Once Amy White heard about Girls on the Run of the Triangle, her involvement spiraled up, from registering her daughter for the program, to coaching her daughter’s team at Pearsontown Elementary, to committing to be a SoleMate to raise funds for GOTR’s Scholarship Fund. She’s not just running a race or two as a SoleMate, though, she’s actually running a half marathon every month in 2017 to support GOTR. Yes, a half marathon EVERY MONTH. We were excited to talk with her about this amazing commitment, and the journey that led her to it. Here’s what she had to say:
How and why did you decide to coach?
“My daughter had already participated in the program for a season when I signed up to coach for her second season. As a coach, I noticed that a lot of what we’re teaching third to fifth graders is also teaching us, as adults. I took home so much from almost every single lesson that I use on a daily basis, like the lesson about stopping to breath before responding to a situation. It’s such a crazy, fast-paced world! What I took away from that lesson helps me stop and the think through situations.”
“Coaching is building confidence in young girls, building strength and determination in their everyday life, building life skills that they will remember forever! We’re teaching them to believe in themselves, that anything is possible, that they are stronger than they think, and showing them team-building skills that can develop into lasting friendships.”
“When I realized I was making a difference in a girls’ life -even if it was just one girl, in such a short amount of time as a few hours a week- that was huge for me. The fact that we coaches can make such a big impact on a girl’s life, teaching her things that will be ingrained in her heart and mind forever, gives me a great sense of fulfillment.”
Did you notice any changes in yourself and/or your daughter after participating in GOTR?
“My daughter has become more aware of certain situations at school or in the neighborhood. She often comes to me with situations involving gossping, or bullying, for instance. She’ll say, ‘We talked about this in GOTR, that gossiping isn’t ok,’ and I coach her on how to handle the situation.
“Like many moms, we sometimes feel like we don’t know how to talk to our children about certain things. GOTR creates a safe environment for my daughter to express herself and learn from other people different tactics and new ways to handle situations that maybe I haven’t’ thought of before.”
What inspired you to raise money for GOTR’s Scholarship Fund by becoming a SoleMate?
With my daughter being in GOTR last fall, then me coaching this season, I found a warm spot in my heart for GOTR and wanted to try to influence more girls’ lives who I couldn’t reach just being a coach. I wanted to give some girls an opportunity who otherwise wouldn’t have it to experience this program. That’s when I decided to become a SoleMate.
What inspired to run a half marathon every month this year?
At beginning of year, before becoming SoleMate, it was a personal goal of mine. When I became a SoleMate, it was difficult to pick just one race where I could run to raise money for GOTR. While talking to a friend about how I couldn’t’ decide which one I wanted to nail down, she suggested I run for the entire year, and have people support you every month. So that’s exactly what I’m doing!
“I love race swag – the medals, tees, everything about it. So going into this, my first idea was ‘I’m going to sign up for an established race every month I can.’ Then I thought, I’m doing this for the girls, I want to give back as much as I can to them. So I decided I would run my own race every month, and the money I would have paid to run an established race I’m donating instead to GOTR as a SoleMate. I pick a day in the month that I’m feeling good, I don’t worry about the time, I go and run my half marathon on the American Tobacco Trail, and announce it to friends on Facebook. Each month I’ve done this, someone donates after the run. I run solo, and spend the time thinking about the program, and what I’m doing, I take it as a meditation time to think about GOTR, and how the reason for running as a SoleMate is to help other girls get as much out of it my daughter and I have.
Do you have shining coaching moment?
Toward the end of season, we were sitting in circle listening to our girls telling the team what they like about GOTR, specifically this season. One girl who comes from a split family raised her hand and said that her mom, dad and stepmom are so busy, and weren’t able to go to many of her functions. She shared that she felt like I and the other coaches were there for her, and called us ‘my third moms.’ That made all of the time committed to coaching worth it.
I’m so grateful that I and my daughter have been able to be a part of the work that Girls on the Run of the Triangle is doing, and hope to continue to see great things happen in the program!