Man, today I put in 16 miles ASAP in order to make it on time to Lyter Elementary School in Montoursville, PA! Another Girls on the Run visit was in line for this afternoon, and I was stoked. It felt like it had been a while since hanging with the girls, but in reality, I think it had only been a few days? I can’t keep track anymore! Anyway, Ellen and I drove from Lewisburg (home of Bucknell University and where I finished running today) up north to Montoursville to be greeted with the amount of excitement that could spontaneously combust a potato, or quarter, or anything that is not normally spontaneously combustible. Sorry if that made no sense...I am zonked;)
What I mean to say is that I entered the gym upon my arrival at Lyter School and the 27 girls on the GOTR team here were gathered in a circle. I entered the gym, and all of a sudden the girls looked like they just saw a ghost. Their eyes automatically peered over at me, and it got really quiet, like they were awaiting the arrival of a queen or something. I felt a little undeserving of the instant respect, because I guess, I am modest? I don’t know. I walked into the gym, being guided by Michelle, the program coordinator, who led me to the girls in the circle. Really, I think the girls were going to spontaneously combust they were sooooo excited! Perhaps they were speechless they were so excited?! Yeah! Awesome.
They took me right in, and I was so impressed with the preparation they put into my arrival! There was even a big banner that said, “welcome Katie Visco!” Again, I felt honored to be someone for these girls, to be a reason for them to be excited, to cause their innate energies and love to pour out, onto me...I felt so lucky. I was crowned with welcoming gifts - a certificate, a medal, a water bottle, t-shirt signed by the girls...and deodorant! Yep, DEODORANT. Will cherish it always. Cocoa Butter scent. Rock on, ladies! Thanks:)) Ha ha. I was then able to introduce myself and field tons of questions. I am continually floored by the girls’ insightful questions. Our youth really are brilliant, and surprisingly have quite a bit of perspective, even at 3rd grade.
The important thing about today, moving past the autographing, pictures, and fun, was that the girls were simply SO EXCITED. Not only did they have their culminating 3K event that afternoon (the end of the season race), but they had a special visitor. I want to know why the girls were so excited. Why were you excited that I came? What inspires you about what I am doing, girls? Is it because I help to show you that you can follow your dreams too, or is it because I was on TV, or is it because I run a lot...or? Tell me! I am so curious. I am also completely interested in why people are inspired by what I am doing. I am interested in this because everyone has their reasons. Everyone comes from a certain space and context that causes them to be inspired and excited by certain things. If I can ask the question of why
what I am doing matters, I can better understand what young people, and all people, are looking for. Does this make sense? Oftentimes, in order to find what you are looking for, you must ask the right question. Girls - why were you excited for me to visit your school?
Regardless, I had so much fun! From getting to run the 3K with the girls, to joking, to signing soooo many shirts, to being inspired by the coaches (who are incredible role models to me), to hearing Taylor ask “Katie, will you adopt me?!” to running Sara’s last lap with her, to eating grass with Hailley, to getting a note from Olivia that said, “you inspired me,” to smiling with Krazy Katie about having the same name...it was all incredible. Thank you so much, girls, for having me come over to play, because you just so happened to change my life. I hope I changed yours;)
I hope to see you all again when I travel back across the country...:-) Thank you for your smiles, love, fun, and passion for running. Keep at it, girls!
ps I have SO MANY pics from this visit but my silly internet chip is being dumb and won't let me upload them...argh! I will post them up once I get internet connection strong enough;) haha, rural PA. As for now, click here
to see professional pics taken by a reporter who was at the event!!!!