Chin Down to Head Up

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Dedication: Allison Iasiello

One fall, on the recommendation from a friend, I registered Allison for Girls On The Run. All I knew was the program was designed build confidence with an end goal of running a 5k. As a mom of a child who was really struggling at the time I was willing to try anything. Allison has been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder for a while but after our move last July she was really nervous all the time and no longer able to even sleep in her bed. She no longer held her head high. She was living in what my husband and I called, “Chin Down” state.

Each week, Michele and I carpooled Giovanna and Allison to GOTR to Coach Sporty, Coach Sunshine, and Coach Flexie, women we did not know at all, all of which volunteer their time. October came and Allison could barely walk in a breast cancer walk for a friend with Chris and I by her side because she was so nervous. Admittedly, even I didn’t know how she was going to run a 5k in November, but Coach Sunshine told me not to worry (which is hard to do). 5k day came, Jeannine laced up as her Running Buddy and Brielle came to cheer Allie and Gio on…and you know what…they crossed the finish line! I cried, Allie cried and we all learned a ton. About support, about the true meaning of beauty, about team work, about caring for others and so much more… She went from chin down to head held high in 10 weeks

As of today, Allie has completed 6 5k’s, asks to run to reduce her anxiety. But most importantly, she gained confidence and learned to embrace who she is and made some amazing friends. Honestly, if the story ended there, it would be more than enough because what we all want as parents is to see our kids overcome lives obstacles and come out ok on the other side. But our story goes on…

This spring marked Allison’s 4th GOTR season and my 3rd season coaching. On our first day of the season we met a sweet girl who was so nervous that her parents couldn’t leave the parking lot. Allison recognized the signs and sprang into action, no coaches needed, and saved the day. There are at least 5 GOTR lessons in that day alone. The magic of GOTR is watching the gifts and lessons be passed down.

A huge thank you to Melissa Miceli Fagersten, Vikki Nancy,Terri Simmons Peri, Sandy Srodin Amy Fanning, Barbara Gendron and so many more for this program. Together we are leading by example and helping to change the way we as ladies relate to each other for generations to come.

#whatsyourstory #whoisyourgamechanger #5for5gotrnjn
#gotrnjn #strongerstogether

Girls on the Run International and Say It Forward are committed to the empowerment of girls everywhere. We believe that every girl has an important story to share – a story of determination and perseverance, a story that can inspire others to overcome the self-limiting beliefs that keep them from reaching their fullest potential. We are also committed to empowering the women who invest their time and energy in these girls.

We invite you to share your story at Say It Forward and to keep in touch with us via Twitter and FacebookGirls on the Run International Facebook and Twitter. All stories written by girls are shared with the permission of a parent or guardian. Girls’ first names only are posted with their stories.

Story shared by...

Nicole Iasiello

My name is Nicole Iasiello. I am a working mom to Allison, Abigail and Alyssa and a GOTR coach.