Today we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), giving us the opportunity to recognize the achievements of women world wide and also raise awareness for greater equality.
While I have so many female role models and there are so many amazing women who have made history that I could blog about, the first thing that came to mind when I learned of International Women’s Day and thought about this post was the Greater Manchester, NH Mom’s Run This Town (GMMRTT) group that I am so proud to be a member of. The theme for IWD 2015 is “Make It Happen”. I could not think of another group of women that truly “make it happen” every single day.
Uplifting. Positive. Motivational. Strong. Team. Support. Opportunity. Fun. Laughter. Awesome. Diverse. Welcoming. These are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of GMMRTT.
Currently, GMMRTT has approximately 465 members. New members are joining daily and I am positive it is by word of mouth. I joined the group last spring and was surprised to learn just how many members lived nearby me. I was looking for some extra motivation because I had just given birth to my daughter and really wanted to get back my pace and endurance. There were constantly posts on Facebook about group runs in the area, all paces welcome, bring your strollers (or don’t), and regular events to attend. It was EXACTLY what I needed at the time. I had been running with the same crew for a while, and of course I loved running with them, but I was excited to meet other female runners near me to mix things up a bit.
Since joining this group, I have had many days where that little extra bit of motivation that I need to get up early for my run came from a simple post on the GMMRTT Facebook page. Seeing another member who made their run happen despite the chaos in their daily life has pushed me to make mine happen too. Seeing others obtain a new PR at whatever distance it may be has pushed me to go just a little faster and PR too. During our early morning group runs up McIntyre Ski Hill, seeing other Mom’s go straight up and not stop pushed me to go just a little bit farther in the early months post-partum. Seeing members set new goals almost every day and their dedication to meet those goals has kept me working hard toward my own goals. In this group, when a member “makes it happen”, the entire group stands behind them (virtually) cheering for their accomplishment. The support in the group is palpable and the friendships forged are unbreakable.
Some (anonymous) highlights from the group this week include the following:
“I just registered for the first tri sprint. Nervous but excited at the same time! I swim horribly…”
“End of first week of Couch to 5k program: 6.47 miles, 90 minutes walk/run. Felt so good! I know its not much for most of you, but this is a big deal for me. Can’t wait to start next week’s plan!”
“11.5 logged in the past 24 hours! Thank you to this amazing group and everyone that I run with. I know that I would not have been able to do this without MRTT!!”
“I wasn’t going to push myself today but then i thought of all you BAMR out there this morning & added the bridge at bridge to my route. FYI it’s still covered in ice!”
“Took a long time for me to be comfortable to say “yes, I’m a runner!” Thank you to this group and all the amazing friends I have met here who have helped me be comfortable in my skin!”
So, in honor of IWD 2015, I am celebrating my running group! CHEERS to every single one of you who gets out there and pounds the pavement, day in and day out, remaining positive every step of the way and always supporting other members to “make it happen”!
If you are in the Greater Manchester, NH area and are not already a member of GMMRTT, check us out on Facebook or via our new blog to learn more. I am sure I speak for the group when I say, we would LOVE to have you as a member!