Running Toward Empowerment
How Looking Back Moves Them Ahead By: Ashlyn Yates and Kim Gillett There are so many life experiences and choices that can change how each of us think, live and what moves us ahead. Looking back when I was young, the pressure was who had the coolest comb in their back pocket. Fast forward, now it’s who has the coolest phone in their back pocket! In a world of so many different pressures and challenges for girls at such young ages, an organization in Eau Claire called Girls on the Run (GOTR) helps move them ahead in a positive way. Ashyln Yates, a GOTR alumnae and seventh grader, looks back on her year in the organization and shares how it moved her ahead to new opportunities she said she would have never imagined for herself doing. “I am so glad that I joined Girls When I ran, I made on the Run in fifth grade, because it helped me learn to love and created bonds with myself and follow my dreams. I learned to not care about what other girls while others think about how I look and how I act. Girls on the Run has helped me become a better and active. athlete, gave me team work skills, and most importantly, has helped me gain confidence to be myself and embrace who I am. Looking back, when I first joined, I was afraid that since none of my friends were going, it would be boring and awkward. Within the first few days I was having so much fun and laughing until it hurt! When I ran, I made new friends and created bonds with other girls while staying healthy and active. I was also worried that I couldn’t run because running was SO hard, but my coaches had helpful techniques. Running may have been hard at times, but I knew that no matter how I did my teammates and coaches were there to support me. Moving ahead I now see how Girls on the Run
has influenced me because I am on the crosscountry team at my school. I am so grateful that I was able to be a Girl on the Run because to run you need lots of confidence and without GOTR, I would not have moved ahead and joined cross country and have all the memories that I have now. I have encouraged my parents to move ahead and run with me. Now we are a healthy, active Ashlyn (left) with her sister after the 5K family. In 2014, we completed the Eau Claire Marathon Relay as a family team of four. Girls on the Run was a great experience for me.” Ashlyn is one of the nearly 900 girls that have participated in the program in Eau Claire County since its arrival in 2006. GOTR is a 10-week positive youth development program for girls in 3rd -5th grade. We inspire girls to be healthy and confident with an experienced-based curriculum that encourages moving and running. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness. The program begins in February in 15 elementary schools throughout Eau Claire County. Ashlyn Yates is an energetic 7th grader who has accomplished numerous 5K races and the EC Marathon relay. She plans to run a half marathon before she graduates from high school. Kim Gillett is the Council Director for GOTR of Eau Claire County. She wants all girls to reach their limitless potential! Program sign up will be in area school in January or online at http://www.gotreauclaire.org!
Congrats to all of the Girls on the Run and the volunteers! We’re proud of you! Good luck this year! January 2015
Published on Jan 1, 2015
Queen of the Castle Magazine is a free women's magazine in Wisconsin. We focus on empowerment this month with articles on women who are taki...