I can remember so vividly the face I put on for the world; a face that depicted a confident, fearless and spirited young woman, who was ready to conquer the world with the turn of a tassel. But in actuality, I was none of those things. I was plagued by seemingly justifiable insecurities and had little courage to try and figure out why I had become so unfamiliar with my mental and physical self. I was content waking each day with an attitude that sent negative energy into the universe; I accepted the fact that I only felt beautiful on days that I received acknowledgement from those around me. When not being directly guided by my parents it was as if life was a foreign concept and I was merely hanging on for some type of understanding that I thought I would never achieve. Thankfully, time and what began as a hobby 2 ½ years ago has helped me to realize that I was wrong about many of the thoughts I had conjured up throughout the years.
Running changed my life. Simply put. It caused me to do some much needed self evaluating and finally come to terms with issues that were persistent for so long. The level of clarity I experienced while running, was like nothing I had ever known. Things that once served as life’s distractions quickly became motivation. With each mile that I gained and every finish line that I crossed, I noticed a change within myself. Confidence and passion fueled me each morning and allowed me to experience peace at night. I escaped foreignism and entered into a state of familiarity of self. Yet I felt as if some part of me was left unexplored. In 2012, while running an annual 5K race, I discovered what was missing from my life. During the 3.1 mile run I decided that I would dedicate myself to sharing my story with young girls who may be faced with the same troubles as I once was. I knew that simply talking about self confidence and self worth would not be enough. I wanted to create an organization that would encourage girls to change not only their way of thinking, but their lifestyles as well.
Do it Like a Girl, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering and encouraging adolescent and teenage girls to lead active, aware and healthy lifestyles. Our girls have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor who will instill in them the value of being physically active as well as the importance of being an active and aware member of society. We are able to achieve and promote healthy lifestyles and awareness through monthly mentor and mentee runs, group discussions and by participating in community service projects. It is my belief that introducing girls to an active lifestyle at a young age may prevent them from falling victim to many of the pitfalls that I and so many other women had to experience. It is my hope that Do it Like a Girl, Inc. is able to positively affect the lives of many girls, for times to come as it has already changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined.