What gives me hope for our future? Easy. A couple of 3rd and 4th graders.

Regardless of political affiliation, I cannot believe who will be representing the United States of America for the next four years. The people surrounding him aren't looking so great either.

All of It - Hope for our future

You know what gives me GREAT hope for our future? 

A couple of gals I get to spend every Monday and Wednesday afternoon with for about 10 - 12 weeks in the Fall and then again in the Spring.

They are 8, 9, and 10 years old and in grades three and four. Meet my Girls on the Run team for Fall 2016.

A couple of weeks ago we had a lesson about empathy. Empathy as defined by an 8 year old is as follows: "It's when you can feel something for someone because you have felt the same way at one time, like you feel love for them and maybe you want to help them."

All of It - Hope for our future: Empathy

You know what our lesson was about on the day after the election? Compromise.

As defined by one of our girls; 'Meeting each other half way. Listening to other people's ideas, you have to make sure that you listen to everyone's ideas and then you might have to give up a little bit of what you wanted and the other person has to give up a little bit of what they want. Working together. Communication."

Why? Because we have a Community Impact Project to complete. First we talked about different communities that we are a part of and then we used empathy and brainstormed how we could help within thesecommunities.

All of It - Hope for our future

The girls will work together to decide on what our final project will be, which will no doubt be a compromise.

We've been practicing though, so they should be ready to go.

The picture to the left is from our lesson about cooperation. The girls had to put together a tangram as a group. The group in this photo finished first, and do you know what? They were actually missing a piece. (oops!)

I AM SO PROUD TO BE A GIRLS ON THE RUN COACH

The photo below is my precious team on Monday after completing our Practice 5K, just a good little booster so they would have the confidence to accomplish our season ending goal of running a 5K on December 3rd. They have been working so hard this season!

After they finished their run, they made me proud by running one more lap with their teammate and cheering her on until the very end.

All of It - Hope for our future

It is not about winning first place. We count laps, but not to celebrate who has the most laps, it is just a way for the girls to keep track of their progress and to practice setting small goals. They get to experience the power of running at such a young age, something I didn't fully experience until I was 29 years old and ran my first marathon. That the power of running brings out the BEST in you, that you can do something you once thought was impossible! That you don't have to be the fastest runner, that it feels SO GOOD to accomplish your individual goals!!

I am SO proud to be a part of something that teaches these girls, at the impressionable ages of 8, 9, and 10 about open-mindedness, goal-setting, empathy, being a stand-byer instead of a bystander to bullies, compromise, and giving back to their communities.

By empowering these girls today, we are empowering future leaders of our communities of tomorrow.

These girls give me great hope for our future and make me SO proud to be a Girls on the Run Coach.

The Dream Team: MEET MY GIRLS ON THE RUN CO-COACHES

All of It -

You know what else makes me proud? These two ladies.

Meet Coach Marvelous Mary and High Kickin' Kelly.

Together we are a dream team! They keep things in line, pick up on nuances I do not, fill in for me when I am lost for words or can't explain something, and willingly answer questions when none of the girls raise their hands (which means I didn't do a good job of explaining things).

On the Wednesday after the election, the brightest thing I could think of was our team of girls and how I knew they would have the most positive impact on our future communities. Add to that my Co-Coaches. (As I've said before, food is one way I show people I love them, so I baked them some delicious cookies as a thank you, which is what they're holding)

This Fall is our 5th season coaching together. I am so thankful that these two ladies believe in the power of Girls on the Run and have committed Monday and Wednesday afternoons to invest in these girls. I am proud of what we do together and even more so that they have become my dearest friends.

The Bottom Line

The point is; I’ve always known we were teaching these girls tools to embrace and express their feelings, to stand up for themselves and others, and to appreciate what makes everyone unique, just to name a few important things we learn. All in hopes that they would grow up feeling that they can be whoever they want to be and rise to any challenge they might face along the way.

One of my biggest motivations as a coach is that these girls would have the tools and confidence to do things I could not, to make good friends that I did not have the self-worth to make.

Until Wednesday morning, the day after the election, I never looked at our program as having a potential impact on our country as a whole.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

Each year, Girls on the Run serves about 185,000 girls. This number is growing every year! These girls give me hope for our future because like I said, by empowering these girls today, we are empowering future leaders of our communities across the United States.

WANT TO GET INVOLVED??

If you are in the Nashville area, you can sign up to be a running buddy for our end of the season 5K on December 3rd! Each girl is paired with a buddy who encourages them while they hop/skip/jump/jog/walk to the finish line!

Looking to set a 5K PR? This is the perfect course as it is probably the flattest place to run in Nashville! You can sign up to run or to be a running buddy here!

There are Girls on the Run councils in all 50 states! Wondering if there is a Girls on the Run council in your area? Click here to find out!

MY QUESTION TO YOU: WHAT GIVES YOU HOPE FOR OUR FUTURE?

Today at Whole Foods, my favorite employee, the guy who's line I am always trying to squeeze into, asked me a very interesting question. He asked me if I had one question for someone to ask me, what would it be? He said that he realized everyone has their thing they want to tell people, so he wondered, what would my soapbox be?

My answer: In light of our current situation, with the election results at the forefront of things, I would want someone to ask me; what gives you hope for our future? And I would tell them all about my team of amazing girls and what we do at practice.

What gives you hope for our future? Leave me a comment below! Make sure you're following me on Instagram @corrielanderson, post a photo that reflects what gives you hope for our future, tag me, and use #itsallofit! I cannot wait to hear from you!