Dedication: Jeff and Lauri Trannel
A couple seasons ago, I was coaching at for my first time at a very awesome elementary school in Des Moines, IA. My team was an amazing group of girls- some who had participated in the program before, and some who hadn’t. However, most of them all had one thing in common (besides the bright smiles painted across their faces every week at practice) – they all needed a proper pair of running shoes. Looking down at their little feet, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry. Sorry for their pinky toes for getting squished in their siblings’ hand-me-downs. Sorry for their parents who might not be able to afford a brand-new pair. Sorry for the comments they might have to hear after a classmate makes fun of the holes in their shoes. And a little sorry for myself too, for one very important reason you will find out soon. A wonderful thing about our Girls on the Run chapter (and I’m sure many others out there) is that they partner with a local running business to provide proper running shoes to girls who may need them. One day, before practice, we had a “try on” day where we helped the girls pick out their very own pair! As a coach, this time is a little hectic because the girls get so excited about finding just the right fit. Amid all of the commotion, one of my girls looked up at me with wide eyes and said, “Coach Jordan, we’ve never had Nikes before!” Wow. I had to look away for a minute as I blinked the tears away from my eyes. Some of these girls were in fifth grade and had never owned a nice pair of shoes that fit them well. Right then, I couldn’t help but think of little fifth grade Jordan, and the new pair of Nike Shocks my parents bought me at the beginning of each school year. How I wish I could go back and share those shoes with these girls! As a coach, Girls on the Run has a funny way of teaching you more than I ever could have imagined. Each day is a new learning experience, and a new chance to apply the day’s lesson to your own adult life. This story is just one of the many reasons why I love Girls on the Run and everything this program has to offer – every day with these girls gives me one more reason to be thankful. ????????????