An open letter to my GOTR girls

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My daughter crossing the finish line during the fall season of Girls on the Run.

Today marks the first day of our spring season of Girls on the Run. This program has changed my life in so many ways, and I’m just so proud to volunteer for this amazing organization!

Last night, I was lying in bed thinking about today and anticipating meeting new young faces and greeting familiar young faces. I was thinking about how to best introduce them to the program, which is about so much more than running a 5K. I was thinking about what I want these girls to discover about themselves, and how I want them to treat themselves and each other. I wrote down my thoughts in this open letter to girls in grades 3 through 5.

An open letter to my Girls on the Run girls,

This is a safe space. That means you can always count on this group to treat you with care and respect, and you can trust that all thoughts and statements shared here will be kept confidential.

We are so often told that we are either too much of something or not enough. Lots of companies make millions of dollars telling us that there is something wrong with us. They want to convince us that we are broken, so we will buy whatever they’re offering that will fix us. We get these messages everywhere — in magazines, on television, on social media, on our computers.

After a while, we start to internalize these messages. We start to believe something is wrong with us and that we need to be fixed. This chips away at our self-confidence and makes us feel bad about ourselves. And when we look around at others, we believe there is something wrong with them. Sometimes we even tell them something is wrong with them, because we think it might make us feel better about ourselves. But it doesn’t work. Do you know why?

Because you are not broken. You don’t need to be fixed.

You are not too tall.
You are not too short.

You are not too fat.
You are not too thin.

You are not too loud.
You are not too quiet.

You are not too silly.
You are not too serious.

You are not too smart.
You are not too dumb.

You are not too shy.
You are not too confident.

You are not too lazy.
You are not too busy.

You are not too girly.
You are not not girly enough.

You are not too fast.
You are not too slow.

You are perfect just as you are.

So repeat after me:

“There is nothing wrong with me. I am exactly who I am supposed to be. And I am capable of great things. I am worthy of respect simply because I’m me.”

And when you look at the girls around you, remember they are exactly who they are supposed to be. They are capable of great things, they are perfect, and they are worthy of respect.

With love and gratitude,

Coach Katy

3 thoughts on “An open letter to my GOTR girls

  1. I wish every single young girl could read this and embrace the meaning of loving who you are for what you are. Thank you Coach Katy, will share this.

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