Nov 29, 2010

Posted in Blog

Council Director reflects on gratitude

November 29th, 2010

I’ve been ruminating Jillian Neal’s – what are you thankful for? question since before she posed it on Girls On The Run Nashville Facebook. I was fortunate to be at both Percy Priest Elementary School T/TH and Smithson Craighead Academy GOTR programs’ Lesson 7 practice sessions, where the girls filled out their G-R-A-T-I-T-U-D-E Worksheets, writing a word of something they were grateful for after each lap, so here goes:

G – Girls on the Run. Easy.

RB Rachel Biber and Rachael

Running Buddies Rachel and Rachael!

R – Running Buddies. Volunteers who pace/encourage/mentor a Girl on the Run at her practice and end of season 5k. One pair of buddies is known as the Double Rachels. Little Rachael wrote Dr. Rachel Biber Brewer “Thank you so much for running with me even toghe you wor me oute. But I still thank your cool. I’ve been chraning with my mom. Thank you so much for being my running buty. Ceep on running!” When complimented on her note, Rachael asked “Was the spelling ok?” and was assured it was absolutely perfect.

A – Athletic Abigail, one of our original 15 founding girls, now in her 7th season, the subject of a previous blog which also contained her essay “How GOTR has made me more Fearless”. We think she has now run 15 5ks, three 5 mile Boulevard Bolts and completed 2 kids triathlons, but who’s counting? Abigail spent her 12th birthday, the day before Thanksgiving, cooking holiday meals for the homeless, along with her mom and her GOTR coaches Brenda and George Phillips. Coach Brenda speaks for all of us: Abigail is a delight and an inspiration.

T – The Time and Talents of the many who make GOTR successful. I know, I know, I repeat myself: how I knew I would love running/playing/working with the girls, but had no idea how much I would be moved and humbled by those drawn to support the mission. True now more than ever.

I – The most interesting word beginning with I was Kate’s Ikebana (the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture she’d recently seen exhibited at Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art) but I’m going with the majority of the Smithson Craighead girls, and Imari, twice awarded our Sweat Queen crown —not because she is the fastest runner—but because she is so caring of her teammates, always checking in to make sure they’re ok.

T – Too many good T words: girls Tinsley, Taylor and Tiara. Teamwork. Taste buds. Trails. Tenderness.
My heart tells me I must go with TERRIERS.

U – Ultimate Family Fitness Day benefiting Girls on the Run Nashville, date TBA Spring 2011. This is going to be a day of awesome fun and fitness for the entire family! Stay tuned for details!

DDonate. Please donate. Thank you for donating. Please continue to donate. Participant registration fees do not cover program costs, so contributions ensure that no girl is turned away for lack of funds.

E – Everything.

Harris, me and Tinsley at Nashville’s Thanksgiving Day Boulevard Bolt .

The first season of GOTR Nashville, in answer to “What did you like most about Girls on the Run? Please be honest. ” one girl wrote “Everything but some of the snacks. Really.”

This Thanksgiving, when I am truly mindful, I find I am grateful for so many things: Loved ones, Health, Friends, Family, Breath, Shelter, Kindness….Everything. Really. Everything.


Jennifer Kimball, Girls on the Run Nashville Council Director, was reading Runner’s World one day when she saw a photo of Girls on the Run founder Molly Barker surrounded by a sea of young girls, all jumping in the air with huge grins on their faces and thought to herself, “I want to do that.” And, with the help of many other interested women (and a few good men), she did. In the fall of 2007 Girls on the Run Nashville began with 15 girls at Percy Priest Elementary and now Jennifer is the one surrounded by the happy faces of 105 girls participating in nine Fall 2010 programs in Davidson and Williamson counties. Jennifer always has a smile for the girls who she says both surprise, inspire her and make her laugh. Her passion, energy, care, determination and love for the girls and the program is truly contagious.