Coach Mallory and I have spent two awesome weeks with our team at Bailey Gatzert. As employees of Seattle University, we decided to partner with our Seattle University Youth Initiative to launch Girls on the Run at Bailey Gatzert. Even though this is the first season for GOTR there, we already have lots of teachers and peers that come and cheer our girls on as they run their laps. As the season progresses, we plan to engage Seattle University faculty and staff as running buddies in order to further contribute to the partnership SU has with Bailey Gatzert.
We have an energetic group that continually challenges us to grow and push ourselves right along with them. In the short amount of time that we have had together, we have already seen so much progress. The first practice, no one even wanted to run, and by practice four, they were all tallying laps as they blew by us. While watching them grow as athletes is a joy in and of itself, witnessing their internal transformation is even more remarkable. Lesson number two was all about plugging in the Girls on the Run Cord and it was my favorite lesson so far. Every one of our girls sat there, eyes closed, and ripped the ugly cord out so that they could plug that GOTR cord in where it belongs. My favorite moment came when one of our runners, Aidyn, yelled out, “my cord is purple, pink and super sparkly!” with a big smile on her face. That’s what Girls on the Run is all about. We may stretch, run and be teaching girls how to be healthy, but the most important thing is that they come to realize just how beautiful, special, and sparkly THEY are as individuals, no matter how far they run.
We are working with a unique population of girls and having the opportunity to witness them dispel the myths they have come to believe about themselves is truly an amazing thing. These girls have come so far in just a couple short weeks; we really can’t wait to see where they are at by December 7th!
Thank you to Coach Mary Beth for sharing her reflections!