Quincy and Someone Like You

Our youngest, “smallest” girl is also our most resilient, the one who encourages everyone else to keep going and keep trying.  She loves launching into a sprint and raced her heart out today.  So proud of Quincy.

She never complains. She wants to sprint over and over. She rocked the 6 x 200’s today and never stopped smiling. I love her to the moon and back.

“I didn’t have time to pack my lunch, so I grabbed some goldfish on the way out the door. I had to help get my brother ready for pre-school and then we needed to go to court. I had so much to do and needed to help my mom. School lunch is so gross, so my stomach hurts but I am trying-promise Coach.”

I walk with her back to the gym. “I had a similar middle school experience, took care of my brothers, got them ready for school, parents in trouble. I get it.”

“You did? How many brothers do you have?” she asks and I can tell she is surprised I can relate.

“Two and we’re really close today. My mom was just doing the best she could too and I promise you things change but I am so glad you are out here with me. I am so glad we get to know each other.” We walk in silence.

“Do you play any instruments, Coach Green?”

“No, I don’t but I tried playing piano in college and it didn’t work out” I explain.

“I play the piano, I taught myself!  Will you stay after practice so I can play you a song I just learned?”

How could I say no?  Of course I will do this and in this moment my heart swells and I really have no clue what I am doing.  This child is living an adult life and I recognize it and I have three million emotions wrapped in one.

She plays me this:

“Will you come meet my mom, tell her how I did today?”

I smile. “Yes, of course I would love to meet your mom, come on.”

She hugs me with relief.

I don’t know what I ever did to get this moment but I will never forget it.

 

JAG Girls, Monday (No One Likes Coach Emily)

Suicides. Sorry ladies…

We were doing a combined workout, speed girls, distance girls and we got rained out. No lightning, but the school has rules and liability, so we headed into the gym.

Played “Hot Feet”–balls of your feet, Low, Medium and High. Giving the girls and idea of what your feet need to do for speed workouts vs. strider (distance) workouts.

Then suicides. Today was a rough day in attitude land. We took it out on the half court.  Wednesday will be specific team work and drills.

 

Good attitudes, smiles to go around.

 

Two of the distance girls who show up and match their dreams and outputs every time. Way to go ladies!!!

Abby

Do your dreams match your output?

Great question.

My favorite athlete Abby Wambach, soccer phenom and rockstar activist posed this question over the weekend at a talk on her sobriety, her athletic retirement and new life off the field.

It may seem like typical sport-star talk, manufactured by some agent but I really believe that she asks this of herself and her step-children.

Abby’s question rings in my head when I think about my life, my sport and my heart. Am I actively pursuing my dreams or am I keeping them static in the gray matter?

Today, the girls are going to talk to me about their goals and what they are specifically doing, output wise, to make it happen.

Today, I am doing an output check. You want this–what are you DOING to get it?  What are you ignoring or letting go to waste?

 

Ready, Set, GOALS

Jaguar Girls: Form focus as we began track set-up, launch and drive.  Distance girls worked on striders and did a 1600 around the inner circumference of the track.

 

The girls also laid out 2017 Fall goals.  Love the variety and hopeful spirit.  Some want abs, others to run faster and one simply wants to “stick with this”.

Team For Kids: Chicago Marathon | October 2018

Running is not recreation for me it is revival and survival.

I was an at-risk kid who went on to become a college athlete and overcame severe asthma.

Today, I help other kids achieve their goals, no matter what they may be- through running.  I am running once again for Team for Kids next October in the Chicago Marathon.  While not right around the corner, it is never too early to begin fundraising and help these programs.  They are so grateful for the support of those donating time or treasure.

Click here for my personal fundraising page and many thanks!

-Em

A & B

Monday’s practice consisted of a distance trial and drills. We are dividing the team up so that we can focus on distance and speed in a more specialized format.

 

I want to make sure my girls who desire distance get that specific training and those that desire speed work have the opportunity to shine and grow. Each group will hover in the other’s workouts as speed helps distance and distance helps speed.

 

Our routines are being established and the girls are getting dressed, eating a quick snack and stretching in record time. Bringing water is still an issue and they know that if they don’t next practice they sit out.

 

They were also instructed to reflect on a goal they want to reach by the first half of our year during their distance trial and we’ll discuss and collect those on Wednesday.

 

This Run’s for You-and You-and You (Team for Kids)

2017|2018 Jaguar Girls Running Team
400 warm up, they love it.
Drills are a big part of our skill development. Cariocas for 40/up and back.
Coach Emily picking up her race number for Team for Kids, Staten Island Half race on October 8, 2017.
There’s my girl.
Crossing the finish line.

It poured for 13.1 miles on Staten Island October 8, 2017.  I lost some toenails but gained a new resilience I had not thought I was capable of at the time.

 

I spent the weekend alone, touring Manhattan by seeing SOHO and Bleecker Street. Saw the court houses and walked through Korea Town and then across the Brooklyn Bridge. Took the ferry to Staten Island the next morning and did the race, came back to Tampa the same evening.

 

At practice the next day, the girls got to see my finisher medal and I showed them some of my “wounds”.  They were mostly curious about people quitting.

 

“Did anyone quit. did you see anyone go down?”

 

My answer was of course a teaching opportunity but I think again, this has taught me so many things about myself and how I can be a better mentor, parent and educator.

 

Stay tuned as we begin prepping for the next big thing: Turkey Trot 2017.

Skill Drills and Hard Things

Jaguar Girls Monday Practice Summary:

400m warm up

(Drums at 90 degrees)

4 x 20/30 m High Knees

4 x 20/30 m Tightropes

200m cool down and 100m Butt Kicks

Working on establishing routine and skill and drills. Form is everything especially with developing bodies and minds. So, the drills will be a part of every practice and over time,  these broken down elements of running will be a part of their routine.

Each girl expresses interest in HS track and drills will be a huge part of speed work, especially in the track season.

Quotables:

Coach (me): This is hard, but what have you done that is difficult that  gets easier with some practice?

I was hoping this was brilliance they would ponder and realize the answer was “riding a bike, swimming, playing guitar….”.  

Athletes, in unison: Math!

 

 

Thank You, West Florida Y Runner’s Club!

The Jaguar Girls Running Team is honored to run the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day thanks to the generosity of the West Florida Y Runner’s Club and the leadership of the race Director, Skip Rogers.

The girls are looking forward to earning their entrance spots and were amazed anyone would help them/us out like that.

Much love to you and all you do for the community.

 

What is Lost When Only Rich Kids Play Sports | The Atlantic

The income disparity in youth athletics has effects on health and success that stretch far into adulthood.

Girls in particular seem to benefit from athletics: Participation reduces the chances of developing heart disease and breast cancer, cuts rates of unplanned pregnancies, lessens obesity, and boosts body self-esteem. And the advantages extend into adulthood: Four out of five female business executives played sports as kids, and women who go on to play sports in college are 25 percent more likely than those who don’t to develop political aspirations.