I’ve heard about Girls on the Run, the after-school running program for girls for years. It was founded by Molly Barker, a graduate of Charlotte Country Day. We are fellow alum there. But only after I had children and moved back to Charlotte in recent years did I realize there’s a program for boys as well, called “Let Me Run” that was founded in 2009 by a former Girls on the Run coach and boy mom, Ashley Armistead.
My three sons aren’t yet old enough to participate. It’s designed for grades fourth through eighth grades. But I’ve got my eye on this program and I’m intrigued. This paragraph on the Let Me Run website has stuck with me:
Let me Run: Our Purpose: We hope to reduce the challenges associated with a lack of emotional expression in pre-teen and teenage boys, which can lead to stress, sickness, disease, addiction, and violence.
“Lack of emotional expression.” It’s a phrase that sounds so simple and yet rings so true. Yes, we boy moms have heard all those terms already like “toxic masculinity” and we’ve heard the negative connonations association with phrases like “boys will be boys.” But here’s somebody who’s actually talking about something tangible that we can do about it and with something as terrific and healthy as running.
Let Me Run is described as an after-school running program that offers a safe space, where boys can be themselves, express their fears and dreams, and feel the power of being connected to others through positive, healthy communication. Sounds wonderful.
They meet twice a week for seven weeks and participate in a 5K run at the end of the season. Let Me Run is now in 30 states across the U.S. In our area, the program is held at 35 elementary and middle schools throughout Charlotte. To browse the list click here, If you don’t see your school or one that’s convenient, you can find out more about starting your own team here. Registration opens for the fall season on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Cheers, Let Me Run! Keep doing what you’re doing!