Most days when we look in a mirror we see our reflection.  When we look in a mirror we usually check to see if our hair is right, our makeup looks good and our clothing fits correctly. We look at the surface. It is rare that we really look at the reflection and see what is below the surface. It is rare that we see what we are really made of but when we take the time to really look…the reflection we see often surprises us. What we see reflected back is who we really are …we see our heart.

Yesterday I woke up and looked in the mirror. My hair looked ok and my outfit matched so I headed off to work. It was a long day with many ups, downs, twists and turns. As I prepared for bed I looked at my reflection again.  This time what I saw reflected back was much more than my outward appearance. This time what I saw was all the love, joy, work, sweat, tears, smiles, pride, and so much more that I had sent out into the world.  My whole heart was open, laid bare and reflecting back to me. 
What is a movie without popcorn?

Several months ago  Girls on the Run asked me to work with a filmmaker to create a video to promote GOTR Chicago. It was a long process but exciting and fun. The interview process got to me focus and put into words all that GOTR means to me. Sharing this process with my daughter, the girls I coach and former teammates was extremely special.  After a period of editing and revising, the video was ready to be shared. I was first able to watch it alone and was moved to …well…a puddle of tears and emotion. I longed to share it with those who participated.  

Our glitter covered red carpet

Yesterday was that day!  We put together a ‘red carpet’ event for the all the girls and families. We shared popcorn and treats as we prepared to see our video. The filmmakers were even able to join us for this special event. As the movie began I saw the girls start to look for themselves and identify our team.  I watched one of my older girls gasp and tear up as she heard her mom speak with pride about all that her daughters had learned from GOTR.  It was amazing to watch the participants watch themselves and feel the emotion of others in the video. 

New tutu for #tutulady

What really astonished me was that so many of us from different schools and backgrounds had common stories and feelings about the program. I learned that was called ‘collective storytelling’. No matter the name, it took my breath away. When the video ended, there was a collective sigh as many were moved to tears and emotionally drained. 

I didn’t want to video to end. I didn’t want those feelings to go away. I needed a way to carry those feelings with me. I needed a way to make the feelings last. So, I asked all in attendance to help the #tutulady create a new tutu. I asked each person to think of a dream, a wish and a prayer and for each to tie a piece of ribbon or tulle onto my tutu. This year, when I run my races, I will run carrying all the dreams, wishes and prayers of my girls and their families with me. Soon we will be able to share this video with the world and you all will see a larger part of my heart. 
So as I looked in the mirror one last time last night, the reflection was stunning and overwhelming. All the time. All the energy.. All the parts of me that I share with Girls on the Run each and every day…it all came back to me in a tidal wave of love. I was overcome… washed away in a sea of emotion. 
This morning my reflection looked a bit different. My reflection had changed and would never be the same again….just like my girls on the run and just like my heart.
The creators and stars of the show!

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