A feeling of extreme euphoria and strength that one derives from achieving a running goal. This feeling transcends age, distance and gender. It often results in an increase in drive, dedication, self-esteem and confidence.
This week’s word is Runpowerment: Everyone has a running story. Running changes lives. It helps people see that they’re capable of conquering something they never saw possible, whether it’s a 5K or a marathon. And whether you’re 27 or 12, there is something incredibly empowering and inspiring about being able to push your body to the limit (I’m sure many readers of this blog know exactly what I’m talking about. )Even better, all you need to run are some running shoes, mixed with a bit of determination and confidence. And that’s why Girls on the Run (GOTR) is such an incredibly important organization. For those who aren’t aware, here’s the official description of GOTR:
Girls on the Run is an interactive life-skills program that uses the power of running to change the way girls see themselves and their opportunities! Our innovative health education and wellness program uniquely combines training for a 3.1 mile run/walk event with life-changing, self esteem enhancing lessons that encourage healthy habits and an active lifestyle in 8-13 year old girls. Girls learn to stretch themselves – physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally – and in the process, are inspired to a lifetime of self respect and healthy living! (SOURCE)
GOTR exists in several cities throughout the nation, as well as Manhattan.
Now, this might surprise all of you, but back in the day, I wasn’t quite the stunner I am right now (haha). If only digital cameras had existed back in the day, you’d be in for a treat right about now. In short, I was a skinny, awkward, little runt who, while I could entertain a room in a flash with my lip synching skills and my ability to hula hoop on my knees, was extremely lacking in the confidence department. While I had a lot of friends, I definitely didn’t have much self-esteem. I had buck teeth, a ridiculously embarrassing side pony tail and despite my best efforts to gain weight, I was just too gangly and skinny! I was like one of those puppies you see in the window: the ones with a lot of spunk and energy who just haven’t quite gotten their footing in the world yet.
Luckily, this awkwardness is extremely endearing and these puppies are usually among the first to be snatched up! Similarly, my personality was quite endearing to all of my friends, but I definitely didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.
My sophomore year of high school, I started to run….a lot. And I kept running and running and running. I remember my friends commenting on the change in my demeanor and the way I carried myself. My confidence grew from there, and I never looked back. Running is what keeps me sane and helps me to believe in myself every time I feel like I’m a little defeated. I live for RUNPOWERMENT
My one regret? That I didn’t start running sooner. I know that if I had started running from an early age, I probably would have had a stronger base of self-confidence through the years. Healthy living is now my passion and I would have given anything for the opportunity to be introduced to it sooner…
That’s where GOTR comes in. They give young girls the chance to obtain RUNPOWERMENT at an early age. Over the past few months, these special young women have been training for a 5K , while also learning lessons about living and active lifestyle, believing in themselves and contributing to the community. All of their hard work will be shown off in the GOTR Manhattan 5K on June 5th at Asphalt Green.
And HERE is where you come in!
I volunteer on the Communications Committee for GOTR Manhattan, and we want to get the word out about the upcoming 5K. We’d also like to recruit healthy living bloggers to be Running Buddies for the girls in this year’s 5k. Here is a description of exactly what this means:
Running Buddies are enthusiastic, supportive, fun, patient, and able to run, jog or power walk a one-mile or 5K distance. In an ideal situation, you will be paired up with a single girl and serve as a mentor through the 5K run.
In short – you get the chance to help a young girl feel Runpowerment for the first time. Please click on the link above to join in the fun as a Running Buddy and help me spread the word to friends and fellow runners/healthy living bloggers!
Leave me a comment in the comments section if you’re interested in participating. I’m thinking of organizing a blogger meet-up! BUT, beyond that, help get the word out about this incredible cause by tweeting and posting.
When did you first feel Runpowerment?