It’s been a busy week! Just wanted to provide an update on my feet. I think I caught the injury early and that I’m going to be fine. I took a few days off, iced and stretched religiously, and talked to my doctor. He hooked me up with Superfeet inserts to give me a little more arch support, told me to continue stretching, and said I can run with plantar fasciitis if the pain is minimal. Which thankfully, it is. Actually, at this point, I don’t really have any pain at all. A little stiffness when I first get up in the morning, but that’s it. I did two quality runs this week and I feel great!
So, I’m back on the road again! Going to try to run about six or seven miles today. I was planning to run at Cochran Shoals, but given that it did not stop raining for one second yesterday, I’m sure it’s a muddy mess. So I may just run around my neighborhood. A little boring, but that’s okay. I’m just happy to be back on track.
This week I also went to a volunteer information meeting for Girls on the Run. Those of you who have been reading from the beginning know that I decided to donate one dollar for every mile I run this year to organizations focused on leveraging running as a tool to create a better life.
Girls on the Run has a network of more than 160 locations in the U.S. and Canada. The 12-week program – geared toward girls between the ages of eight and thirteen – combines training for a 5k with a curriculum that teaches life skills for “valuing ourselves, valuing teamwork and understanding how we connect with and shape the world at large.”
“The objective of Girls on the Run is to educate and empower girls at an early age in order to prevent the display of at-risk activities in the future. At risk activities include substance/alcohol use, eating disorders, early onset of sexual activity, sedentary lifestyle, depression, suicide attempts and confrontations with the juvenile justice system.”
I have always been passionate about organizations focused on empowering the next generation by providing children with skills and tools that they may or may not receive in school or at home. I know how fortunate I am – I was raised in a loving, safe, stable home. I received a quality education. I’ve always had a very strong support system and positive role models in my life. But not every child has that.
I was also lucky to have a dad who didn’t let the fact that he had two daughters and no sons stand in the way of teaching us about his love for sports. Jenn and I grew up watching baseball, football, and hockey with our dad. We played catch, waffle ball, and kickball in the backyard with our parents. Our mom and dad passionately supported our athletic careers – and they still do.
What intrigues me about Girls on the Run is how the program uses sports to instill such important lessons and build self-esteem and self-worth at such a critical juncture in an adolescent girl’s life.
Involvement in athletics can be very powerful source of inner strength. I know that from my own experience. As I was growing up, I learned so much about discipline, hard work, teamwork, and friendship as a swimmer, runner, and field hockey player. Sports gave me a focus, boosted my confidence, and gave me a sense of purpose. They made me feel like I was part of something bigger. And, as I’ve written before, running literally helped me rebuild my life over the past few years.
So, what’s next? Well, I would absolutely love to be a Girls on the Run coach, but that requires a commitment to be available twice a week right after school, and unfortunately, I can’t do that. But, there are other ways to get involved – serving on the race committee, helping with community outreach, providing office support, etc. I filled out a volunteer application and I am ready to pitch in where I can help.
And now it’s time for this girl to get “on the run.”
Miles run this week so far: 6.5; total miles for the year: 47.72.