Posted Sydney Mack on 11/7/2016 |General
“It’s called the chicken run,” one of my third graders told me as she proceeded to run, flinging each of her legs to the side as she bounced along. That day, two of the girls and myself were showing off our goofy runs. Mine included running with my arms flailing back, and another girl’s looked as though she were swimming through the air. All three of these runs had one thing in common, though: they were unique.
In thinking about this moment, I began to tag the different runs as expressions of our different identities. Lately, in life, I’ve been faced with a lot of discussion on identities, both in and outside of coaching.
In coaching, we’ve been telling the girls to celebrate their star power. By celebrating the things that make them them, we are teaching them to be confident in who they are and wanting to surround themselves with people who will activate their star power. We are opening the door for these girls to celebrate themselves, and I think it’s an important lesson for not just elementary age students, but for everyone.
This year, I am involved with the planning committee for the Kathy M. Bray Women’s Leadership Conference at Davidson College, where we are looking to discuss Womanhood and the different intersectionalities that exist within it. This means looking at our different identities and how they overlap within us and within our communities, whether that be motherhood or our place of work.
Discovering ourselves is not just an experience for maturing young girls to have. We are constantly discovering more about ourselves as our identities shift and change from elementary student to upper education to college or working adult to potentially married to maybe a mother. But throughout all the changes we face, we still have room to celebrate who we are in these different roles. It is the intersection of all the different experiences of our lives that make up who we are, and Girls on the Run has helped me to see the importance in celebrating that, in celebrating our uniqueness and unleashing ourselves to better contribute to our communities, to care for ourselves, and to improve our connections with one another and confidence in ourselves.