scoop" feel free to message me!

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  18. I've heard about this group and it sounds amazing!!! I helped start a running group in my area called Sole2Soul Sisters. I guess I'm a coach although we just call ourselves leaders when we lead a group. I've led a 5K, 10K, and half marathon training group. There's no greater feeling than helping others cross that finish line for the first time!

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    1. I bet that is a really great feeling! I hope to do that one day too!

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  19. A great cause and thanks for sharing! It is so important to be a good role model for these young ladies! Kudos for sharing your love of running!

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    1. Yes I agree. Happy to have shared my experience:)

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  20. We hold the Celebration Run at my college (GOTR Central VA), and I love being a running buddy!

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    1. I bet that is fun! Virginia must be popular for this program:)

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  22. I would love to be apart of Girls on the Run someday! Sounds like a great organization and race!!!! :)

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    1. It really is. You would have so much fun:)

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  23. That sounds real fun. I only volunteered at a race one time! :0 I handed out race kits and then later helped out with results. I had major runner's envy....lol.

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    1. I know! I really wish I would have signed up to be a buddy! Maybe next time:)

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  24. This is amazing! I know i have seen them locally and now i am going to look into it to see about volunteering! thanks for being an inspiration!!

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    1. I hope you find one in your area. They seem to be coming in a lot more places. Good luck!

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  25. I love GOTR. I volunteered as a coach last year and loved it! Glad you enjoyed the day as well :D

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  26. What a great program! Thanks for sharing it with us, I'd actually never heard of it!

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  27. Looks like an awesome program. I've never heard of this or read your blog before. I'll have to stop by again!

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  28. I just finished coaching my first season of Girls on The Run-I loved it! It was so meaningful to volunteer my time to the girls. My teenage daughter was my junior coach so that made it even more special. You have to do it!

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