Once upon a time (okay, it was last year), the course of my life was redirected by 10 fiercely goofy and courageous girls at Catharine Blaine K-8 (see picture below). For 2 and a half months, I was no longer ‘Jen’, but ‘Princess Bubblegum’ – how else were the girls supposed to distinguish between all 3 coaches conveniently named ‘Jen’?
As you all know, there are days when practices end in scraped knees, broken water bottles, tears, torrential downpour (or just the usual PNW mist…) and/or some combination of all of the above. These are the unglamorous days. I mean, coming home soaked to the bones is not what I would call a girl empowering experience. But for every moment that brought me down, there were 10 beautiful hearts that lifted me right back up.
That season, I witnessed a transformation. These 10 feisty girls stitched themselves into the weave of my heart as I watched them persevere through trials of sorrow, through moments of immense joy & encouragement, and through 10 weeks of genuine friendship, laughter and smiles. Our future leaders grew abundantly in confidence and character. There was so much truth in every word they spoke – they brought a new lens to issues I was unaware of and clarity to subjects I was unable to grasp in my ‘old’ age. There were no hindrances in their pursuit of their dreams. There was no question they would be anything less than extraordinary. They empowered me with their accomplishments, with their simple joys and with their optimistic outlook on all things adverse. How could these girls not alter the direction of my life?
As I reflect back on this fall 2014 season, I am reminded time and time again of my 10 ferocious GOTR girls and where they have brought me today. I see them in every site visit, in every energy award given and in every medal that was passed out on December 6th as 540 girls crossed the finish line.
Coaches – thank you for immersing yourselves into the organized chaos that accompanies spending 90 minutes with 15 3rd-5th graders twice a week. Each and every single one of you has influenced your girls and this program would absolutely not exist without you. You have create a safe space girls to be their unique selves. You, Coaches, are the reason that they can venture bravely into a world where they can actively fulfill their limitless potential.
Thank you, Coaches for walking alongside your girls on this incredible journey. You untangled tricky emotions, recognized qualities of best friends, defined the meaning of beauty and stopped gossip with your team. You laid the groundwork for your girls and gave them the tools to be successful in life.
Thank you, Coaches, for empowering the next generation of women to be strong, courageous and confident.
For the hours of laughter, hugs and energy awards, thank you, Coaches. GOTRPS & I are forever grateful.
And if you’re interested in coaching, click here to learn more. We are accepting applications for the spring and would love to have you! The girls are waiting.
In GOTR spirit,