I am so proud to have taken part in a powerful and life changing event this weekend. Yet, I wasn’t a participant, not really. I was someone on the outside who was there supporting the participants and STILL I intricately felt how important and momentous this event was.
Saturday morning was the 2023 Girls On The Run 5K in downtown Phoenix where there were approximately 3,000 runners and walkers and about that many supporters as well ! This 5K was the culmination of the 2023 GOTR program, which is a 10-week research based program that teaches girls important skills like resolving conflict, helping others, making intentional decisions, building self-confidence and healthy relationships, and believing in themselves. These powerful skills are taught in a fun and impactful way while training to walk, run, skip, hop, dance, or however they choose to complete, the celebratory 5K at the end of the program.
I got to speak with about 100 of the girls that completed the program and the 5K on Saturday. One response I heard multiple times when I asked the girls how they felt after completing the 5K, though tired, hot and sweaty, was, “I am proud of myself.”
Each time I heard this I wanted to celebrate with the girl who said it – how often are we proud of ourselves? How often do we voice that we’re proud of what we’ve just accomplished? What’s more, this statement impressed upon me that their self-worth was coming from themselves, not from their parents, teachers, friends, social media or any other outside force. How incredible for these 8 – 13-year-old girls to feel this way!
This ability to look inwards for approbation, instead of outwards is exactly one of the goals of the GOTR program, and I was thrilled to see it in action.
This is why I was so honored to participate in this day, and why I am so honored to have Ilsa Fragrances supporting this important, life-changing program.
I know it’s just completed, but I’m already looking forward to cheering on the girls next spring – and maybe even running the 5K myself!