by Rebecca Brewer, Girl Scout and Two-time Runner for the GCNWI Go Getters Bank of America Chicago Marathon Team
I would like to start by stating the obvious:
Marathon training requires time, dedication, perseverance, sweat, and a willingness to get smelly and dirty.
Marathon training connects you to communities of marathon runners, both local and worldwide. Running communities feel warm and huge, and celebrate each person who crosses a finish line, regardless of the distance or time. When all of your friends, family, and co-workers who aren’t runners express that they can’t quite understand, a fellow runner will stand beside you with genuine awe and encouragement.
Now, I would like to discuss the less obvious:
Marathon training is a daily, sometimes hourly, pursuit. Most training is at least 18 weeks long with workouts or runs five to six days a week. Despite all of your dedication and effort to train for the marathon, life insists on continuing.
Your family, home, work, bills, and personal interests will still remain, vying for your time and attention, as marathon training requires more of everything from you: more laundry, more careful time and energy dedicated to meal planning, more sleep, more awareness of your body, more gumption to push through the workout or to stick to your training schedule, more questions… simply more.
Many people have asked why I ran a marathon for Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana not just once, but twice!
Simply saying “the girls” didn’t seem to fully communicate the reasons that resonate deep in my heart about “my why.”
It was around mile 17 of this year’s marathon—when I was cold, aching, feeling low, questioning myself, wondering if I should quit—when I fully realized “my why.”
Being a Girl Scout requires time, dedication, perseverance, sweat, and, sometimes, a willingness to get smelly and dirty. It connects you to local and world-wide communities of Girl Scouts. A community that feels warm and huge; embracing everyone and celebrating each cherished experience and badge or award earned—regardless of how long it took to complete. When all of your non-Girl Scout friends, family, and co-workers express that they can’t quite understand, a fellow Girl Scout will stand beside you with genuine awe and encouragement.
For many girls, Girl Scouts not only provides them with all of that, but a place of respite from bullying, peer pressure, social expectations, and a barrage of media with messages of what they should wear, do, or think.
For many girls, it is also a place of physical, mental, and/or emotional safety. Girls don’t get to quit those races. When a Girl Scout is on a path to earn a badge or a Higher Award, life will insist on continuing around them.
I’ve run for the Girl Scouts in two marathons to show the girls “I feel you;” to remind everyone “Girl Scouts is here and strong;” and to remind myself of the impact Girl Scouts plays in the lives of so many girls.
Today I encourage you to apply to run the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon for Girl Scouts GCNWI. Applications will close on November 27.
When you run with the Girl Scout Go-Getters, you will receive:
- Guaranteed entry into the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
- Once you reach your fundraising goal of $1,250, we will refund your registration fee ($205)!
- Free virtual and in-person training options with Chicago Endurance Sports
- Official Girl Scout Go-Getters team running shirt
- Customizable fundraising page to help reach your goal
- Access to team events
- Access to Race Day Resort on race day (located next to start line with food, drinks, indoor restrooms)
- Fundraising prizes