A weekend of SOLE!

This past weekend should be officially dubbed “A Weekend of Sole” because it was packed to the gills with running, helping children, and Girls With Sole…and I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

On Saturday, September 28th my alarm chimed much too early, but that’s what us runners have to deal with, especially on race day. I rolled out of bed in enough time to brush my teeth, eat a piece of toast and down a cup of coffee before my friend, Tattoo Liz, came to pick me up at 4:45 am.  Since both of us are named Liz, and we are often together, we needed a way to differentiate which Liz our friends were talking to or about.  Long ago the nickname Tattoo Liz was born, since my friend has many tattoos all over her body, and I only have one, which most people have never seen. Thus, I’m “Liz” and she’s “Tattoo Liz.”  It works. 

So, Tattoo rolled up at the butt crack of dawn so that we could head to Akron to run the marathon together!

 It’s funny how exhausted I felt until I got into the car with my buddy! It’s like a shot of double espresso when the two of us are together, especially when running is involved. The morning was a bit chilly, and as we stood in the corral with thousands of other runners in the dark before the start, I wondered for a split second why the heck I was standing in the middle of downtown Akron in the wee hours of the morning, freezing my ass off.  But then the starting gun went off, and the people in our corral started moving forward. The excitement and enthusiasm of the race start washed away any and all second guessing I was doing a minute before. As we ran under the Akron Marathon banner with Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna” blasting over the loudspeakers, serving as our own personal soundtrack, I felt like the toughest human on the planet.  

watch?v=daeG0xLWEmw

The 2013 Akron Marathon was my 20th marathon.

I’m currently on “A Quest For Sole” to run a full marathon in all 50 States to raise funds and advocate for Girls With Sole.  I have done 20 marathons, but only 6 of them can count towards this Quest, since most of them were done in Ohio. I guess we’ll chalk the Akron Marathon up to a training run for my Quest! 

Whatever it was…it was a ton of fun!

We stopped to hug a person in a blow up chipmunk suit!

And stopped a couple times along the way to say hi to friends and pose for pictures! 

To me, it’s really all about having fun, staying injury free, and enjoying the experience, while getting the word out there about Girls With Sole! Mission accomplished, and we finished in about 4 hours and 17 minutes. 

After the race I went home and got ready for a night at Progressive Field….but not for an Indians Game. I had the distinct pleasure of being the MC for the 1st Annual Homeplate Celebration for the Northeast Ohio Adoption Services non-profit organization. 

Being the MC for this event was very meaningful to me.  NOAS helps Foster Care kids find forever families –  and not only was I a Foster Care kid – but they also help a lot of girls who I have worked with in my Girls With Sole programming. I knew it would be a challenge to run the marathon and then run the event, but being able to advocate for these fabulous kids gives me the energy and drive to do anything! 

I had a fantastic time, and met some incredible, like-minded people who are passionate about helping this population of kids before they age out of the system. It was an honor to be chosen as their MC and also to be given the chance to tell my story, and the story of Girls With Sole.  I was thrilled to have several people follow up with me to let me know how inspired they were by what I said, and also by my running. 

I was amazed that I could put on a pair of heels and keep my wits about me enough to speak to the crowded room in the Terrace Club.  Girls With Sole, and kids in need, serve as some amazing motivators! 🙂

Saturday was full of action, but it didn’t stop there.  This IS the Weekend of Sole, don’t ya know! 

Sunday, September 29th brought another fantastically early morning alarm. It was time for the Believe & Achieve 5k and 10k Trail Race for Girls With Sole! I picked up a couple of the girls who needed a ride to the race, and off we went to the Penitentiary Glen Reservation in Lake Metroparks! 

The weather was perfect and the girls were ready to rock the trails! We couldn’t have had a better day! The race is kindly and generously put on every year – for the public and for our Girls With Sole – by the amazing Zack Johnson and the members of OUTRUN. Ohio Ultra Trail Run-ners.

For many of our girls it was a first on the trails. For many it was a first 5K! For all of them, it was a time to believe in their abilities and achieve empowerment. 

I don’t think I could have fit anymore awesomeness into one weekend…or into my heart. 

Girls With Sole affects everything I do, and touches more people’s lives than I ever could have imagined. It’s all about moving forward and “Lacing Up for a Lifetime of Achievement.” 

It never ceases to amaze me how powerful the Finish Line Feeling really is, and how it can unite people like nothing else!

50 States For Sole

I’m on a mission to run a Full Marathon  in all 50 States to benefit and raise awareness for Girls With Sole programs!

Girls With Sole programming challenges our girls in both heart and sole. If I want to lead by example ~ I too must challenge myself, and do something outside of my own comfort zone.

As the face of Girls With Sole, I’m on a mission to accomplish this goal nationwide – to raise funds and awareness for our mission. Please support Girls With Sole programming and consider a donation to 50 States For Sole!

Follow 50 States for Sole on the GWS Blog!

Join me if you feel inspired!!

~ Donate today ~ Create your own fundraising page ~Run with me around the US in any marathon you would like to do (many races also offer the Half Marathon distance if you would like to take part, but 26.2 isn’t for you!) ~ your funds and efforts will help girls Lace Up for a Lifetime of Achievement!

PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE:

 50statesforsole

For more information, email Liz at liz@girlswithsole.org AND please feel free to share the link and spread the word about 50 States For Sole

Girls With Sole addresses Teen Obesity

Today’s post is from:

Ideastream ~ by Annie Glausser

AUDIO :

teen0506.mp3

As kids become teens, they start to make more of their own decisions about what to eat, where to go and what to do. That’s why it can be an important time to establish healthy habits around diet and exercise, so they can avoid health problems down the road. As part of our Be Well health series on obesity, reporter Anne Glausser looks at efforts to educate kids about healthier habits and choices. Her story begins outside Cleveland Heights High School.

 

It’s 3 o’clock and students flood out of the school doors.

There’s a rambunctious group at the bus stop, letting off steam after a long day of classes.

I wander over and chat with them about how they spend their free time.

GLAUSSER:  How old are you guys?
TEENS:  (Shouting over each other) 16, 16, 14, 17, 17…

I asked what kind of stuff they like to do.

MONTAGE OF TEENS:  Play Black Ops Two.  Chill.  Crack jokes at the bus stop.  Basketball.  Playing video games.  Getting on my laptop.

They also told me about a popular spot to hang out, socialize, and eat:

GLAUSSER:  So there’s a Wendy’s nearby?
TEENS:  (all at once) Yes, yeah, there’s one right across the street.  Funny everybody’s pointing to it.
GLAUSSER:  Have you guys been there?
TEENS:  (all at once) Yes.

They’re not the only ones who go.

The line at Wendy’s is full up.

MONTAGE OF TEENS OUTSIDE WENDY’S: Mmm, chicken sandwich, mmm you said mmm, crispy chicken deluxe, anything…

These are typical teens, doing typical teen stuff.  Happens everywhere.

But some, like Susie Akers, say routines that include a lot of fast food and screen time can cause health problems.

Akers is a dietician and directs MetroHealth’s Pediatric Wellness Center.

She works with teens who are struggling with their weight.

AKERS:  Most of them, honestly, are just in front of some kind of screen, whether it’s an iPod, a phone, a computer, a TV, they really are inactive unfortunately.  I’m surprised if I find someone that is active more than the one hour that is recommended for teens.

Her impressions are backed up in a 2010 survey of middle-schoolers in Cuyahoga County:  60 percent of those surveyed said they didn’t exercise regularly, and another 60 percent said they watched three or more hours of TV daily.

Nearly half of the kids surveyed were overweight or obese.

Akers says many teens will skip breakfast or don’t like the school lunch:

AKERS:  And they grab convenience foods, highly processed foods, a lot of times chips and sweet drinks and that’s where a lot of the weight gain happens.

And this isn’t just an inner city problem; the suburbs feel it too.

Akers and others say the nation’s rising obesity rate is a wake-up call:  kids need to learn how to take care of their bodies for the long-term, and that means developing healthy habits early.

The teen years are a prime time to do this, she says, because they’re becoming independent.

Teens start making their own choices.

AKERS:  I can tell my children to pick the laundry up off the floor until I’m blue in the face but it’s until they want to wear that shirt and they want it to smell good that they’re not motivated to take the clothes off the floor and get it into the wash.

Teens want control over their health, says Akers.

It can be a form of empowerment.

Metrohealth runs cooking and fitness programs geared towards teens.

They’re designed to help them build self-confidence and a healthy body.

FARRO:  (Workout music starts and stays underneath) Take a deep breath up, in your nose and blow it out your mouth.  One more… (scene fades to low and stays underneath next sentence)

One of those programs is called Girls with Sole.

Teen girls can come after school to work out, laugh, talk.

(crossfade)
MAYA:  You can just have fun—you can Zumba, you can dance.  They laugh, joke.  It’s like a big family.
MAYA:  My name is Maya Bohanon and I’m from Cleveland Ohio.

15 year old Maya used to roll out of bed and watch TV until it was time for school.

She’s been coming here for three months and it’s caused her to rethink that routine.

She says, now,

MAYA:  I get up on time.  I eat breakfast—a healthy breakfast—and walk to school.

This is the kind of sentiment that Dr. David Katz would be happy to hear.

He’s an obesity expert with the Yale University Prevention Research Center.

About one in three kids in the U.S. are overweight or obese, Katz says, and to help change this, we need to find ways to reach teens.

KATZ: If we allow current trends to persist, I think the day will dawn and fairly soon where angina is an adolescent rite of passage alongside acne.  And we get used to routinely treating adolescents for chest pain and heart attack, where all of the dreaded chronic diseases of later life become burdens we impose on our children.

He’s not all doom and gloom though.

One of his projects?  A music video for teens and tweens.

SOUND:  (kid rapping with beat underneath) Everywhere I go, everyone I see, I check out, what people eat.  What they’re stuffing in their face—candy, muffins, ice cream, cake and they call their meal complete—with deep-fried, modified, hydrogenized—this might be a surprise but exercise is legalized.  So come on, get up and unjunk yourself, unjunk yourself.

This might resonate more with public health experts than with teens, but who knows.  It’s up to 30,000 hits on You-Tube.

 

50 States For Sole

Liz Ferro is on a mission to run a Full Marathon in all 50 States to benefit, and raise awareness for, Girls With Sole!

PLEASE – donate today – create your own fundraising page – run with me around the US in any marathon you would like to do (many races also offer the Half Marathon distance if you would like to take part, but 26.2 isn’t for you!) – your funds and efforts will help girls Lace Up for a Lifetime of Achievement!

PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE:

For more information, email Liz at liz@girlswithsole.org
FB_CoverPhoto4

Please share the link and spread the word about 50 States For Sole!

GWSPoster

Girls With Sole is so grateful and proud to be the recipients of this year's HB Carnival! "Party In The USA!"

Girls With Sole thanks Hathaway Brown for Carnival and much more!

Girls With Sole is so grateful and proud to be the recipients of this year's HB Carnival! "Party In The USA!"

I’m glowing with happiness and pride as the HB girls present Girls With Sole with a fabulous and heart-warming gift

For the last 25 years, Hathaway Brown students have brought the community together to celebrate as the school year winds down with an incredible event that they call Carnival.

This annual benefit, is sponsored, planned and completely run by HB’s senior class- who also makes the important decision of choosing a non-profit to benefit from the event’s proceeds.

They chose Girls With Sole, and for that we are quite proud and eternally grateful!

For Hathaway Brown, Carnival is a time to get together with friends, family, and classmates to enjoy good food and good fun while raising money for important charitable organizations.  But for Girls With Sole it meant so much more!

The Class of 2013 touched the lives of each of our girls personally, and gave them a gift that will benefit them for many years to come.  

For many of our girls, this was their first attempt at a 5K.  They were outside their comfort zones, and admittedly, nervous by the unknown of it all. 

In Girls With Sole they learn through our programming that running and athletics allows the runner to defeat  doubt trial after trial, growing stronger and more sure of themselves with each footstrike.

It allows the girls to truly climb hills and clear obstacles.

It provides a feeling of empowerment and freedom that comes with knowing that their minds, legs and body are strong and capable…..and if they believe…they will achieve.

Yet, getting a group of teens to not only believe these things, but to actually get up early on a Sunday morning and face their fears is no easy fete, no matter how much “sole” you have!

The HB Class of 2013 created the warmest and most amazing and welcoming environment for each of our girls!

The HB seniors showed such genuine excitement, and took the girls under their wings with integrity and caring leadership skills that adults and teens the world over could learn from. 

From the moment we arrived on campus we felt the caring spirit from every student, faculty member and HB parent we encountered.

As if the entry into the race and completing the 5K wasn’t enough, each Girls With Sole participant was given a special goody bag, breakfast, and free carnival games and prizes that could easily light up the darkest night!

 

Some of the students were able to run with our girls and encourage them to keep going, as well as, act as personal mentors for the day.

The girls crossed the finish line with pride and smiles wider than the Montana sky, and because of how special HB made them feel, their fears were forgotten and replaced with empowerment.

Each one of them wanted to know when they could race again, and many talked about “When we come back to do this next year…..”

The mind, body and soul connection was made today- thanks to all that the HB students have done for our organization and our girls.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and wish you all well as you graduate, and continue to “Lace Up for a Lifetime of Achievement!” 

 

 

Positively Powerful

 

Being positive or negative are habits of thoughts that have a very strong influence on everyone’s life.

Being an athlete makes us strong and healthy in mind, body and soul. Athletes have more optimism than non-athletic people, and are better able to focus on the positive – even when their lives get turned upside down.

Athletic and fit people with optimism train hard, push through the rough spots, and refuse to give up despite obstacles and losses

Positive attitudes not only affect a person’s mood – they also strongly influence one’s health and vitality.

Our bodies are controlled by the brain. If the brain thinks positively, that energy will radiate into the body as well.  If you tell yourself you can’t take one more step during a long run…the legs will listen to your negative thoughts, and you will most likely need to stop.  Instead, if you tell yourself you can do it – no matter what- and remind yourself that this is nothing new; you’ve done this before (and have probably felt much worse at some point in your training or your life) – you “magically” have the strength to keep moving forward!

Want to gain even more power?

Pass along the positive magic to others!  Not only will it make you feel even better –  it also helps to spread a chain reaction of optimism.

It may seem small…and maybe even silly….but give it a try sometime!  Don’t hold back!

Positive vibes beget positive vibes. Simply smiling at someone can change their whole day and their perspective, and create a ripple effect of encouragement and elation.

 

When I’m out on a training run and I give a smile, a head nod, or Peace sign to fellow runners, riders and people out getting their exercise -it actually boosts my own energy!  The effect is more greatly intensified when the person smiles and nods back.

Simple yet powerful – it’s a gift that will keep on giving. 

A gift that brings brightness to the eyes, more energy and happiness.

Athletes who share the gift out on the road or race course begin to see how the optimism sparked during the workout continues to burn warmly and brightly in all areas of their lives. 

Spark a flame of optimism today!  Light a fire in your heart that can warm the hearts of others!