As I reflect back on our Girls On The Run (GOTR) end of season 5K this past Saturday, it’s hard to put my emotions into words. There are so many great moments and memories of the huge celebratory event. The one word that keeps coming to mind as I look through photos, read emails and hear stories is PROUD.
One of the last lessons the girls have before the end of season 5K is a lesson on reflection. The girls reflect on their GOTR Toolbox. This toolbox is a collection of GOTR tools (skills) they have learned during the 10 weeks. We challenge the girls to apply these skills they have learned in Girls on the Run to all areas of their life. When they do this, they have the power to live joyfully and confidently, and they can teach others how to do the same. As I observed this I saw how proud the girls were of their community impact projects, their completion of the practice 5K and how they will use the Stop and Take a BrThRR (breather) method to handle conflict.
I love to hear how proud the coaches are of their girls. Not that they just completed 3.1 miles (which is quite the accomplishment for 3rd-5th grade girls) but proud of how they came together as a team, how the shy soft-spoken 3rd grader has started to speak up in discussions and how encouraging the girls are of one another.
As I was sorting through the over 4000 photos that were taken at the 5K, it’s evident how impactful this event is for the girls. One common theme that I kept seeing over and over was how proud each running buddy was of their GOTR girl. As the girls are crossing the line you can see the exhaustion in their face but their running buddy is beaming with pride! Once that GOTR girl catches her breath, has her medal dangling from her neck and has had a chance to grab some water, it is inevitable that the pride of their running buddy rubs off on them and they can say to themselves how PROUD they are of themselves!