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

10 February 2014 @ 8:29 AM  / Girls on the Run / Sports / Fitness Blog /

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.

No drive-by taunts can slow down this month’s featured runner, Kristi, from Southeast Michigan. Let’s hear it for this SoleMates supporter, who keeps running to prove she’s powerful, strong and moving toward a goal.

I ran my first half marathon in 2013 and was anxious about my ability to go the distance. I was motivated by the opportunity to fundraise for Girls on the Run. During my training runs, I often thought about the value of this wonderful organization. The need for the motivational messages of Girls on the Run was most apparent on the morning of my longest training session before the race.

I was approaching mile 3, with many miles ahead of me, and doubting my ability. A passing truck slowed down and the driver yelled something at me. It wasn’t until I’d gone a few paces that her words sunk in. “Keep running, fatty!" I was shocked and ran with tears in my eyes for the next mile. My feelings were hurt, not by the words themselves but by the maliciousness of this stranger’s actions. Obviously, her words stuck with me for the rest of my run, fueling my commitment. I was no longer focused on my time or tracking each mile. Instead, I crafted a response to her.

I don't run to lose weight or because I feel fat. I run because I can. I run to make me strong and powerful. I run to challenge myself and to squash my feelings of self-doubt. I run to prove to my aching body that it can do it and that I am stronger than the pain. I run because I made a commitment to Girls on the Run to support our young daughters. I run so that when people like you yell hurtful things at my children, their internal voice is louder than yours. Keep running, you say? You bet I will!

This experience gave me some insight to the pain children feel when bullied and the need to surround them with love and encouragement, to build a strong foundation of self-worth and self-confidence. Girls on the Run embodies these messages. I am proud to be a SoleMate!

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