In the past few years, I’ve written a bit about my evolving relationship with running. Running is a lot like writing for me: an outlet for energy and emotion, a challenging pursuit that inspires me to improve, an activity that stimulates creativity, and a fun diversion, and something I crave when I go too long without it. Also, “runner” and “writer” are two titles that I have been reluctant to claim, even though I avidly engage in and enjoy both things. But recognizing that I am, indeed, both a writer and runner, has been a significant part of my personal growth and my story.
Girls on the Run® is helping girls find this important perspective while in still in elementary school, inspiring 3rd-5th graders to be joyful, healthy, and confident. The positive youth development program creatively integrates running into a fun, experience-based curriculum that emphasizes competence, strength of character, compassion, and meaningful contribution to community. Girls discover their potential to be remarkable and learn that they can take charge of their own lives, develop the ability to think critically, and use their voice confidently.
Girls on the Run of Southern Oklahoma served 70 girls in Carter and Love Country last season, and is continuing to add teams each semester. The team meetings and lessons show pre-adolescent girls how to embrace their individual strengths, develop healthy relationships, successfully navigate life experiences, and positively connect with and shape the world.
Earlier this week, I wrote an article for their blog about what running means to me and how it has affected my life. Sharing my running story with pre-teen girls in my community made me realize what a powerful tool this simple sport can be to motivate, educate, inspire, and empower. I have experienced personally the effect on my physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being, and know that this influence could be even more beneficial for a young girl.
Right now the local chapter is participating in the “put yourself in HER shoes” campaign to generate support for the GOTR team activities and supplies. Your contribution could provide a program tee-shirt or 5k race entry for a participant, meeting snacks or finisher medals for a team, or scholarships for underprivileged girls. All of these things fuel a program that is guiding girls in developing skills that will serve them well for a lifetime.
Teach her she can fill any shoe she chooses.
Girls on the Run® of Southern Oklahoma is a 501(c)3