Shortly after finalizing our 2020 SPRING SESSION of Girls Gone Gazelle our world turned upside down. With the discovery of Covid19 in our communities everything went into lock-down and our in-person training was no longer an option. Coupled with all the closures was a lot of fear of the unknown. As I write this blog I realize there is still so much we do not know. But, we know a little and our world has opened up to include some bubbles and we understand the importance of physical distancing, lots of hand washing and face masks to keep us safe.
“Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” – Elizabeth Edwards
So last March having to cancel our in-training was especially upsetting as we were expanding for the first time beyond Halifax Regional Municipality. Our collective training groups would be the largest ones we ever had training at the same time. There were twenty (20) girls in the Halifax group and thirty-five (35) in the Cape Breton group. … Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. The dictionary further defines resilience as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”
Life during Covid19 has required that many of us adapt. My favorite description is that we have pivoted. And after accepting our largest group of girls into Girls Gone Gazelle Run Club without the ability to train together, we pivoted to virtual training! I went outside my house and filmed as many videos as I could think to do and I posted them weekly. We had facebook event pages dedicated to each group of Gazelles that included the weekly workouts, inspirational posts, video instruction and a lot of leaning on parents to make sure their girls got out to train.
And the best part was seeing how many Gazelles that needed no encouragement from their parents, that got in every single practice (and then some). We asked for photos to see the girls training weekly and we saw so many brothers that joined in. There were moms running, dads running, friends running. It was really cool to see so many girls being active because they were building towards their Sole Sisters Virtual Race and they brought their world with them.
Earlier this summer after some of the restrictions were lifted, we went to Cape Breton with the Sole Sisters Finish line gantry and tent to create a mini-graduation for those Gazelles. The girls did a victory lap in groups of ten to re-create the group race feeling. It was so neat to see!
As we look back at this troubling time, we will always be proud of being able to provide 55 girls with a virtual race, training, tutu and unicorn medal all for no cost to them or their parents! Our hope is that we can find a way to generate revenue in 2021 that will allow Girls Gone Gazelle Run Club to continue to operate and to continue to be free to be free to its participants. We know that we are going to have to create more interactive, virtual options until it is safe to train together and that will require funds we don’t have. But, we are resilient and we’ll find a way. So if you see any Virtual Sole Sisters events, please participate in them to support Girls Gone Gazelle. For example you might want to earn your own holiday themed unicorn medal at the Sole Sisters December Virtual Challenge!