Saturday, June 6, 2009

Girls on the Run!

In 9th grade I joined the cross country and track teams on a whim just because one of my friends had joined. It was the first time I'd ever participated in organized sports and and frankly I didn't enjoy that first year very much. I still don't really have any idea why I signed up again my sophomore year, but it ended up being a pivotal decision in my life.
Through my participation, not only did I gain stamina, self-control, endurance, hard work, and healthy habits, but I also found myself associating with the smartest, most down to earth students in the high school. Although I was never anywhere near the front of the pack, I consider the things I learned in running those long miles and development of those friendships as an instrumental part in making me who I am today.

Last year at the beginning of the school year we got a form announcing the commencement of a new running program for girls in third through sixth grades. I seriously got giddy with excitement and was more than ecstatic when Cami was already eager and willing to participate without any pushing on my part at all.

For the last two years her coach has trained Cami along with about 20 other girls, the basics of good health, staying fit, having a healthy body image, healthy eating habits, and along the way also training them to be able to run a 5K.
For every one of the four 5K's she has run the last two years, I have gotten choked up with emotion as I watch her determination and hard work pay off in a big way. Those are the kinds of lessons that are so invaluable to learn in life and I just love that she's already learning them in elementary school.
Not surprisingly, she has also strengthened friendships, gained confidence, gotten stronger, and developed better habits as well.
I sure hope our coach never quits, because I've already decided that if she did that I would feel compelled to volunteer to take her place just to keep it going for Emma, who is eager to participate for the first time next year.

Hmmm...I wonder if they need a new spokesperson...

(Just in case you're curious--Click here if you want to find out about how to start a Girls On the Run program in your school.)


Andie said...

Wow, Lara, that is awesome! I went and looked them up...whoever thought up that program is genius. To help girls gain confidence the right way at such a young age is priceless.

Sandra said...

Doing something that takes effort ALWAYS makes us feel better. I don't know why,but it does.

Steve-Rosanna said...

Lara, you forgot to mention that you were captain of your X-C and Girl's Track teams at Blaine H.S.

Not only did you gain confidence and friends, but it has become the basis of your lifelong healthy lifestyle.

By the way, your oldest may have decided that he is a runner as well. Nate spent a good portion of our trip telling Spence about the joys of running-even gave him a book on how to train properly.

We are proud of you and Cami and look forward to watching Emma next year (and Adam and Ellie in a few years).

Kim said...

Running is something I never could get into! But my little girl Kaitlyn seems to be ready to start. One she is fast second she seems to love it! I am glad you are giving me something to think about! Yeah I think I will sign her up!

Annette said...

I agree. Basketball and volleyball taught me so much about life, hard work, cooperation, I could go on.

Perhaps you two could run to Chick-Fil-A and get everyone some dinner??

Steve said...

Just out of curiousity: Is there anyone else that we might know or may remember in that picture of the Blaine Track team circa 1990?

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