Today we're shining a spotlight on Kara Steger, a Girls on the Run NYC 5k Volunteer who's also raising funds for GOTR programming! Kara, we are excited to see you at the 5k and grateful for your support to help us reach more girls!
Why did you decide to be a SoleMate fundraiser for Girls on the Run NYC in addition to volunteering at this fall's 5k?
I participated in my first Girls on the Run 5k this past summer. I had so much fun just giving as many girls as possible a high five and seeing the looks of joy and accomplishment on their faces, that I knew that I would be a part of all of the Girls on the Run races thereafter.
What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
Running is a solo sport that allows you to time to think and reflect and grow as an individual. You can set personal goals and accomplish those goals or you can just run to have time to yourself that nobody else can infringe upon. Running can also be something that is shared with a group or team that enables you to socialize but also teaches you the importance of rooting for your peers to meet their goals. I think the Girls on the Run program teaches girls from a young age how to (a) set goals and achieve them (b) take time to reflect on life and be thoughtful about every step one takes and (c) to remember to cheer for others to succeed. These lessons are not only worthwhile but invaluable.
Tell us a little bit about your running history!
I come from a running family: my mom and sisters and brother all run and even my dad runs a little. I was more of a drama/debate/student government nerd who discovered the joys of running later in life. I may never be as fast as my sisters (although I hope one day to be as fast as my sisters), but I have found that running every day and running marathons once or twice a year gives me personal goals that I can always work towards. When my job is frustrating or something is not going my way, running is always there and the results and benefits are measurable in a way that so many things in life are not. Everyone should have something that offers that type of certainty in life.
What do you do to be healthy, confident and joyful?
I run every day. I also eat healthy most of the time which makes me feel less guilty that French fries and ice cream sundaes are my favorite foods. Not having to feel guilty about eating the French fries and ice cream when I want them makes me feel pretty joyful.
What words of encouragement would you share with a girl participating in her first 5k?
As cliched as it may sound, the most important thing is to enjoy the experience. If you run for the fun of it (I call it the “Forrest Gump” method of running -- to just run the way you want to run and enjoy the journey), the race will feel like a victory. Also, you will be with a bunch of other people who are also out there to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes with running and finishing a race, and their joy will be contagious. Soak it in.