I joined Girls on the Run Bay Area as a junior coach in 2020. At 16, I became a mentor for the girls on my team, but I learned just as much from the Girls on the Run curriculum as my team did, and continue to use the lessons I taught at Girls on the Run to navigate life as a freshman in college. Here are three ways the lessons from Girls on the Run impacted my first quarter as student-athlete on the track and field team at Stanford University.
Finding my strengths
One of my favorite lessons encourages girls to write down one strength after they finish every lap. By the end of practice, each girl has a page full of talents reminding them of their own unique strengths. In college, everyone is talented in their own way, and it can be easy to endlessly compare yourself to others and feel like you don’t stand out. I’ve found myself this quarter reminding myself of my strengths – though they may not be the same as my teammates or classmates, the talents I bring to practice and class are equally valuable.
The lesson that resonated with me the most at Girls on the Run was the lesson on friendship. Every year, our team would have a discussion about what makes a good friend. This quarter, I found myself thinking back to what character traits our team identified as “boosting” a friendship – being a good listener, being there when you need help – and I was able to form relationships that made my first quarter at college a positive experience.
Helping my community
The joy of the community impact project my team did at the end of every season always encouraged me to continue giving back to my community. In college, I’m still involved in Girls on the Run as a social media and communications intern – and ran my first Girls on the Run 5K with my mom this fall! I’m passionate about promoting the program that gave me, and thousands of girls like me, the gift of life lessons to last a lifetime.
My mom and me at my first Girls on the Run 5K this fall!
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