Girls on the Run


Sign for the girls (not made by me; I’m lame. plus my handwriting sucks)

 Yesterday I got to meet my latest running buddy with Girls on the Run. This girl is going to be a heartbreaker! I just love chatting with these girls while we do laps around the school. I learned a lot about my buddy, and it’s adorable how excited they are to share about themselves. My buddy is in sixth grade, and she seemed to have so much joy in her. 

One thing that struck me as I pulled up to the school for our practice 5k was that most of these girls’ parents can’t make it to see their daughters run. There is another school in our program that is in a fairly well-to-do neighboring town and most of those girls’ running buddies were family members, probably because they didn’t have jobs that they were unable to take time off from in order to be at the practice runs. The disparity in economic status just within a few miles is striking. 

I also was angered by a couple women volunteering at my school who cancelled at the last minute, leaving their running buddy without a mentor. I could be wrong, but I suspect it wasn’t some sort of emergency, and to me, nothing less than that is a good enough excuse to bail on a young girl during this important time in her life. Many of these girls end up being marginalized, and GOTR is an opportunity for them to feel empowered and like outsiders care about them. I dunno. It just pissed me off that some people thought it was ok to leave them hanging. When you commit to GOTR, the least you can do is make it to the events that we knew about well in advance. 

Sorry/not sorry for the rant. 

Our official GOTR 5k race is on Mother’s Day, and when I asked my running buddy if any of her family would be there, she said probably not. I’m very honored to be able to participate with her. I told her that race is all about her and I was just there to enjoy it with her. 


22 thoughts on “Girls on the Run

  1. Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA says:

    Your rant is totally understandable.! that is like a low blow cancelling on such a young girl. that erks me too.!! I want to do girls on the run someday, right now my schedule doesn’t allow, but when I commit to it, I’ll commit and make sure to be there no matter what. 🙂
    so sweet of you. Going to be such a fun experience

    • I hope you are able to participate in GOTR in the future! I wish it had existed when I was a girl. The schools even had the other after school programs come outside to cheer on the girls, and the looks of happiness on their faces was priceless!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Aw, look at you. Celebrating Mother’s Day the right way. Makes this ACoN girls heart happy. 🙂
    I really found this post uplifting today (at a time when I can really need it). Thanks for sharing and thanks for committing to that girl.

    • Yeah, I channel a lot of my little girl memories into thinking about what I want to say to encourage my running buddies. I didn’t get it at home, but the teachers I had and other wonderful adults in my life made a difference.

      Hugs to you!

  3. This would be such a disappointment for you and your running buddy Judith.
    You really are making a difference. Your own investment of time and companionship will really will go such a long way. Keep running. Be that mother to that precious girl. She will never forget it! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing!

    • I never had a daughter, but I was one and I’m not so old that I’ve forgotten what it was like to be their age. They are so sweet and eager to please still, and I hope programs like this will help the, stay positive about themselves. I feel like I get a ton out of it myself 🙂

  4. Agree with what everyone else is saying:

    – Awesome for you for doing this … it is SO important!

    – Yeah, coaching anything definitely shows you how crappy so many parents can be about these things. Heck, I still see it with friends of my kids now on a regular basis. Sure we get that not everyone can attend everything … but with so many other parents also working for Corning, I am less sympathetic to total no-shows 🙂

    – Income disparity definitely bothers me as well … in our county in NY we have the highest and lowest income and crime areas, and it makes for a stark contrast in so many ways. It is a sad thing that we can’t deal with this better in our country, and also the attitudes of some people about it …

    Thanks for being awesome and making a difference! 🙂

    • I can’t help but notice the difference since I come from one of the more affluent towns near us, but I drive a bit of a ways to get to the GOTR (another reason that it bugs me — I’m not saying I’m special for taking the hour each way commute, I’m saying that I don’t find it a huge big deal to do a few times a season once I sign up).

      All three of the girls I’ve done GOTR with brought up how much they enjoy the cards of encouragement I’ve sent them, one even said she carries them everywhere with her in her backpack. It just underscores how important these interactions are, and I hope to keep getting better at supporting these kids.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I see you as a Pied Piper, with a BUNCH of girls. You make a commitment to a kid, they believe you. Behavior trumps words any day and when the groan-up bails without calling etc. the kid is crestfallen. Maybe you can arrange something for the ones without partners?
    Thanks. We need more of you!
    Kids are people too. When are adults gonna internalize and act on that reality?!

    • I know that hurt from when my mother wouldn’t go to my special events because she found them “boring”. I think that’s why it made me so angry that others can be so casual about the commitment.

      I’m hoping to get more involved in things like this. The kids are so wonderful.

  6. Doug says:

    All the ex sixth grade girls in our house are starting college this fall. The elder step daughters boy and I are the sole testosterone generators left. He tries to talk to me and I can tell he knows what he is saying, but he’ll have to get shed of the Binky before I can understand him.

  7. So awesome that you participate in this. We have a GOTR program here and I haven’t been a mentor, but I’d like to be sometime. I am a teacher and can’t imagine just not doing it after you committed to it. I know that some parents can’t be there for their kids (or worse, don’t want to) and it’s important to have reliable roll models in their life!!! You are awesome!

  8. Angela says:

    GOTR is one of those programs I really admire. There’s a group that meets at a park that I run through most days & from time to time I’ve been like, “I should do that one day.” But to be honest, the thing that holds me back is exactly what you mentioned–it’s a really important commitment, and as unpredictable as my schedule tends to be, I would just feel horrible if at some point I ended up bailing on my buddy. Maybe one of these days when my life settles down some!

    • Oh, I’m sorry your girl was a bummer for you. 😦 One of my three girls wasn’t into running or the program very much, but two of them were so sweet and excited. I hope you’ll still participate again because the girls really do need great mentors like you!

Have your say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s