My daughter, 9, was ecstatic to participate in Girls on the Run this spring.
For those of you not in the know, Girls on the Run is a non-profit organization with the mission to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” At the conclusion of each 10-week season, the girls complete a 5k running event.
A Mother’s Thoughts: This is awesome
GOTR sounded awesome! Girl power! Run a 5k! You can do it!
I happily sent in the enrollment check and penciled in the twice-weekly GOTR sessions on our family calendar.
A Mother’s Thoughts: WTH?
Then the proverbial shoe dropped. A running shoe, natch.
I found the following line in one of the first official GOTR emails to parents:
“We strongly encourage you to begin training now so that you can participate with your daughter!”
Begin training now? Participate with my daughter?
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy exercising and I played sports in high school and college. Even now you’ll find me in my living room sweating to my favorite workout videos.
Run a 5k?
A Mother’s Thoughts: the Mother-Daughter relationship
Besides the whole running part, there was the mother-daughter dynamic to consider. My daughter would either tell me she DIDN’T want me to run, so I wouldn’t train, and then she’d change her mind at the last minute before the 5k and beg me to run
She’d say fine, run, and I’d spend 10 weeks training until just before the event when she’d tell me she really DIDN’T want me to run after all.
So what did I do?
- I signed up for the 5k.
- But, I didn’t tell her I signed up.
- I started training.
- And, I told her I was training.
In the real world, that makes no sense. In the “I’m-the-mother-of-a-daughter world”, that makes perfect sense.
A Mother’s Thoughts: Training for the 5k
I was going to write a hilarious post titled, “Top 10 Thoughts I Had While Running” and then I realized I didn’t have 10 thoughts. I only had one, over and over:
After 10 weeks of “Ugh” the big day arrived.
A Mother’s Thoughts: Running the 5k
On a blustery May morning in Michigan, complete with snow showers, I ran the 5k with my daughter.
Ok, so I ran and walked the 5k with my daughter.
Ok, so I ran and walked the 5k with my daughter who really didn’t run or walk the 5k with me because she was happily running the 5k with her buddy. Look, here she is crossing the finish line at least 10 minutes before I did:
Girl power, indeed!
A Mother’s Thoughts: Final Thoughts
My daughter loved Girls on the Run program. Not just the 5k, but all the activities and lessons learned over the course of 10 weeks with 20 third-grade girls.
And me? I loved it that she loved it.
Next year, though, her Dad gets to participate in the 5k!