What Happens When No One Tells You – You Can.

Closet Flooring (Feb 2013)_0000


The series “Fat Fridays” is based off of my new journey of couch to 5k for the Spring Girls on the Run on April 20, 2013. I am trying to raise 300 dollars for the local chapter of girls on the run, the donation link can be found here. While I am training for the 5k I am also self-reflecting using some of the themes from the GOTR biweekly lessons that the girls go through. I do not claim to be fat (although “Feeling Fat” -definitely) but I am taking the perceptions of myself in reflection to help compile this series.

A few days ago I’ve mentioned the first time I really thought about running. Or had to run is more like it.

Sadly running gets a pretty bad wrap. If you join any sport ever and ever do any thing wrong chances are you’ve probably ran for a punishment. The idea is no one likes running. Therefore the more you run the less likely you are to do what ever bad thing you did (slow starts off the block, let the volleyball hit the floor without “calling it,” fouled too many times or what ever). The idea is running is bad and no one likes it.

So the first time I was ever introduced to running as some form of activity to do on its own was during elementary school. The average age that a Girl on the Run would be being introduced to the program. I had to do a timed mile.

This was outrageous. I complained. I groaned. I did everything short of laying on the floor and kicking and screaming. Before this the only running we had ever done for gym class was the few laps around the gym before an intense game of kick ball or what have you. We had never. ever. had to do some form of long running.

We went outside and were told the course. Around the parking lot, around the baseball field and around the school. I remember thinking you. must. be. kidding. My gym teacher motivated us the best way he knew how. The top two people (one girl and one boy) would get a candy bar or something special. I immediately tuned him out because I knew that wouldn’t be me. It would never be me.

I had no idea how I was going to get through this. Then there was some type of lecture on no walking it had to be running. Then the whistle was off and we were running.

I ran to the end of the sidewalk and seeing everyone sprinting by me.

I gave up.

I lowered my head and I started walking and not speed walking. The deflated sad walking of knowing that would never be me. A few of my friends had made it farther than me and when I finally caught up to them we spent the rest of the time fully plugged into our negative cords. We couldn’t thinking of any reason to run to the next corner or try and move a little faster or harder. Instead we expressed frustration at the experience the people in our class, and gave all the reasons why we couldn’t.

I surrounded myself in a community of negative and was soaked.

I remember being about half way and being hot and wanting to just stop. So I did what any 5th grader would do. I stuck out my leg and asked, pleaded, with my friends to jump on it.

Anything to have a reason for why I will finish last.

I’m now 22 about to be 23 and I still vividly remember the frustration with myself and my gym teacher. I don’t remember anything past trying to have friends jump on my leg, but I know I didn’t get my leg broken and I did finish.

I didn’t feel accomplished though.

Now let’s compare this to Girls on the Run. Again this is a similar age as the experience above. However instead of having a gym teacher with a candy bar type motivation – it’s Girls on the Run coaches.

As a Girls on the Run coach I have always found the girl that was walking and I walked with her. I made it a point to motivate her every step of the way. We talked about the lessons we learned throughout the 10 weeks. We noticed when we talked about positive things we moved faster. We talked about running to the next corner. We talked about how sometimes it’s hard but we don’t give up. We talked through some hard things. We laughed. We told stories made up.

These girls train for the 5k. Everyday they run in relation to the lesson learned for that day. They go to the 5k thinking they really can do. In fact there is a mock 5k where the girls can test themselves to see if they can finish the 5k in an hour. The girls are given the tools to believe in themselves and succeed.

Tomato wants more girls to believe they can move each step closer to their goal.