We held our last practice of the season yesterday.
Throughout practice, a few of the girls said they would cry at the end. That they would miss coming to practice every week. That they would miss their teammates and coaches. It was the girls you would expect. The ones that have participated every season for the last few years.
We spent the practice talking about the tools they have learned throughout the season. I’m never quite sure how much of the curriculum they are actually learning until we hit this lesson. And then these sweet, funny, powerful girls spend two hours demonstrating how much this program has impacted them.
They’ve learned how to work better with others; how to calm themselves down when they’re upset; how to appreciate differences in others.
They’ve developed more confidence and empathy.
And they’ve bonded. Most of us remember how hard school can be. Bullying and peer pressure are very real things. But these girls found a safe space for two hours twice a week where they are supported and accepted and loved.
So, I really shouldn’t have been surprised at the end of practice to see one of the quietest and most introverted girls wiping away tears. As one of the other coaches comforted her, I watched several other girls go over and put an arm around her.
It probably hit me harder than I would expect. Because I so remember being that girl. I remember never quite knowing what to do or say. Never speaking up. Never knowing how to be or even who to be. I was fully loved and supported at home, but school can be a terrifying place for the quiet ones. And I wish I’d had a program like this to help me find myself and own my power.
This is why we do this.
Saturday we will run our Celebration 5k. If you’d like to witness the pure power and joy of the girls in this program, sign up to volunteer: Click Here To Volunteer