“Go, Catelyn – Go!!

Yes, I was excited.  My 8-year-old daughter was running her first 5K!

Catelyn decided to join our school’s chapter of Girls on the Run.  A really fantastic group that meets to inspire girls and to help them build self-confidence.  The area of focus they build their community and strengths?  Running.

How awesome is that?

Catelyn ran with me once before.  The day before I was running the Delaware Marathon a couple of years ago there was a mile fun run for the kids which she was anxious to do, so I ran it with her.  It was there I saw the runner inside of Cate.  She put her head down and she ran.  And every time someone passed her, her brow furrowed and she ran a little faster.

All I could think was, “I know that look!  I know that feeling!”

Girls on the Run is a great place for Catelyn.  She enjoys running.  She enjoys challenges.  And she has an opportunity to learn that anything is possible for her.

Girls on the Run is designed to inspire girls to learn that they can do anything.  Sure they run, but they also spend a lot of time in group.  They discuss what is important to them.  They talk about healthy relationships and how they can positively connect and help shape the world.

The girls meet twice a week right after school.  The girls stretch, laugh and connect with each other.  At the end of each meeting the girls stretch and do cheers for each other celebrating each girls awesomeness.  The coaches work to help the girls understand themselves, value relationships and teamwork.  The coaches help the girls to improve their competence, feel confident, develop character and create positive connections with peers.

At the end of each season the girls complete a 5k with a running buddy.  The 5K gives the girls a goal to work to through the season and a goal to accomplish.  The message?  Making the impossible, possible.

When I was cheering Cate on, it was at her practice 5K.  A chance for the girls to test their skills and to see what they may need to do for their real 5K, a month away.  I am Catelyn’s running buddy.  Yes, I am so excited.  Of course, I love that she is running – cause heck, I love to run, too!  An activity that we can share!

But I am also super psyched about the awesome message Girls on the Run is providing to Cate.  Cate has a hard time engaging in social relationships.  Cate is not one to primp and has had a hard time being a flexible friend.  She has been bullied before and tends to keep to herself.  Girls on the Run provides Cate with an excellent outlet to allow her to feel good accomplishing a 5K and allows her to discover and build healthy relationships.

Fantastic!

The girls are great individuals that really embrace the idea of building healthy relationships.  As Cate was finishing her practice 5K, the girl who came in first came to run the final stretch to the finish line.

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Cate came in 5th with a finishing time of 25:51.  She was so very proud of herself and continued to cheer the other girls as they came in.  And when the last girl came in?  The field we all stood on was loud as she got cheers galore!  Fast or slow didn’t matter – these girls did something and they were doing it together!

Girls on the run is great – if you would like to see if there is a group near you, check this link here.

The message from Girls on the Run:

Simple, engaging and extraordinary. The result? Healthy, confident girls who CAN.

 

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