As a national sponsor of the Girls on the Run SoleMates charity running program, Garmin is partnering with this great organization to further their mission and share the stories of the women and men who are “running for a reason”. Runners can sign up for any event — runs, walks, bike rides or triathlons — and raise funds that will support their chosen council of Girls on the Run. Want your next race to help change lives? Find out more here. Today’s story comes from a woman who was inspired by a teacher to take up running to overcome some life challenges. Now she’s the one serving as a role model and inspiration as a Girls on the Run coach and a SoleMates fundraiser.
During my life, I have overcome many challenges and struggled with feeling inadequate, lost and unwanted. Fortunately a teacher, a true inspiration and role model, started talking to me about running and its impact on her life. She took me under her wing and taught me to run and I just kept on running. I learned to value running and biking as a way to help me to find balance and to stay grounded and focused. After a run or long bike ride, I feel empowered to handled challenges and make positive choices in my life.
When a friend of mine told me about Girls on the Run, I immediately wanted to be involved. I have been involved with Girls on the Run for the past three years and as a SoleMates fundraiser for the past two. It is rewarding to run with the girls, teach the lessons and watch the girls grow and return each year.
After becoming a coach, I decided to challenge myself by running my first and second half marathons as a SoleMates fundraiser. When I told the girls, they were excited and had lots of questions. Each week, they would ask about my training and about what someone eats to train for a race. As the race got closer, the girls seemed to be running stronger and getting more excited about running. One girl asked me why I raced and why I wanted to be a SoleMate. I do it for the girls. I run for hope and believing in yourself. I run to set an example of how we do not have to be in the girl box and that making positive choices opens up endless possibilities. I run to show that we as women/girls have the power to affect positive change in this world. I run to show that no matter what your age, we all can grow and challenge ourselves to be the best we can be. I run because I believe in each one of you and hope that you will believe in yourself as much as I believe in you. I run to give back to the sport and the role models in my life.