Every year I cannot wait for Girls on the Run to begin. The chatter of excitement in the hallways of our school. The smiles on the participants as the weeks draw near to the start date. “Mrs. Hays, Mrs. Hays, GOTR is today!” I know that on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from the end of February to the beginning of May, 30 girls will experience their Star Power.
Yesterday was the third lesson for GOTR. Seated in a large circle on the gym floor (only because it snowed that morning), I asked the girls, “What do you think visualization means?”
“It’s when you see something,” Chloe said.
“It’s when you picture something, picture what it looks like,” Braewyn added.
I nodded and then asked the girls to lay on their backs, get comfortable, and close their eyes. I stood up, walked into the center of the circle, and readied myself with the visualization story. Together we looked like a colorful pinwheel.
As I read, I looked around and could see each girl visualizing a night sky, searching…and searching… and then… choosing that one special star in the night sky. A star that was truly unique and beautiful just like them. A star that was like no one else.
Thirty hands reached up into the air, grabbed their star, hugged it so tight to their heart that it became a part of them. Their star shined in their hearts.
“This is your Star Power. When it is activated, others can see it through the twinkle in your eyes and it is the strongest when you are doing things that make you happy,” I read.
I could see their stars shining in their hearts because smiles appeared on their faces. But then I started to describe cloudy days that cover up their stars and those smiles disappeared.
“These cloudy days are the negative things we say and hear and we need to remember our Star Power and ways to activate or get help from others to activate our Star Power,” I read as the girls began to open their eyes.
As the girls sat up, you could see their Star Power. They could see it in each other. For the remainder of the lesson, the girls ran or walked around the wet track out behind our school (always moving forward like in life). They were smiling, encouraging each other and recording all the ways they could activate their Star Power after each lap.
Thinking back on this lesson, my heart swells because this lesson is so simple, but so powerful. I know there will be many cloudy days in these girls’ lives. Thunderstorms I am sure, but I hope this lesson they can draw upon and activate their Star Power when needed.
Every year I know I will be reminded what it means to be a GOTR girl. What it means to STAND strong for what you believe, to give back to your community, to have the tools to be the best person you can be and most importantly…that I, too, have Star Power!