My Girls on the Run Story
When I saw the Girls on the Run flier that my daughter, Stella, brought home from her third grade class, I felt certain that if I could get her to agree to try the program, it would be a great experience for her. But I had no idea just how powerful it would be for her, a girl at age 8, and what it would mean for me, a grown woman and mom of two girls who never tapped into her own girl power.
A running program that helps girls discover their limitless potential?! Immediate yes, at least from a mom’s perspective. Stella was harder to convince. I drew up a contract that said she would give it her very best, and even though it might be hard, to use this as an opportunity to grow. The girl who reluctantly signed that contract transformed over the 10 weeks of training. On race day, I couldn’t help but cry with overwhelming pride when I saw Stella’s beaming face as she crossed the finish line. And it wasn’t just about the running. I was proud of the conversations we’d had leading up to race day–about standing up for herself, about healthy friendships, about turning negative self-talk around–all things she learned during the season.
I was a believer.
So when the local chapter asked me to join the marketing team and then become a board member, I was honored to support the work they were doing. I’d seen the impact on my daughter and wanted that for every girl, too. I was completely aligned with the GOTR mission. As I started doing the board training, I learned about the commitment the program has to the girls’ well-being and safety and the rigor in living the program’s values in every sense. My pride grew. Through the board training, I felt like I was learning about my inner girl and starting to see her potential open up.
Shortly after joining the board, Stella’s team needed a coach. It was the fall of 2020. Schools were semi-open. There was so much uncertainty. But with a “now more than ever” mentality, I agreed to be a coach. The girls needed it. The world needed more of the good work GOTR does. Once again, my understanding of the program deepened alongside my training. It was the coach training that taught me things I’d never learned as a young girl, things that ended up saving me as an adult that year.
I was at a tough point in my life and I needed those lessons. Like taking action on behalf of myself, standing up for what I needed to the people closest to me, and stepping into my potential. I finally started believing I was worth it. Having the lessons from Girls on the Run reinforced every week as I coached the team felt like the permission I needed to be my whole-girl self.
Today, I support Girls on the Run as a sponsor. It’s a commitment that means so much to me as I’ve felt the impact it can have on girls, and their moms. We still talk about the GOTR lessons at home, not just for my daughters but for me, too. Honestly, as a business woman I think the Girls on the Run curriculum is what the world of work is asking for. Especially, now as leaders are being called to be more authentic, to lead with purpose and to create values-based company cultures. With Girls on the Run, we can empower girls to lead in the world with foundational skills they can carry through life. No girl should have to wait until she’s grown to discover her limitless potential.
I’ll forever be grateful for what Girls on the Run has given me.