Dare Greatly

I do not like to run. Running races is not one of my goals. I enjoy exercise and find it important for my mental and physical health, but also believe it is vital to find the activities you find enjoyable or consistency will be a serious challenge.

I most enjoy swimming and walking, particularly with my Clancy and with my tunes. I have never enjoyed running. For me, it is a chore. One summer in college, I ran every day…and still hated it, so I let it go.

This spring I took on the role of Coach for a group of thirteen girls in 3rd-6th grades on our Girls On The Run (GOTR) team. We are the Runners’ Dozen.

GOTR is a great program that not only teaches about goal setting and health, but also building character and confidence.

I told our team on day one that running is not my jam, but that I would be right there with them setting goals, sharing struggles, and cheering them on.

The program culminates with a 5K run scheduled for this coming Saturday, where GOTR teams from all around central Nebraska converge to run and celebrate together.

Yesterday we practiced.
So, yesterday, for the first time ever, I completed a 5K.
I walked the first lap and the seventh lap. The other ten laps I walked half and ran half, then ran the last 200 meters. Before we started, I shared with our team this strategy to help me accomplish the goal. All of these girls know that running is not enjoyable for me. They know it is hard for me.
This was the most important exercise I could do.

These girls saw me set a goal and plan a strategy. They watched me implement it. They watched me struggle. They witnessed me crossing the finish line–most of them before me, and then they saw me cut across the field to join the girls behind me to run with them to their finish.

Sharing our struggles and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with others is an immense act of bravery.

While we were stretching afterward, one of the girls asked me, “Why does your arm say ‘Dare Greatly’?”

“Because I want to remember to strive toward goals and dreams. It’s a reminder to think big and dare to try.”

Today I am pain personified–my hips, knees, hamstrings, lower back, my arms, my shoulders….my everything hurts.
I swam this morning to help my body through the pain.
That was hard, too.

The struggle will make me stronger.
It’s the only thing that ever has.

Here’s to the struggle.
Here’s to the vulnerable moments.
Here’s to daring.
Here’s to bravery.
Here’s to us!

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