“girls on the run is so much fun.” Girls On The Run Is So Much Fun! GIRLS ON THE RUN IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!” We did this cheer after every single practice. We started out with a whisper and by the end we were screaming as loud as possible. For 15 young girls, we made sure that the whole park we were practicing at could hear how much fun we were having.
Back then I couldn’t fully grasp how much this program would mean to me. My name is Maya, and I am a college student who is coaching for Girls on the Run this season.
I grew up in Chico, California which is home to Bidwell Park, so I was always outside and active. My family was always doing some sort of activity from swim meets, to triathlons, to running races. We were always finding new adventures around Chico.
I was first introduced to GOTR because my friend’s mom was a coach. My mom worked late on Monday’s so my friend’s mom would pick me up from school. She would coach right after so my friend and I would have to sit and watch since we were only in second grade and couldn’t join a team yet.
At first, my friend and I did our own thing and we played on the playground during practice. One day we noticed how much fun the girls were having and we wanted to be included, but we could only watch. I was super bummed that I couldn’t participate, but the girls would let us do the “Girls on the Run is so much fun” cheer at the end and it was the best part of my week.
I was so excited to join the team when I was in third grade. My mom became one of the coaches along with my friend’s mom and we had another coach who was in college. I thought that the college coach was so cool. I looked up to her and always wanted to sit next to her. In all of my years I always gravitated towards the younger coaches and helpers… maybe that's because my mom was a coach, but I think I found them to be more relatable. I looked up to them and I would think about how cool it would be to be like them.
I went away to college last year, but after a rough year I came back to Chico and decided to reach out to GOTR to be a coach. When I was younger I thought that GOTR was just a fun after school activity where I got to play games and run with my friends. What I did not know was how much of an impact that the curriculum would have on my life and my future. During my experiences in the years after GOTR, I realized just how important GOTR is for young girls. I want to be a positive influence in young girls' lives, like I had through my GOTR coaches.
Throughout this GOTR season, I will be sharing my journey as a new coach. I want to share both fun new experiences as well as reflections from my past experiences as a GOTR girl. This program has influenced my life for the better in many different ways, and I hope you follow along on this adventure.