‘Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.’ ~Lao Tzu
Truthfully, I have my doubts about the Girls on the Run program. (It's a program for girls ages 8-10 to run their first 5k.) I worry that it's emphasizing competition and organized sports to girls at too young of an age. I worry that it will create thoughts about body image and abilities. I had a hard time understanding what the point of running with a stranger was. Why not mom or dad?
Well, not all moms and dads can complete a 5k race. And this one is about female mentors, not male, so dads are out. Not all are available to do it with other kids around. Sometimes it's good to have other role models as well. I can't say that I still don't question the body image problems. I still can't say I think the program is a good idea overall but it was a good experience.
We met up at the field in downtown Portland at 7pm- a slew of costumed folk and pink shirts. 7,500 total runners with Girls on the Run as the largest sub-group. The race was off. I'm not even sure if it was timed. Which is a good thing.
Greta and I took off jogging at the start. She likes to sprint but I tried to keep her a little slower so we could jog longer. At the practice run we had to walk after mile one. Yesterday we had a good pace. We were hooting and hollering and slapping people's hands along the side of the road. Leaping through the air, skipping. Winning nothing but having a great time. Passing Powell's Books, she said, "I love Powell's! I love books." Towards the end we had to walk a bit. But as we neared the finish line, Greta took off like a bolt of lightning sprinting toward the finish line.
I hope Greta had a good time and felt like she was a strong girl. At the end of the night, I was really happy for myself that I'd done it. That I was reminded how much I love running. How it should be about having fun. Not winning. And that is what life is all about too.