Girls on the Run
When I was a kid, I didn’t have good self-esteem. Well, I did when it came to school; I was smart and liked school. But, socially, I did not feel good about myself. I was fat and ugly. I was literally the Queen of the Misfits. Those at school that didn’t fit in with any other group hung out with me.
It didn’t help that I was not athletic, or at least I didn’t think I was. I didn’t feel comfortable running around chasing after balls, and because I was fat, I never got picked for anything other than anchor for tug-o-war. Oh… wait… I did make the bowling team.
One of the most exciting things about my transformation is the fact that I am now physically confident. I believe in my body; I recognize and appreciate its strength. I’m now willing to try new things, even if I am likely to fail. In the past, failure was always due to my weight. I was sure people were laughing at me, thinking that I was too big to do anything with my body. Now, if I fail, I don’t indict myself for it; I don’t see it as my fault. Now, if I fail, it’s merely because it’s new to me, or I need to strengthen that body part.
This new-found confidence and attitude has allowed me to try all kinds of wonderful activities: sailing, zip lining, pole dancing, boulder scrambling, free climbing, rope walls, mountain biking, and more. It’s been a joy.
All through this process, I’ve thought that I should share my experience – my story – with others in some way. The transformation shouldn’t go to waste; it should ripple out to others who might need inspiration and encouragement. Up until recently, I hadn’t found the avenue to accomplish that rippling. Now I think I have.
Through my Leadership program, I learned about an amazing non-profit organization called “Girls on the Run“. It’s a program dedicated to developing self confidence and healthy living skills for girls ages 8 through 13.
“The programs combine training for a 3.1 mile running event with self-esteem enhancing, uplifting workouts. The goals of the programs are to encourage positive emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical development.”
As soon as I heard about this program, I was certain I needed to be part of it. There’s no council here, so I looked into starting one. In the process of doing that research, I discovered that another woman had already assembled a team to bring this exciting program to our neighborhood. I emailed her, and earlier this week, we had a first meeting.
On the way to the meeting, I heard Paula Cole’s “I don’t want to wait”, a song that I haven’t heard in years… and one of my anthems when I splitting up from my first husband. It was incredibly apropos to hear that song on my way to this meeting. At the time it was popular, I was finally admitting to myself that I didn’t want to wait anymore to live life. I didn’t know what was ahead at that point, and I could never have foreseen all the wonders that I’ve experienced in these last couple of years. Specifically, I could never have foreseen joining up with a group of runners to help young girls prepare for a 5K!
We have a great group, filled with knowledge and expertise, and I think we’ll be able to conduct our first training in the fall. I am thrilled that I might be able to help at least one girl avoid being ashamed of her body, that I might help one girl learn to love to move and feel that amazing sense of accomplishment when she achieves something physical that she didn’t think she could do.