Posted Monica Fragale on 11/9/2018 |Coach's Corner
For me, the answer is simple and something I never would have expected.
Girls on the Run has become a part of my life in a way I never knew I needed, shaping my happiness and my relationship with my daughters and with the general community.
My family first got involved with GOTR when the elementary school nurse suggested it to help my oldest daughter get more physical. She hated running, as did I. Over the course of that first season, I saw her run – awkwardly at first – and meet the goals she had set for herself.
Girls from Monica's team. Girls on the Run is SO much fun!
For a while, it was just one lap that she walked. Then, one became two and two became four. Soon, my daughter was pushing herself further as the coaches and her teammates cheered her on.
Her confidence also began to grow. By the end of that first season, she finished her first 5K, tearful and exhausted, having walked and jogged most of it with a running buddy who provided the kind of encouragement and support she needed to meet this milestone. In her second season, she still struggled with running but kept making goals for herself. I was amazed by the coaches, who encouraged her to keep going. And she did.
Monica and her GOTR girls.
She wanted to do it again for a third season and, when the call went out for coaches to continue the work of the wonderful women who had helped her, I signed up. Sure, I had never run a 5K and I hadn’t really run since middle school, but if my daughter could do it, I knew I could too! But, I soon learned, GOTR is about so much more than running.
Now I am in my seventh season coaching and I’ve had the honor of coaching both of my daughters. Many of the girls on the team have been with me since third grade and I consider them my second family. We have grown, laughed, struggled and challenged ourselves together. We have made memories that nourish my soul.
The memories are countless, and wonderful; there is the annual “Hit Coach Monica in the Face with Whipped Cream Pies “tradition at each practice 5K for the girls who run faster than me (hint: they all do!); there’s their delight at learning they are actually allowed to run in the halls of their school – but only when it’s raining or snowing, and I treasure the thank-you note I got from the first girl to be with me through all six seasons of the program.
Monica meets another whipped cream pie.
Girls on the Run may be a program that helps girls in grades 3-5 discover their inner Star Power, but it has also helped this coach discover hers!
Interested in finding your Star Power too? Click here to learn more about volunteering as a Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole coach today!