It has been a wonderful and productive season for all our girls at GOTR Memphis. Not only did we complete our annual 5K, but we also celebrated our fifth-anniversary birthday party. Please join me as we reflect on the fall season 5K experience for our beloved girls at Sharpe Elementary.
This season, our wonderful coaches at Sharpe, in conjunction with the Sharpe Elementary school administration came up with a solution to our biggest obstacle with regards to 5k participation: transportation. During our previous seasons, the team at Sharpe has often struggled with getting our girls to participate in the 5k race due to the lack of transportation, as most of our girls have working parents who are unable to take them to the race. With the help of the school administration, the team was able to secure a school bus that took them to and back from the race. This year, not only did our girls arrive in style, but they arrived in large numbers.
Upon arrival at Overton Park, the girls could not wait to explore all the fun booths. Our first stop was the jewel station, where the girls not only beautified their bibs but their faces and t-shirts as well. The personality of each girl was carefully embedded in the patterns and colors the girls chose to use to decorate their bibs. When each girl finished, they looked to their friends for approval and complimented each other’s designs. Next, we headed to the smoothie station. At this station, there was a bike that was hooked up to a blender which allowed the girls to ride a bike and make their smoothies simultaneously. You can only imagine the amount of giggling that went on at that station.
Then, the girls were reunited with our friends from AutoZone who donated shoes to our girls which they sported alongside their 5k gear and their tutus for this special occasion. At this station, the team learned about car safety and car signs. By the end of the session, they were able to identify various car signals and their functions. One of our girls took a particular interest in the oil-changing session and learned to identify various engine parts in a car. I am sure she will be applying this knowledge in the near future.
After a productive and educative session, our girls headed to the beauty station where they made headbands, and painted their nails, and faces with colors of their choice. We danced with the Rhodes cheerleaders, as well as the UofM cheer team. As a coach, I had never had so much fun as I did, joining the girls in these activities. Soon, it was time for the race.
The girls who had running buddies went off to find their partners, and the rest of the team paired up with the coaches. With no less than two girls to a coach, the team walked up to the starting line and the race commenced. The girls started off strong and determined and paced themselves accordingly. As the race continued, if the girls were a little less than excited, they did not show it. Instead, they continued with no less determination than they did at the beginning. We persevered, and we started to cross the finish line partner by partner.
After the race, we got our medals and went on to grab our celebratory Muddy’s cupcakes as a team. We ate together and shared our experiences with the race. Our girls expressed their joy in completion and took pride in their medals. Some of the girls were interviewed by the media team and expressed how much they loved being a part of Girls on the Run this season, and I must say, I share the same sentiment. The team headed back to the bus together and left chattier than ever.
The perseverance and strength of our girls continue to inspire me with every practice and every lesson. The coaches and I are very proud of this little Sharpe team for all their accomplishments this season. We have truly enjoyed mentoring and coaching the girls and we look forward to an even better season in the spring.
Until next time!