First of all allow me to clarify that nobody in this blog is on the run.
We’re all legit–as far as I know.
Also, I’d like to point out that when I type”girls”, I really mean “women” too. And anybody confused thereabouts.
We seem to be a growing generation of girls on the run.
But are we running away from something or toward something?
I had no idea.
So I called up my co-captain, Katie.
I first met Katie–a vivacious, attractive, and charismatic friend when I signed up with my kids’ school to be a YMCA Girls on the Run coach. https://www.girlsontherun.org/
Their mission is “to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running”.
They envision “a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams”.
Why running? Good question.
Sometimes we need to run away from things.
When my parents were getting divorced, I ran, a lot; sometimes even sneaking out at midnight and enjoying the darkness, the silence, which swallowed me whole and made me feel embraced as if I deeply and quietly belonged within that opaque nebulous stillness.
And during those teenage summers, Amy and I ran together. Nearly every day. My sister is always beside me when I run, even though she ran away from Michigan and toward Hawai’i. I always think of her while I run.
Once as a teenager, after my parents’ divorce, after one of my mother’s surgeries, my godmother Aunt Joyce came to help out.
On a typical Michigan winter afternoon, I wanted/needed to run. So I laced up my Asics. Brand loyal to this day, no matter what anybody else may say.
But my mother objected. “It’s too icy! It’s too cold! You’ll slip and fall!” Yada. Yada. Yada. I was 17. I didn’t care what my mom said.
My Aunt Joyce, however, winked at me. Looked at my mother and said, “If she wants to run, let her run.”
I winked back. And then I ran. And ran. And ran. For an hour. For days. For weeks. For years.
I mean, I didn’t Forrest Gump it. I never entered any half marathons nor marathons. Didn’t want nor need to. Running was just for me: for pure and simple intrinsic motivation.
So I ran. I was running away, for sure. But I was also running toward something.
Running away–literally and metaphorically–helps everything.
It helps us process the past. It helps us envision the future. It also helps us stay within the mindful moment.
It does so much. Like 71 things according to https://runrepeat.com/what-running-does-to-your-body
So I evolved into a Girl on the Run. Because it saved me. In more than 71 ways.
So I signed up to coach.
Another mom had signed up, too? I’d be co-coaching? With whom? Would she be nice? Would we like each other? Would we get along?
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to THE ONE, THE ONLY, Katie Redmond (aka mega Instagram Influencer @covet.on.the.go).
According to Ron Burgundy, she’s “kind of a big deal”. (No joke.)
But when we began coaching our elementary’s chapter of Girls on the Run, I had no idea what an influencer was, who my new funny friend Katie was on social media, or that she has over 36K followers and opps from brands like Estee Lauder and Evereve and plenty of other big names. Oh, did I mention New York City’s Fashion Week? Wham-o.
No wonder @covet.on.the.go wanted to coach Girls on the Run. She’s literally on the go–like all of the time. The lady works like nine jobs, has three kids, runs her household, volunteers, and knocks out other curveballs life throws.
You think you’re on the go?
Okay, you are.
We all are. We’re all Girls on the Run.
Now let’s get the other half of her moniker: covet. I adored everything about her the moment I recognized her from previous school pickups: her style, her grace, her energy, her honesty, her charm, and of course her humor.
Her hilarity is what kept me going during some of those elementary school practices. Hey, after two kids, along with Katie’s timely and impeccable wit, I’m not at all ashamed to admit that I may have laughed until I peed a tiny bit while running.
If you know me at all, you know that I have nothing to hide. I’m a woman. I’m a mom. I can laugh at myself. Laughter is the best medicine.
Even if if makes you pee. Though my Lulu shorts may disagree.
Pee-sides…my question kept looping in my head: are we running away or toward?
So I called my co-captain Katie. But because she’s constantly on the go, I got her voicemail.
So I ate one of my kid’s Cadbury Eggs while thinking of what to type next.
Ten minutes and one egg down, she called me back.
Upon answering, she had me laughing almost immediately. I don’t even remember about what–she was out walking her dog or something. But she’s 3D, human, too–like we all are in real life. And her human-ness is what I love most about her.
She’s recently been through a hardship herself. We talked about life, motherhood, being a wife, having kids, working.
As always, she was authentic yet amusing. And always optimistic. You can hear the smile coming through the iPhone no matter what she’s saying. It’s contagious.
I immediately felt better. So we talked some more.
She said life for women these days was like “running in a hamster wheel”.
Who can argue with that?
Keeping up. Spinning. Sometimes slower. Sometimes faster. Sometimes out of control. Food–yes. Water–yes. A treat, here and there, to motivate us. A win.
At the end of the conversation, I simply asked her: “Katie, are we running away from things or toward new things?”
She poignantly paused.
Then she said, “I’d like to think we’re running towards something.“
And then it hit me.
It’s the same thing.
If we run away, we are simultaneously running toward. The past loses itself behind us as we head toward the future.
We are all girls on the run.
Running towards our futures. With our Spotify playlists (“ME!” by Taylor Swift? “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X with Billy Ray?).
Just don’t forget every now and then to stop and breathe deeply, whether the air be frigid or humid. Look up at the sky, whether it be overcast or full of shine.
Feel your feet within your favorite shoes pounding upon the pavement of the road you choose to take.
(Though I avoid the ice these days–it doesn’t suffice–too Frost-y.) .
Wipe your sweat or feel the flowers next to you. Listen to the birds, the traffic, the rain, the quiet, the heart pounding, the breath flowing, the life moving. The being.
For all of that,propels us forward…toward the ineffable something.