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We just completed our Spring 2016 season, which wrapped with the 5K on May 22. What a season and what a team New Traditions! We coaches LOVED being with you girls! Thank you for letting us coach you, teach you and learn from you. You are an amazing group of individual girls who came together as a solid team!
At one of our last practices, we did a couple relays centering around what we learned through the season. The first relay, the girls line up in two lines facing each other holding their arms in the air forming a tunnel. Each girl ran to the coach and yelled a positive word that describes themself, usually something they touched on in practices. They high five the coach, run back through the tunnel. Each took a turn.
The second relay, each girl ran through the tunnel and all the girls would yell out a positive word or phrase about the one running through. It was a bit chaotic, but so fun!
In the first, it was so exciting and inspiring to hear the words each girl would yell to identify herself. One, while running toward me, jumped and yelled, “I AM BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUT!” Each girl had wonderful, positive and sometimes funny things to identify herself. I must say, Pad Thai and miniature pigs were quite popular with this team!
I walked away from this practice energized, proud of our girls and really tuning into that one declaration of “I am beautiful inside and out” and seeing her jumping for joy and smiling as she ran confidently towards me and back after a very enthusiastic high five.
I have been thinking about this idea of beautiful and strong recently. As I, personally, have come to truly feel alive in this last couple years, I have been becoming aware of my inner and outer beauty and attempting to own it. We are often temped as we grow into women to not acknowledge our beauty internally or externally - or many of the attributes that make us unique and special - for fear of appearing “vain”. Yet, these are the qualities that make us unique, special AND worth celebrating. They are the characteristics that make us strong as girls and, as we grow into women, help us lead and create change in the world around us.
Through Girls on the Run, we teach our girls to own their own uniqueness, strength and beauty while being kind to each other and themselves. We instill in them the importance to support and stick up for each other. We teach them about peer pressure, media pressure, bullying and how would it feel if these things happed to them. Wouldn’t they want someone to stand up for and encourage them? This inspires compassion, kindness and a sense of importance of being. They rise to the occasion.
I feel fortunate at New Traditions as these girls already have a strong sense of self and innate goodness from their home lives. They still struggle and we give them a safe place to be. Not all the girls around the nation have this in their home lives or communities, which is why the Girls on the Run program is so important.
Thank you all for sharing our journey this season and we look forward to seeing you again in the Fall! We will miss our girls who graduate and have confidence they carry the Girls on the Run principals with them! Have a wonderful summer and stay BEAUTIFUL AND STRONG!