In the middle of March I ran my first half marathon, as I’ve mentioned a couple hundred times, and, in the aftermath of running that race I got super reflective, like I do, about the whole experience as well as the training that led up to the run and decided that running was a very, very good thing for me. I learned so much about me, about what my body can do, about the way my mind reacts to things and the way my body will just keep going and push through pain and hurt and aches and bullshit, so long as I don’t let my mind turn the run into a shit show. It gave me a super dose of confidence, the likes of which I’ve never really known before.
As it turns out, confidence is a really nifty thing, a thing I’ve been grasping at for the past 29 or so years, and running has brought me deeper into the the realm of confidence than anything ever has, and so that makes running a really important thing to me.
In thinking about what charity to donate to for March, I decided right after running the half that I wanted to donate to something running-related, or at least something that empowers women to gain confidence in themselves and in their abilities as human beings. I googled around and found Girls on the Run, a nonprofit that uses running, along with other tools, to teach young girls that their potential is limitless. The program culminates with a 5k running event, which gives the girls a “tangible sense of achievement,” which sounds like a good thing.
About Girls on the Run:
Girls on the Run® is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.
Meeting twice a week in small teams of 8-15 girls, we teach life skills through dynamic, conversation-based lessons and running games. The 24-lesson curriculum is taught by certified Girls on the Run coaches and includes three parts: understanding ourselves, valuing relationships and teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.
Running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build confidence through accomplishment. At each season’s conclusion, the girls and their running buddies, complete a 5k running event. Completing a 5k gives the girls a tangible sense of achievement as well as a framework for setting and achieving life goals. The result—making the seemingly impossible, possible and teaching girls that they can.