Keeping Up with the YWCA Girls Run Club

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They’re huffing and puffing and sweating it out!  They are the girls of the YWCA Girls Run Club!

We have reached the half way point of the program.  All the girls are running great and I am very proud of each one of them!  We run outdoors when the weather permits and indoors when it’s rainy or soggy or both (as with recent weather).

Every week a new face joins us and each new body tackles the field (or gym) with a vigour that only running can ignite!

It’s invigorating to see these young ladies light up with enthusiasm as they put their young bodies into such a grueling experience.  I do hope each and every one of them feel accomplished at the end of the day.  I know I sure do!

These young ladies have so much in common.  First, there is the fact that they like running or are willing to give running a chance!   And then it continues with the fact that they are hard workers, they have will power, commitment, dedication, passion and mental toughness—these are just some of the things our girls are made of.

The YWCA Girls Run Club is more than the running.  We also incorporate brief self-esteem activities, where the girls get to vocally express positive statements about themselves and each other.  Sometimes it’s very hard for the girls to vocalize something nice about themselves, but then another girl will jump in to remind a friend how great she is in math!  Witnessing this exchange is an exhilarating experience for me too.

We also talk about goals.  Each week I encourage the girls to make a goal to either eat something healthy or engage in another healthy activity, or act, that they would not normally do.  Some of these things might include drinking more water than pop throughout the day; accompanying whoever takes the dog out for a walk; getting the cat to exercise; cutting back on TV and/or internet time to walk/jog around the block for a little sweat.

With so many negative images and messages of girls and young women being bombarded in the media nowadays; it is quite a challenge to get girls to look towards positive role models and to experience positive challenges in their lives.  Well here we are stepping up to the challenge, encouraging the girls to challenge themselves to run a little faster or longer each week.  Running is simple, trackable and very empowering!  This is our little effort to influence our girls into a positive outlook in life.

These young ladies have a life long hobby at hand; something they can share with whoever else comes along in their lives.  This is something available to you too of course.  All you need is a pair of running shoes (–well, you also need motivation to get out the door! AND the motivation to go beyond Day 1; but start with Day 1, work on Day 2, then keep going).   These young ladies are beyond Day 1 and I hope they continue running regularly following the end of the program.

Each participant is encouraged to run a mile at home, and at least a mile with us during the club meet.  Similar to the YWCA Marathon Challenge, we’re keeping track of our miles and will let you know how many marathons we complete!

I hope that this experience is only the beginning of a life long collection of marathons!

Marlin

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