Girls on the Run
Siebert School, Midland MI
May 19, 2010
It was a pretty warm day, 84 degrees, so I was glad to slip into some light running shorts and top. I met Paul, a friend and colleague, and we headed off to meet with the group of Girls On The Run at the Siebert School!
When we arrived at the school, we were greeted by nine girls ranging from ages 9 through 11, the group's coach, and a couple of extra guests. The coach had picked a nice shady spot on the lawn behind the school. I was introduced to the girls, and then quickly asked that each girl tell me her name, age, and something about herself. This way I could begin familiarizing myself with their voices, and would get them speaking!
Many told me that they enjoyed running a lot, and that they looked forward to coming to the workouts each week! This reminded me of how excited I was when I first started running! It was such a great feeling to go a bit further bit by bit, to get faster bit by bit, and to always finish with a sense of accomplishment no matter how fast or how far I ran each day!
But back to the moment…After speaking a bit about myself, I opened things up for a Q&A. This is one of my favorite parts of getting together with kids because they are curious, and honest, and will ask whatever comes to mind! I had questions about how I ran; if I had several guides or just one guide all the time; Did I get tired after running; how did I put on my make-up; why didn't I blink; did I do other sports; how did I use a computer; and much more.
After all that, I got them to take Paul and me out running on the short loop they usually use for their training, which was all-terrain with grass, dirt packed surface, and trees. But the highlight of our meeting was when I asked if they wanted to try running with their eyes closed, and if they would then want to try to guide me on a short run! All of the girls answered "yes" to both questions!
I was so happy that they were going to try running with their eyes closed because this made it possible for us to talk briefly about how important it is to trust the person with whom you are running, and to trust how your body feels! I was even more thrilled when they agreed to try guiding because this was a sign of how kids can have such open minds, which is the beginning of inspiring individuals, dispelling myths, and beginning to work together towards changing our world! Plus, my hope is that I can introduce kids to guiding so that in the future, perhaps they'll have the courage and be willing to guide another visually impaired individual!
They each did a fantastic job guiding me! It was a rewarding experience for all!
For more information about how you can get involved with Girls On The Run, you can visit www.girlsontherun.org