Ashley’s Story: When you ask Ashley what she thinks about Girls on the Run, she will quickly tell you that it is a “giant pack of fun and awesomeness”. Ashley loves that she was able to participate in Girls on the Run with a group of her good friends, and with her mom. She is a busy third grader, with soccer and gymnastics practice throughout the week, as well as Girls on the Run, but loves that her Iveland team feel like her family. Ashley enjoyed learned about different foods, energy awards (her favorite is the Cheese Grater: You did Grate, Grate, Grate!”), and loved getting to choose a community service project with her team. They decided to support Stray Rescue of St. Louis, and even got to play with kittens and puppies as part of the project!
Elena’s Story: Elena is Iveland Elementary School’s PTO President and spends a lot of her free time at the school. So, when Ashley joined the Girls on the Run St. Louis team, Elena decided to become a Practice Partner, and started attending practices with Ashley. Instead of sitting on the sidelines when the girls did their running activity, Elena decided to run alongside the girls. She had not run in more than four years and said that it was pretty tough to motivate herself to keep moving alongside the girls, but somehow she put her mind over body, and pushed through those first few practices.
That “mind over body” came in handy again as Elena made it her personal goal to run the entire 5K with the girls at the end of the season. She continued to train throughout the season with the Iveland Girls on the Run team, and on the day of the practice 5K, she continued to recite to herself, “Mind over body, I can do this, just keep moving” and by the afternoon practice, she was nervous, but ready to run. Elena not only finished the practice 5K, but ran the whole time. She credits her mantra, her re-found confidence and the cheers of the Iveland Girls on the Run family.
Elena is thankful for the things she learned from Girls on the Run – to focus on the positive, to be surrounded by girls and women of different ages and unique personalities, all coming together and building positive friendships.
Elena and Ashley and other Iveland teammates already have the May 9, 2015 Girls on the Run 5K on their calendar!