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Monday, July 14, 2014


Last week, I joined two other masochistic ladies from my gym in training for our first triathlon.

I am so tired.

Not to be misleading, I should clarify that it's technically a mini-triathlon. A sprint. Or, as their website suggests, a great triathlon for a beginner, or a good workout for, basically, anybody else.

Pseudo Caption: Because they're awesome, my sister and boyfriend did my first 5K with me. Literally, I got a migraine about a quarter-mile in and had to walk the rest of the way. That should give you an idea of how my athletic endeavors go.

Can we talk for a second about how much I don't like running? Or biking or swimming for exercise? Sure, I can back-squat 185 lb and dead-lift 225 lb, but I prefer to only run when there's a doughnut at the finish line (or complete strangers eagerly waiting to pelt me with dyed corn starch, ahem, Color Run).

But, this was an opportunity to show myself my capabilities while getting to hang out with some pretty awesome gym friends. I also kind of figured having a set-in-PayPal goal to achieve, a torture that I've already paid for, will better help me work toward a healthy lifestyle.

The absolute best part of this, though, is that I can use the triathlon to help young girls develop healthy lifestyle habits, too.

Girls on the Run
*stolen straight from their website*
Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade. [They] teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.

The beautiful people behind this program spend every day working to instill healthy habits in young girls, while helping to build their confidence. If you've ever been or known a young girl in that age group, you know that confidence can run in short supply.

A program this awesome isn't free; it costs each girl $165 to participate for one season. Enter SoleMates.

SoleMates is the individual fundraising component of Girls on the Run. It provides adults an opportunity to raise money for Girls on the Run while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon or 10k event to raise money for Girls on the Run in their community.

1,193 SoleMates participated in over 250 events, ran 14,898 miles in the United States, Canada, France and China, and raised over $650,000 for Girls on the Run councils.

Some chapters receive more than $5,000 in scholarship money through SoleMates. This is the first year that the South Louisiana chapter has implemented the program, so they're anxious to see what people will contribute to help their goals.

This is why my triathlon is relevant. As I spend the next two months training to swim 300 meters, bike 10 miles, then run 2 miles, I'm going to be using it as a platform to raise much needed scholarship money for GOTR, so that there is nothing stopping a young girl from realizing how awesome she is.

I know. It's not sexy. I don't have any fancy "give" or "share" buttons, and you're not funding a well in Africa. (Those charities are damn sexy to me.) But, I know firsthand how vital confidence and healthy habits are during those formative years.

I'm hoping to raise enough money to give two girls the opportunity to love themselves, and this is only possible through generous people, like you, helping in whatever way they can. That may mean donating $5 or the full $330 (which would be friggin' awesome, obviously), or, it may simply mean sharing this information with those in your social and email circles.

Whatever you can do, however you can help, know from the bottom of my heart that I, and those girls, are eternally grateful.

In case you missed the link cleverly hidden throughout the text, it's here :)

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