Tracey is an energetic mother of four boys, who gets her “girl fix” by leading the Girls on the Run teams at Point Elementary in the Mehlville School District. She brought the program to Point three years ago in the fall of 2008 and the interest has continued to grow.
Here’s the story Tracey tells her GOTR girls about how she became a runner. “I made a bet with my son when he ran his first race at age 12. He was so nervous and to make him laugh I, being hugely eight months pregnant, told him that if he won the race I would run a 5k one day. Well that little stinker won and my pledge was on. I kept putting it off. I was the girl who cried in middle school when I had to run the mile and I hadn’t run since. He finally told me that I didn’t have to run a 5k. I hated that he thought I couldn’t run so now I HAD to. I started running the next day. I really didn’t like it for six months, but when I ran that first 5k I was hooked and decided to keep running. I have found, through running, someone within me that I didn’t know was there…she is strong and proud and she wants others to feel the same way about themselves.” Through her involvement with GOTR, Tracey certainly has helped many girls feel strong and proud through running!
What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run?
These girls are going through all of the same things that I went through as a girl. The times have changed, but the problems and situations have not. GOTR gives girls an opportunity to have an outlet for all the “stuff” that’s going on in their lives. I absolutely love seeing and hearing the girls support one another in group sessions and on the run. I love running in the 5ks with one of the girls and seeing her excitement when she sees the finish line, it brings tears to my eyes every time. It’s a great feeling of accomplishment that I helped bring her to this point, but she did it on her own two feet.
Why would you recommend others get involved as a volunteer for Girls on the Run?
I always try to encourage people to volunteer with GOTR by telling them the truth…that you will give a lot, but you’ll get so much back in return.
What’s your favorite Girls on the Run cheer?
I tend to always fall back on the “WOW” because the girls love it. My very favorites are the ones the girls make up themselves. We currently have two cousins on our team, who have done the program before, and they make up cheers to show tunes and other songs along with dance numbers. They never fail to crack me up.
Any favorite memories or stories you’d like to share?
There are a lot of them, but my very favorite is crossing the line with one of my girls. I looked down at her, she looked up at me and I said, “I am so proud of you,” and she said “And I’m so proud of you!” Wow, what a high.
What’s your favorite quote?
Kristin Armstrong said “I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine.” A lesson well worth passing on to others.