Last week was race week! Ironically enough, it was also Practice 5K week for many of our Girls on the Run of Central Iowa teams. While many of us were participating in the 5K, half, or marathon, the girls on my team were preparing to run the farthest distance they’ve ever run before! (Maybe you were too!)

No matter the distance, there is one small thing that can make a BIG difference when running, and that’s the power of a positive mind. Last week, I saw many types of people crossing the finish line. From my 8-year-old girls on their school track to a 94-year-old who ran the half marathon downtown – they had one common theme. They both finished with smiles on their faces.

A smile can mean many things. 

A smile can mean happiness, joy, good news, and love. 

A smile can signify accomplishment, satisfaction or friendship. 

A smile can also mean approval and acceptance, positivity and encouragement. 

A smile can turn a stranger into a friend.

A smile can often say much more than words can express.

Whether the girls on my team walked, ran, sprinted, or skipped across the finish line, they ALL did so with a smile because, even though they were nervous, scared, or doubtful – feelings we all still experience as adults –  they had their teammates and running buddies cheering them on. They KNEW that if they put their mind to it and stayed positive, they would finish the 5K with a smile. And that’s really powerful.

Sometimes it’s about taking a step outside of our own minds and putting ourselves in one another’s running shoes. Would you ever look at your friend, your child, or your mom and say “You CAN’T do that!” or “You’re NOT beautiful!”? Never in a million years! So why do we find it so easy to say that to ourselves?

Positive self-talk is a powerful thing, but negative self-talk can be equally as powerful. “YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE” is a mantra that we teach our GOTR girls, and something I carry with me through all areas of my life, not just running. Leading with an open heart and always assuming positive intent is one of our GOTR Core Values that we teach to set ourselves up for success. Having an “I CAN” attitude assures ourselves that we WILL cross the finish line with a big smile, no matter if we’re 8 or 98.

Throughout this blog series, I will be highlighting one of Girls on the Run’s Core Values in each post – a little reminder that running encompasses so much more than simply lacing up your running shoes. Remember – run with your heart, not just your feet. 

Follow along on my coaching journey! 

Jordan Trannel 

Instagram: @jordtran 

Girls on the Run: @girlsontheruncentralia

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