Today was the first day of the spring season of Girls on the Run of Greater Baton Rouge. Our group of 12 is about half new and returning girls. This is my second semester as a coach. I think I mentioned after the fall 5K that these girls really grew on me. I was nervous about that first semester. I know a thing or two about running, but dealing with a group of 8-11 years, not so much. At the wrap of the 5K, I was near tears a few times as parents gushed about what their girls told them about the lessons and me as a great coach. What? Who!?! Me??
I didn't think that could have been topped. But I came into the school today and two of the girls left their class line and ran over and hugged me. I had to get control of myself to tell them to listen to the teacher and stay in line. Thankfully it was a teacher who recognized me from last semester and she wasn't pissed.
Anyway, practice was pretty cut and dry. I ran down expectations, such as working as a team, paying attention, etc. I'm supposed to have two co-coaches. One showed up and the other will mainly be available on Thursdays. My school has practice on Mondays and Thursdays. The one who showed up today is S. She is great. She started running in high school and after a busy three years of college, she was now able to volunteer. She seems a little shy and nervous dealing with a big group of little kids, but I was the exact same way last semester. Also, I see myself in her. It's a bit overwhelming, not only dealing with kids, but also when you see such a wonderful program that you wish you had when you were 10 years old. One thing I learned last semester is it's OK to answer questions about how you dealt with things when you were 10, 11, 12 years old and so on. It's not always easy to bring up those memories. But I'm good this semester. Because it is the past and it all made you a better person.
We're going to have a lot of fun. I can't wait to get the lessons and real running started. I really hope at some point, we can take the girls out to the lakes nearby to run three miles. We were able to get the emails of most the parents, so I want to see if I can recruit them to come out and help a few times. There is an easy three mile route at the lakes. I'll need lots of volunteers to keep an eye on the girls and I want a water stop at the 1.5 mile mark. I'm more organized this time around and I'll have more help, so I can't wait!!! I'll keep you posted on how the semester goes.