By Tiffany Gilbert
Beginning around the age of eight, I would run to my best friend’s house most days of the week. She lived a half a mile away. Once I got there, we continued to run, play outside, and have fun. We did this year-round even with several feet of snow on the ground. I continued running through my teen years, the twenties, the thirties, and forties. Each decade my motivation for running changed slightly, but I always loved the clarity of mind that came with running.
As the mom of three boys and the epidemic in our nation of childhood obesity, I felt a personal obligation to get kids up and moving! “Girls on the Run” is a popular nationwide running program organized by the YWCA. YCDS tried the Girls on the Run program five years ago, but a single gender club at that time at YCDS produced low numbers. Again, being a “boy mom” I wanted a “Boys on the Run” type program or at least a co-ed program. Kristi Spies, YCDS French teacher, shared my passion for running and children. She helped me lead the first co-ed running program at YCDS four years ago. Since that time I have expanded our running enrichment programs to include students in grades K-8.
This spring, YCDS has two After-School Enrichment running programs. The K-5 running club is a running/boot camp program that gets lower school students outside at the end of the school day once a week. During these club sessions we run, jump rope, do sit-ups, push-ups, and many other “boot camp” exercises. We have 26 lower school students currently enrolled. They are a fun and energetic group, and I love to see the smiles on their faces as they enjoy the fresh air, and time with friends at the end of their school day all while being active!
The other running club offering is an Advanced Running Club for students in grades 3-8. This club meets two days a week after-school and heads to the York Heritage Rail Trail and local neighborhoods for a variety of terrain running. During these sessions, we discuss running etiquette, building character, and self-confidence through running. I always tell the kids “I want you to compete against yourself each session, but we are also a team, so we need to support and encourage each other in and out of the running club.”
Whether or not your child is involved in either of these running clubs, I invite you to join us for two upcoming 5k races. You can walk, run or simply cheer on fellow Greyhounds at the Race Against Racism in York on April 28 and the inaugural YCDS Greyhound 5K on May 5.
Tiffany, and her husband, Dave, are parents to YCDS students, Carson grade 6, and twins, Grant and Tate, grade 2. She is also a Naturopathic doctor with an office in York and specializes in the care and treatment of Women and Children.