I love my kindergartners. They keep me on my toes, they makes me realize the more simple things; they make me appreciate the small things. I enjoy surrounding myself with the frequent “you’re pretty’s,” “I love you’s,” and “you’re the best teacher I’ve ever had! (even though I’m usually the only teacher they’ve ever had…but hey, I’ll go with it 😉 ).
But I need something more. I need to feel like I’m truly making a conscious difference in the lives of children. (I’m not undermining my role as a kindergarten teacher- keep reading, you’ll understand.) I need to speak and really have them listen. I need to teach more than the basics. I need to really hit heart and souls hard about important things that matter in life beyond the classroom. Things like self care, acceptance, and awareness. How to love who you are, how to be confident, how to build strong and healthy relationships with everyone, including yourself. How to handle the bad things and how to truly enjoy the good. I want to use the lessons that I’ve learned the hard way and give my advice to those who will someday encounter similar experiences.
2 years ago I was asked to coach a program at my school for girls in grades 3-5 called Girls on the Run. This program teaches the girls all of the above and more. It’s an amazing program that fell into my lap at the perfect time and I’ve taken that role as a coach and I’ve ran with it. I’ve done 3 seasons and I will be starting my 4th this month. I love connecting and creating a bond with these girls who can understand more than “raise your hand if you have something to say” (who am I kidding- no one ever really plays by that rule). I love lighting these girls up all while teaching them how to keep your body healthy with exercise- this program trains them for a 5k. It’s amazing to see these girls with smiles on their faces after running 3.1 miles- like it doesn’t even phase them. It’s truly inspiring.
Yesterday while I was running, a song came singing through my head phones that made me realize that this program isn’t just for the girls. It isn’t just for the ones who haven’t experienced it yet, or who have experienced very little of it; it’s for me. It’s for me to run. Run from all the negativity that’s ever been present in my life, either by other people or thoughts of my own. It’s for me to run from the fear and doubt that I’ll never be good enough, to run from the bad that has suffocated my life for far too long. To run from the people and things that have made me feel so little of myself. This program is for me to run toward a better life. To run for the power to prove to myself that I am good enough. To run to the people and things that make me so much better than I am without them. To run to myself-a stronger, happier, more positive version of me.
I’m on the run. I’m on the run for my life- slow, fast, silly, cold, hot, sweaty, relaxing or fired up. My life will be a mess of events and emotions, but I’ll always run from the worst and for the better.