Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Let Me Run caps its Fall 2010 season

Lori Klingman, vice president of Charlotte's Let Me Run, asked me to share with you her thoughts regarding the boys' organization's fall season.

Led by Klingman and LMR president Ashley Armistead, Let Me Run has grown steadily into a program that this fall reached 31 schools, a range of public, private and parochial institutions.

The six-week programs combine training for a 5K with lessons "focused on increasing self-acceptance and building healthy relationships." The most recent fourth-grade lesson plan, for instance, included topics ranging from "How to be competitive without putting the competition down" to "Real men show their feelings"; in fifth grade, there were lessons on energy, electrolytes and vitamins as well as sessions on drug awareness. There was also a similar middle-school curriculum.

Here's Lori Klingman's report:

Our fall season came to a screeching halt on Saturday, Nov. 6, with more than 130 boys participating in the Dowd YMCA 5K. Most of the boys also brought a parent, best buddy, or sibling so Let Me Run established quite a presence at the race.

The mood was jubilant, and the boys were all so excited to have "their" moment.... their time to shine. To see those sweaty faces when they cross that finish line will send chills down anyone's spine. I truly felt like my heart would burst.

I knew all those little knobby-kneed legs were shaking at the start line with anticipation. I know, too, that they were shaking at the finish line but for a different reason! How about that uphill finish?? Every boy that I spoke with made a comment about it. Some of the parents did as well, but I can't use those words here! :)

To fully recount this season, I would like to list the Top 10 things that were learned by boys, coaches, LMR staff and parents.

10. Rainy-day indoor practices can be a whole lot of fun.
9. Speed is something, but heart is everything.
8. New shoes will not make you faster, but it is nice to look good.
7. Boys are not non-communicative. Sometimes you just need to ask or open up a discussion.
6. Relay races are a great way to break up a three-mile practice run. Maybe adults should try it, too.
5. Birthday cake as a snack at practice is just fine. Calories are being burned by the second and everybody needs to celebrate sometime.
4. Never kid a kidder. If you are inauthentic, these boys will spot it from a mile away. Be real!
3. After two practices, camaraderie is established and a true team is formed.
2. Children smile when they run. Grown-ups grimace.
1. You will never, ever, ever be sorry that you crossed a finish line, so always push forward!

Words cannot express the gratitude that the LMR board and staff has for our many volunteers. Our volunteers are energetic, kind and generous.

I know that some used their own resources for snacks. I know that some coaches drove quite a distance to their respective school. I know that some coaches rescheduled work meetings and appointments. I know that ALL coaches made this season possible!!

We appreciate every single one of you and hope to see you in the spring. Don't worry. We will track you down..... :)

For more on Let Me Run, click here.