Why I Race Like a Girl
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” – Jennifer Lee
Being an athlete sets my soul on fire. I race like a girl because I love being physically active, belonging to a supportive community, and challenging myself. The largest impact on my participation in sport has been the influence of strong female role models.
From a young age, my mother made physical activity fun. She introduced me to my first love, swimming, as an infant. I’ve been a competitive swimmer since age six and completed my first open water swim at age ten. My mother encouraged me to try many sports, like swimming, soccer, skating, paddling, and volleyball. She always emphasized passion over performance.
I began running as a way to cross train for other sports. However, I discovered my enthusiasm for running when I joined Girls Gone Gazelle, a confidence and running club for girls. The founder, and my mentor, Coach Stacy, encouraged me to believe in myself and dream big. I ran my first untimed 5K at the Sole Sisters Women’s 5K, the largest women’s only 5K in Canada. I was hooked and began participating in timed road races. I am happy both running and racing. One of my happiest memories is running my first 10K with Coach Stacy.
Given my love of swimming and running, triathlon became an easy choice. I bought my first road bike last summer and began cycling. Then, I signed up for the Keji Women’s Triathlon; it was an amazing experience. Swimming, cycling, and running are even more exhilarating when combined.
Through the Keji Women’s Triathlon, I learned about iracelikeagirl. I am thrilled to be a member of this awesome women’s endurance team. I am inspired by my teammates and coach, professional triathlete, Angela Naeth.
The Women’s Sports Foundation reports that, by age 14, girls drop out of sports at two times the rate of boys. Further, according to the Canadian Health Survey 2007 – 2011, only 2% of girls aged 12 to 17 are getting enough physical activity. This makes me sad because sport has given me so much. Female-centric events like the iracelikeagirl 5K, and female-only events like the Sole Sisters Women’s Race Series and Keji Women’s Triathlon are important in promoting girls’ participation in sport.
This spring, I’m returning to Girls Gone Gazelle as a junior coach. I’m excited and grateful to share my love of running with other girls. I hope to help them develop a love of physical activity and encourage them to pursue their goals.
“Little girls with dreams become women with vision.” – Unknown