I've been asked to tell the story of W.O.O.T. It's like telling the story of your baby, sort of. Of creating something out of your heart and watching it bloom.
The Undramatic story of Women Out On Trails.
Undramatic. That is an important key word. My mission was to create women's community that had no drama, no gossip, no rivalry between other women. I wanted a place where other women could join and be herself; not a Mom, a Wife, a Marine, an Airman, a whatever she is in every aspect of her life. The group had to be supportive of every woman, any age, any shape and any pace. We are all very different yet contribute wonderful aspects to the group and that's where the strength comes from.
I wanted them to experience the memory of what it felt like to play outside, like when we were little kids and didn't have the life stuff that we all juggle everyday. Remember making mud pies, drinking out of the hose, running with reckless abandon? That's it, the good memories of play that we miss out on today.
Welcome to our (neo) Tribe!!
See if this sounds like anyone you know:
Homo sapiens is a social animal. As a species, we are designed to live in small, stable, close-knit tribes or communities. In modern Western cultures, since the industrial revolution, there has been a significant rise in social isolation - in the fragmentation of traditional communities and kinship networks. More of us are living alone, often in big cities, working long hours and experiencing a profound sense of alienation and insecurity. But the need for social bonding, the 'tribal' instinct, is a deep-rooted part of human nature, hard-wired into the human brain by our evolutionary heritage, and there is convincing evidence that individuals in post-industrial societies are striving to re-create these community bonds, forming 'neo-tribes' and 'pseudo-kin' relationships. (Preface: The nature of friendship - By Kate Fox, http://www.sirc.org/publik/girl_talk.shtml)
Many of us, are now separated from family, our long time friends and the social network we used to have. Yet, we need that bond with other humans, especially with other women and onto that next...
Women only, most of the time.
I love the other gender. My dad is one of the greatest people I know and my husband is downright amazing. But I work with them all day and used to train with them too. I found myself missing girlfriend chats, like when I was younger and talked for hours about important matters like boys, and how hard school was (ha!) and boys. I missed my best friends social hour. And that is what WOOT is for me; my active, social hour(s) that fly by and keep me motivated and trying new challenges. I got my best friends social hour back and get to run outside and play. Just like winning the friend lottery!!
Over the last 7 years, I have led approximately 315 Saturday morning W.O.O.T. runs. Holy moly, that is a lot of runs!! I am blessed to be joined by amazing Women every single week. Thinking back, I love the memories of all the different conversations we've had and things I have learned about others. Thank you for joining me out there. If not for you, I would be the crazy woman running hours lost in the jungle every week. Being together lost in the jungle, makes it sound much more legit!
And then there are the Leaders who volunteer their time to lead other women out there. No good reason for them to do that, and yet they do. Thank you to them!!
That is the beginning of our WOOT story and a bit of the why. I selfishly wanted an undramatic, active, social hour with the most amazing women playing outside on Trails.
Sincerely, Thank you for joining me.
p.s. I know undramatic isn't a word, and it should be.