Usually whenever you are most tired, least motivated, and want to do anything but exercise is when you really should just strap on your running shoes and do something to get your heart rate going. I can think of many a run I dragged myself out to do and at the end I was always glad I had gone. Today was one of those days when I really just didn’t feel like putting on my running shoes.
The good news is that I had to. I committed to be an assistant coach for a Girls on the Run program at an elementary school near my house and I do not want to back out on my commitment to show up, no matter how tired I am. There is no doubt that the girls will always have more energy than me, even on the days when I’m at my peak energy level. I knew pulling myself away from the computer to get ready to go meet 15 girls in 3rd through 5th grade who are training to run a 5k would give me the boost I needed. Volunteering with GOTR is absolutely about the girls and helping them get out of the girl box, build confidence at a young age, and develop a sense of self-respect as well as respect for others, but I think the program is almost as much for the coaches as it is for the girls.
The moment I got to the school I had a second wind and soon the girls were buzzing all around hyped up after having sat through class all day, ready to talk, giggle, and run. Trying to keep up with the girls is easily exhausting, but it also provides the rush you feel after a good work-out. Helping them through relay races, forming teams, and encouraging them to participate in the games that make running fun take me out of my tired daze.
Each GOTR get together ends with a round of what we call energy cheers. There is a grab bag with handfuls of notecards and each card has a cheer or motion on it that the group does together. At the end, the girls suggest new cheers so that the bag is always full and the cheers are always different. Energy cheers allow the girls, and the coaches, to be silly, happy, excited, and comfortable as a group. After I had done the flower, the rollercoaster, the quarterback, the silent cheer, the superstar, the dramatic death, the lawnmower, the ice skater, the runway model, and the running girl, I was absolutely re-energized.
What is that gets you going when you’re most tired? Next time you’re debating skipping I run, I recommend channeling your inner kid at heart and wiggling around in a silent energy cheer.
You’ll be out the door in no time.