Thursday, November 19, 2009
Good morning! (And it IS definitely morning. As I write, it is 5:00 a.m. I am traveling to Jacksonville, Florida for an event tomorrow. Long day ahead!)
I've been visiting with quite a few of our Girls on the Run councils around the nation. I've recently been to Madison, WI, Seattle WA, Pasco, WA, and Atlanta GA. I've also been visiting with a number of our Girls on the Run sites right here where I live in Charlotte, NC.
I just love hanging out with you guys. I've come to realize that girls are some of the most genuine people in the universe! Seriously...when I am with you I do not feel judged and I feel like I can be myself.
When I was about fifteen, I began to really struggle with trying to fit in. Being popular and liked became very important to me and I started to do some things that didn't celebrate the REAL me so that I could fit in. For many, many years I struggled with the idea that somehow fitting in was more important than just being the fabulous ME that I really was.
BUT, I learned one very important, amazing thing about myself when I was fifteen. I loved to run. I was really good at it too. When I ran, I felt like I could be myself. I loved the way the wind felt in my hair. I could just pull my long hair in a ponytail, throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and go sweat! I didn't worry about what I looked like, who liked me or whether or not I fit in. Running became my sweet spot...the one time in my day where I felt ALIVE, REAL and GENUINE...where I felt like I was ME, MYSELF and I!
As I grew older running continued to serve as a safe place for me to be myself. Running still helps me, in so many ways, get through some very difficult times. Running is where I can think, meditate and clear my head. I can sort through my thoughts without the interruption of my cell phone, housework or returning emails.
When I run...I just AM! I feel free to be me.
What do you do where you feel free to just be the FABULOUS person that you are. Do you dance? Do you act? Are you an artist? Is it doing community service work? Think about it and let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Come on! Do share!
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Alright...so it is 5:45 in the morning. It's also Saturday. Most people like to sleep in on Saturday...but this morning I woke up long before my alarm, because I was excited.
I wake up most days several minutes before my alarm goes off because I tend to be a very excited and enthusiastic person. (Of course, I can't be totally "up" and enthusiastic all the time. Everyone gets down in the dumps every once in a while.)
When I was very young, many of the adults in my life considered work something they HAD to do...so that they could have enough money to do the things they WANTED to do. When I started Girls on the Run, two amazing things happened. My job and what I love to do...became one in the same.
There is this awesome quote from Joseph Campbell and it goes like this: "Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls."
Bliss means joy and what Campbell is trying to say here is...if we pursue (go after) those activities in our life that bring us joy--make us feel whole and complete--then we are very likely to lead a happy, productive and successful life!
When I started Girls on the Run I combined two things that I love with ALL of my heart: Working with kids AND the power that running gives me to feel comfortable in my skin. I never knew, when I started this program, that the unique combination of "girls and running" would lead to what is now a world-wide program.
What do you LOVE to do? What are your greatest gifts? Do you ever dream about how you could possibly pursue a career or a life that allows you to use your greatest gifts and love what you do for a living? PLEASE write me at email@example.com and tell me what that looks like for you.
And before I sign off, on this bright, brilliant and beautiful Saturday morning, I want to thank Hannah for sharing with me what Girls on the Run has done for her.
Here is what SHE wrote:
One of my favorite things about Girls on the Run is the way it changed my life. It helped me a lot to make better choices in my life and especially at school. Like when my friends are disrespectful to me I know exactly what to do. Or when I am disrespectful to my friends I know exactly what to do, all because of GOTR. And when I met you, I knew exactly what to do. You taught me a lot. Thanks for all the touching life lessons.
Hannah...you are amazing!!!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Hey YA'LL. (Alright, so I'm a Southern girl...that's how we say it down here in the South!)
I've been traveling all over the United States. I just returned from Washington State. I had an amazing visit with the girls in Seattle, Washington. I had the marvelous privilege of hearing Claire, a fourth grader there, speak on how Girls on the Run has been a really positive force in her life.
So...that's my question to you. How has Girls on the Run changed your life? I guess a good place to start would be MY sharing with YOU how it has changed MY life.
Alright, so I'm into "top ten lists" and here is my "How Girls on the Run has changed my life, Top Ten List."
1.) I wake up excited every day, to see what amazing things are going to reveal themselves.
2.) I do a better job of being in the present moment. This means that I don't worry too much about the future...I just try to do what is right, right there in the moment I'm in, wherever I am and whatever I am doing.
3.) I have friends and colleagues in my life who support and enhance the "me" in me. I have so many friends who respect and value me. I feel so fortunate that I can share my greatest fears and greatest joys with them!
4.) I realize that I don't have to get along with everyone. When I was much younger I used to think it was important to be "liked" by everyone...but thanks to Girls on the Run I realize that everyone doesn't have to like me or even like Girls on the Run. It's all okay!
5.) I express all of my emotions. I used to want to always "look" happy and cheerful...but the truth is, sometimes I get sad and angry. I now have friends who are good listeners and are there for me to share ALL of my self with and this includes all of my emotions!
6.) Girls on the Run gives me something to care deeply about. Before I worked at Girls on the Run, I used to feel like I just had a job. Now I feel like I have a passion...AND it is my job. What a great place to be!
7.) I can admit when I'm wrong or don't know the answer to something. Before I started Girls on the Run, I used to think that it was a sign of weakness to admit that I had made a mistake or that I didn't know everything. Now I know that I'm just human...and sometimes make poor decisions...I just need to own up to them and do my best from there on out.
8.) I take better care of my body thanks to Girls on the Run. I used to drink a ton of sodas. You could say that I was a Soda Addict! (Not really, but I sure did drink a lot of 'em.) Now I drink water instead. That's because in Lesson Four when we talk about areas that could use improvement I told a group of girls I would do my best to drink water...and there you have it! I drink a lot of water EVERY day!
9.) I, more often than not, think through things before I act on them. I used to sometimes be impulsive. That means I would just do something before I had thought it through entirely. Now I really think through all the consequences of my actions before I pick one! (Although, being completely honest...this is still a toughie for me. Sometimes I just REACT and do things before I think them through...but I AM getting better!)
10.) And by far, the greatest outcome of being involved in Girls on the Run, is getting to know YOU. Girls like you are so open, accepting and honest and seem to just share love unconditionally and very compassionately. I admire you for that and continue to strive to be as open, accepting and REAL as you are.
So now...it's your turn! EMAIL ME a few ways Girls on the Run has helped you become the cool person you are! My email address, in case you forgot, is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Talk to you soon!
Friday, October 16, 2009
First of all, I think you are AWESOME for visiting with me at my blog. I hope that you feel, after spending time here, the way I feel after spending time with you and the other girls in Girls on the Run! REAL, BEAUTIFUL, RADIANT and JOY!
In 1996, when I started Girls on the Run there were just 13 girls in the program. I remember every one of their names! Now there are Girls on the Run sites in over 157 communities all over North America. There are over 60,000 of you currently enrolled in our program! How fantabulous is that!
This means, of course, that I can't possibly name or get to know every girl. I love how the program is now reaching so many more of you, but the truth is...I miss not getting the chance to know...really know each of you. I travel a lot and do have the opportunity to meet many of the girls in Girls on the Run, but it would be impossible for me to meet everyone!
That's where this blog comes in. I'm telling you the honest truth...from the bottom of my heart...that this blog is my chance to "reach out" to all of the girls in our program and have a REAL, GENUINE and ALIVE relationship with each of you!
So, please tell your girlfriends in Girls on the Run to come visit me, here. I will end each post with a question. If you feel like it, you can email me at email@example.com with your answer! Every once in a while I'll even include your comments in my blog!
This will be a way...a really FUN and CRAZY way... for us to communicate, just like back in the day when there were only a few girls in the program! Cool, mmm?
So for starters, I just received the most awesome letter from Kate. Kate is in Girls on the Run.
Kate shared with me, in a really heart-felt email the ten things in her life, for which she was most grateful...and here they are in her exact words!
My wonderful family;
My friends in the different cities where I've lived;
Girls on the Run;
My Sports Ability;
My Thoughtful BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, sister...to get this party started, why don't you send me a list of the things for which YOU are most grateful, to firstname.lastname@example.org! Remember gratitude is an attitude! The more we feel gratitude, the more grateful we are. It's really quite amazing how that works!