When I was a student, I marked time in quarters & school years; fall quarter of freshman year was so hard! Winter quarter of senior year was the best! They were chapters strung together to create one very large section of my life story. The subsequent installment of my life story has been marked in GOTR seasons – season prep, fall/spring season and post 5k. These are real measures of time, my friends. Each season became a foundational episode of my time here in Seattle and as I begin to close this chapter and start writing a new one, I am overcome with gratitude for my life-changing time at GOTR.
There are four critical chapters in my time with GOTR. I’m not the most eloquent with words, so I’d like to borrow some from Anne Lamott, who has the ability to put my thoughts into a coherent sentence. She says, “Things get broken – they always do. It’s called real life, and it’s cracked and fragile, but the glue for me is the beating of my heart, love and whatever attention I can pay to what matters most to me”. My four seasons with GOTRPS saw me through some of the most fragile and exhilarating moments of my 23 years of life; deaths, tragedies, births, weddings, graduations. For two seasons, I ran, skipped and cartwheeled laps alongside 18 beautiful souls as we ventured together through our own personal journeys of life’s ups and downs. Over the span of my weeks as a coach, the girls transformed before my eyes from hesitant and cautious to powerful, confident and courageous leaders. I wept as I watched them cross the 5K finish line, knowing that I had helped give them a sense of freedom in a world constantly trying to tear them down. My heart was overflowing with pride, with hope, with joy. As Lamott says, this was the beating of my heart, the moments that mattered most to me, the glue that kept my life together.
Just like my seasons as a coach, I have experienced that same abundance of joy, hope and pride these past two seasons as the Program Manager. This time, instead of my 18 girls, I had 1200 GOTR girls to cross the finish line with. Somewhere along the coach trainings, the site visits and the last minute sub calls, the true GOTR girl in me emerged. 1200 girls taught me to no longer be afraid to chase after my dreams and to be courageous in times of trials. As I make my way into a new adventure, my hope for our girls is that for every chapter of their lives, they bring pieces of GOTR with them. I hope that like me, they recognize that there is no expiration date for activating their limitless potential. I am healthy, confident and courageous – I am a Girl on the Run. Thanks for crossing the finish line with me.
Post written and submitted by exiting Program Manager, Jen John
Thanks Jen! You will be missed!