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Motivate the next generation: join SoleMates for Girls on the Run

4 December 2013 @ 3:12 PM  / Girls on the Run / Sports / Fitness Blog /

Sophie Cranin
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.

Need some motivation to keep moving as the days grow colder and busier? Read today’s story from Sophie, who’s tackling her first marathon this February and will graduate three months later. And yet Sophie’s focus isn’t on her own accomplishments, but how her sweat equity can provide opportunities for more girls in her community to experience Girls on the Run.

I think I've officially lost it. This morning, a well-aimed ad before a YouTube video featured a man volunteering for the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series. He explained that he doesn't mind getting hugs from sweaty runners when he places a medal on their necks as they cross the finish line because he feels their passion and overwhelming, contagious sense of achievement...and I teared up. Yesterday, during a brisk morning run, I let my mind wander to how I'll feel as I cross the finish line of the New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll Marathon in February after 26.2 grueling miles...and I teared up.

I've never been one for sentiment — the mere act of typing this blog post is making my fingers curl up in revolt — but I can't help but get a little misty when I think about finishing this race. It marks a huge milestone in my life; not only will this be my first-ever marathon, but I'll be graduating college only a few months after that. It's truly amazing for me to look back even now and see how far I've come. I'm not just running to better myself - my efforts will support Girls on the Run and all the girls who, like me, enjoy the feeling of wind whipping through their hair on a breezy run and those sunny days when the world is quiet and you feel like you could stay this way forever. I want to make sure that nothing stands in the way of anyone experiencing that kind of perfection.

When I step — or drag myself — across that finish line, I will turn around and look back at everything I've done, everywhere I've been, every challenge I've faced, every time my muscles were screaming and my brain was foggy and my bed was warm and I just wanted to sleep, every early-morning banana and every late-night spoonful of peanut butter, every time I've doubted my body's ability to run for four hours straight, and I will smile and yes, I may even cry a little. This is more than a check mark on a bucket list or a "do-before-I-die" experience. This is an upward climb, ascending the mountain slowly and steadily so that when I finally, finally reach the top, I can turn around, look out, and see in all directions — where I've come from and what lies ahead of me. I can't guarantee it will be all smooth sailing and no gnarly roots sticking out from the path, but I know that if I keep that image of the finish line in my mind, I can keep going until I'm rewarded with the view.

Aw, heck — I'm all choked up again.

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