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. Now learn how Jess found her stride alongside her father at an early age and now hopes all young girls find faith in themselves through running.
I grew up in a home that fostered a love for physical activity. I remember my dad getting up early every morning to run and exercise before he went to work. He was a high-school and collegiate track and football athlete and still runs regularly to this day. When I was a little girl, I remember taking trips with my dad to visit his college track buddies. We would visit his college and even have races between the kids and the parents on the very track he ran on. His group of teammates are still close today. The competition and camaraderie they share has always stood out in my mind.
When I was old enough, I started running in the mornings with my dad. I believe my love for running is somewhat genetic. I also think that by watching my dad run over the years, it was ingrained somehow in me to think that this is how I was supposed to start my day.
In middle school I joined the track team. I developed my own sense of camaraderie from the other teammates throughout the years. The memories of running track are among the best memories I have of my youth. The relationships I made were unforgettable. This love of running I have has empowered me over the years. It has brought me through some tough times and has also provided me with some amazing opportunities. The confidence and feeling of accomplishment I have attained from the sport has proven to be an essential part of my life.
I have a hope for all young girls to find faith and belief in themselves. By running and forming a bond with others, I want these girls to believe they can tackle any goals and overcome anything. After I complete a run, race, or workout, I feel unstoppable and that is why I became a SoleMates fundraiser.