When she was in high school at Magruder High she saw a flyer about becoming a junior coach and knew she wanted to do it. She fondly remembered her days with Girls on the Run and how much she enjoyed participating. As an active child she said her mom signed her up for GOTR initially for the running and friendships, but Bridget said she took away a whole lot more.
As a child, she didn’t initially realize the impact the lessons would have on her. As she got older, she noticed that she used many of the skills she learned from GOTR in order to navigate her teenage years. One lesson in particular really stuck with her, a visualization lesson about turning negative self-talk into positive thinking. Here is an excerpt from that lesson;
Now picture a large socket in the top of your head—kind of like an electrical wall outlet where you plug in a computer. Can you see it in the top of your head? Now imagine a long cord going into that socket. The inside of this cord is really yucky—it’s got dirty, slow‐moving thick liquid flowing through it. It also has messages coming through it for your brain. Some of these messages are: ‘you are not smart enough, you’re not pretty enough, you’re not popular, you’re not sporty enough and you don’t have cool clothes.’ When these mucky messages get into our brains, they ooze down into our bodies and we feel bad about ourselves. The message of this cord puts out that bright light and we don’t stand up as tall, we feel sad, and we may not try exciting activities we’d like to do. We just don’t feel good about ourselves with this negative cord coming into our spirits.
Now here is the fun part. We each need to take our right hand and take that cord out of the socket on our head. Pull it out and throw it right behind you, somewhere far away. Now I want you to take your left hand and plug in a new cord – it’s the Girls on the Run cord. The liquid in this cord is bubbly, bright, multicolored and sparkling like glitter. It moves freely into your body and makes the light inside of you sparkle even brighter and stronger ‐ so strong that you begin to have light coming out of your fingertips, your mouth, your nose, your toes, and your eyes! The Girls on the Run cord helps us stand tall and believe in ourselves. We express everything we are feeling. We know that we are wonderful. We can look all people right into their eyes and know that we are amazing just the way we are! This is what Girls on the Run is all about! Helping all of us, including me, realize how special we are as individuals and also as a wonderful team together!!!
Bridget still remembers unplugging the negative cord and throwing it far away. As a coach, she said she is impressed with how much structure is in each lesson in order to convey the intent of the lessons, something she never realized as a child. Another memory that Bridget has are the Montgomery County 5K Fun Runs she participated in. Bridget remembers the excitement of the day and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with completing the season and the run. Coaching is a full-circle moment for her. So every Tuesday and Thursday, Bridget happily makes the drive from College Park to Bethesda to attend practice at 7:45 AM. She looks forward to continuing to coach and can’t wait for the 5K.