Does that title just look like some wacky acronym? Understandable…but it is so much more, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Around this time last year, I began my first season coaching Girls on the Run. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m a somewhat recent college graduate who is back at home living in that odd, temporary, uncomfortable post-grad/pre-career life. The transition left me feeling unsure and a little lost (ok, very lost). Since philanthropic experiences enriched my college years, I knew that getting involved in a good cause would bring fulfillment and a good use of my time. What began as a way to fill some free time and ward off confusion ended up helping me just as much as I am helping others.
Girls on the Run is an extracurricular program for girls in grades 3-8. Yes, the title implies running, but it is so much more. Not only do the girls prepare for an end-of-season 5K run, but they also learn about huge topics such as stress management, healthy relationships, goal setting, decision making, and SO much more. I entered the program knowing that it had to do with fitness (great!), and open to a fun afternoon twice a week. Sure, I ran (and skipped and jogged and danced to One Direction), but I also learned. I learned that young people should never be brushed off or underestimated. The thoughts and ideas that these girls have always inspire me. I learned that everyone is a work in progress. We are all exploring ourselves and our lives each day no matter our age. I learned that being yourself, working towards your goals, and having others there to support you along the way is a recipe for success and for so much joy. (I know, I know, cliche to the extreme – but true!)
I hope that you can go find something meaningful to be a part of. When you give back, and you truly listen while doing so, you just might find yourself inspired and even more grateful than those you have touched.
If you’re interested in Girls on the Run, check out their site to find your local council!
What are your favorite ways to volunteer? Any other GOTR coaches out there?