Coaching at Stevens Elementary this season has been such a gift. We have eight diverse, unique, positive girls on our team and four coaches to guide them. About half of our girls this season were returning participants, while the other half are experiencing Girls on the Run for the first time. It’s been so fun to watch the “experienced” girls’ eyes light up when they remember doing the lesson previously and they are so excited to do it again. I’ve been so impressed by their continued level of energy for the Girls on the Run curriculum. I think that’s another testament to the program though and the kind of attitude it fosters in participants. The girls who are new to the program have embraced it so openly. I feel like all of the girls on our team are quick to remind us to “plug into the positive Girls on the Run cord,” if need be. I love watching these girls grow into more self-confident young women. I’m amazed at the level of depth of insights they share in our group discussions. They’re so perceptive and always have some great piece of wisdom to share. Seeing how much they’re learning and applying their learning makes me excited to think about how they will find the program impacting them when they’re older, like in high school, and a lot of the body image and social issues we talk about come up. I feel like our girls are establishing a firm foundation now that will allow them to preserve when things get tougher. I’m also happy to see the community they’re building with each other so that they can continue to support each other.
The opportunity to coach this season at Stevens has been incredibly impactful for me. It is as they say, you get more out of it than you can even imagine when the season first starts. I look forward to Mondays and Wednesdays knowing I will get to see their bright and shining faces! The girls’ energy, enthusiasm, and zest for life have brought a lot of joy to my life. I can’t wait to see them cross the finish line tomorrow!!!
- Coach Shanai
Even after coaching for several seasons, I’m still amazed at how quickly the season flies by. We had another full team this season at Tukwila Elementary, made up of seasoned veterans and girls new to the GOTR program. We had a very dynamic mix of personalities, and right out of the gate even the new girls were eager to share their thoughts with the rest of the team during lessons. This season especially, we heard so many thoughtful and insightful comments from these girls. Watching the girls gain confidence in both a group discussion setting and also in setting their own personal goals is always my favorite part of coaching. Really looking forward to tomorrow when our coaching team can celebrate each of these amazing girls as they complete their 5K.
Thank you, Coach Brenda, for being a SUPERSTAR coach!
As the girls went on their way after practice today, I couldn’t believe that I would only see them two more times before the season ends. It seems like such a short time ago that I was looking out on a group of eager new faces, convinced that I would never be able to get their names straight. Now I not only know their names but also their favorite foods, greatest fears, and exactly what it takes to keep them motivated through a 40-minute workout. It has been a truly amazing season full of individual accomplishments, teamwork, giggle-fits and more than a few tears.
During the harder moments it was difficult to tell what kind of impact we were having. But on other days, like today, it became perfectly clear. After we all took a turn on the Love Seat and basked in each other’s kind words and admiration, one of the girls volunteered how those words affected her. She said that sometimes she doesn’t believe that words like beautiful and smart apply to her, but she realized after hearing her teammates say them that they might really be true.
Thank you, Coach Libby, for sharing your reflections!
Shorewood Girls on the Run in numbers…
1 amazing spring season filled with (mostly) sunny running days
2 coaches who are excited to run, encourage, and be silly with the girls
3.1 miles the girls are excited to conquer this weekend
4 more anticipation-filled days before the big event!
5 new energy awards created by the girls
6 times (each practice) the girls still want to give the dead bug energy award
7 laps run, hopped, skipped, danced, or jumped around to complete a practice 5K a few weeks ago
8 incredible, inspiring girls participating this season at Shorewood!
Shorewood GOTR girls at the Practice 5K with their Running Buddies!
Last week, at our Practice 5K, one of the most vocal and talented young girls on the Ridgecrest B team was without her Running Buddy. To ensure every girl ran with an adult, I stepped up and said I would join her for the practice 5K. I must be honest, I was a little scared to run with her as she is quite a talented and competitive runner – I really didn’t want to hold her back. I became even a little more worried when she expressed to me in her snappy, schoolgirl way “I REALLY hope you can keep up with me today because I plan on winning”.
At our school, it’s a 6-lap course to complete the 3.1 miles and the course basically circles around the school perimeter. We started out towards the front of the pack and after each lap, she asked me to keep track of her competition (i.e., how far back, who was gaining steam, etc.). I gainfully tried my best to distract her from her “winning” by telling her stories, pointing out a beautiful blossoming tree or asking about her school day. But the further we ran, it was clear she had her mind set on taking first place. As I was telling her who was behind us for what felt like the 10th time, I said in passing “We may be a lethal pairing, us two,” and of course, her response was “What does lethal mean?… Is someone catching up, Coach?”
As we neared the last lap, she pointed out where we should sprint from so we could ensure her victory. Right before her designated sprint spot, she said, again in her schoolgirl way, “I’m glad you could keep up with me today… I was a little worried.” We spent the next several minutes cheering on the remaining finishers, proud of what we both accomplished. The following week she told me that her mom bought her ice cream that night after she told her of her BIG win. I felt so happy that I helped her accomplish her goal, even though, in reality it was her that pushed me along the entire distance. It is simply incredible how STRONG these girls are… each week they surprise me anew.
The girls at Northgate enjoyed the sun last week during their practice 5K! For some of them this is the longest they’ve ever run so they were a little unsure about the distance, but they all did amazing and were happy when they finished. After the 5K we enjoyed the lap counters in the form of sticker letters they had collected and the girls spelled out their names on their water bottles. We also enjoyed some delicious carrot muffins with cream cheese frosting as a celebratory snack! All of the girls are very excited to see their Running Buddies again at the 5K.
A couple weeks ago we did the ‘Learning about Cooperation’ lesson.
Ironically, although we struggled with getting everyone to cooperate and participate with the ‘getting on board,’ at the end of the workout we had created a beautiful chain! The girls liked the idea of being able to work together to get all of the lap counters in, and at the end we had girls running just to keep others who still had lap counters left company.
All the coaches have loved the season so far, and we are all excited to see our girls continue to shine for the next few weeks and can’t wait for the 5K!
-Coach Emma, Traci, and Claire
Happy May Day from Parkside Elementary!
I could not have asked for a better group of Girls on the Run to spend my first season coaching. They are so full of excitement and enthusiasm for every lesson, even though many of them are GOTR veterans! One of their favorite lessons so far was the one about gossip, because it was a fun challenge to try to put the toothpaste back into the tube, and a great analogy for how we can’t take back what we say.
The girls get along very well and I have enjoyed seeing their friendships with each other deepen and grow. One day at practice, most of the girls had finished running their laps and we were waiting for the last few girls to finish. The girls initiated a human “tunnel” to cheer the last few girls across the finish line. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and we have done the tunnel almost every time since!
I am so proud of the girls’ great attitudes and willingness to try their best. They are truly a joy to coach. At the end of every practice, they love gathering in a circle to give each other Energy Awards. Lately their favorite has been the Harlem Shake! The girls keep Coach Summer and me laughing, and we are very grateful for the fun privilege we have of being a part of their lives. We can’t wait to see all of you on May 18th!