I knew that there was a good chance this would be my last triathlon season (at least for a while) as a Virginia Beach native. Because of that, I really wanted to make this season extra special and take steps to give back to the community that has given me so much support.
As you know, I have been volunteering with Girls on the Run for the last few years and it has been a humbling and inspiring experience. One of the reasons that this program means so much to me is because it gives me the opportunity to show young girls what life CAN be like if you maintain a positive attitude and respect yourself and others. This is significant because, for whatever reason, I didn’t learn how to do that when I was growing up. Despite having a loving family and all of my material needs provided for, I remained a pessimistic little girl who did not particularly like herself. I had difficulty recognizing my strengths and I grew into a young woman who had a low self-esteem and sought to improvement sense of self-worth through the reassurances of others. I was driven to receive external confirmation of my worth, which meant that I was elated when I had a success and devastated when I had what I perceived to be a failure.
Girls on the Run is NOT just about running. The program utilizes running as a metaphor for the many challenges that they will face in life. Girls are taught basic coping skills and strategies for managing difficult social situations; these are things that I teach children in therapy and Girls on the Run is being proactive and teaching them these skills BEFORE they become psychologically distressed! I truly believe in this program. I have seen it work. I have seen a young girl go from saying “I can’t!” and “I’m not as good as they are.” to say “I can!” and “I have different talents then they do.” I wish that I had experienced that transformation earlier in life and, for that reason, I want to kick of my triathlon season by supporting this organization financially since I do not have the time in my schedule to serve as an assistant coach this season. Monetary donations go toward providing materials for the lessons, scholarships for girls whose families could not otherwise afford the modest participation fee, and snacks for the girls throughout the season. Please consider supporting me in this endeavor by donating even just a few dollars to the cause. I will be raising money through early May when I kick of my season with the MonticelloMan Olympic distance triathlon on May 4th.
Please visit my fund raising site here:
Thanks for following me through what is sure to be a very emotional triathlon season!