Maine Girls on the Run 2024

You couldn't have asked for a better day for the Spring 2024 celebratory 5K for the Maine chapter of Girls on the Run to go off. Barely a cloud in the sky, sun shining, insanely high spirits, and close to 1,000 young Maine girls finding their inner star power and crushing a 5K.

It was truly a perfect day -- which makes this one comment made during the second session of the celebration a little puzzling, because it seemingly came out of nowhere and also a bit unwarranted.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

Look, I'm not going to blast you in this article. That's not my style in general (well, not mostly, anyway), plus you truly seemed a bit upset when you came up to me to make your -- what felt like a totally random -- comment.

Hi. Yeah. I know you're all about the Girl Dads and stuff, but maybe you should show some attention to the Moms here, too, because they're always the ones showing up. Just something to think about.

I don't know what caught me off guard more, honestly. The fact that you said it with a bit of stank in your voice with your whole chest, the fact that you were assuming I was "all about the Girl Dads" after making 2-3 comments about some of the dads there to support their girls over the course of 3 hours, or the fact that you came at me with your comment as I was on a microphone encouraging the girls running the race to keep pushing around the final turn and take the last few steps to cross the finish line.

So let me try and explain to you why I was "all about the Girl Dads" during some of my announcements leading up to the 5K starting.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash
Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

You said it yourself and you're 100% correct -- Moms always show up. And not that they don't deserve recognition, but at least 75% of the parents supporting their kids at both Girls on the Run sessions were Moms. Because again -- they always show up. My Mom is my best friend, because for my entire life and even as you read this, she always shows up.

So, you weren't telling me something I didn't already know. But, for reasons that are quite frankly not your business, I have a soft spot for Dads that not only show up for their girls on such an important day like any celebratory Girls on the Run 5K is, but the Dads that go above and beyond and dress the part, run the 5K with their daughters, and will do something as silly as dancing to Taylor Swift with their daughters.

Because although it's gotten better over recent years, the stigma around men (or at least, one that was present for a while) is that they're supposed to be the tough and rugged protectors. Emotionless and strong. The exact opposite of someone that would shed that stigma and dance shoulder-to-shoulder to Shake It Off with their daughter.

To me, that says their reputation and what anyone watching thinks doesn't matter -- the only person whose viewpoint matters is the person they're dancing with. To me, it teaches a lesson that, yes, Moms always show up, but in a world where, let's face it, men aren't always the greatest to women, it shows that young girl that men do show up for women while also teaching them to settle for nothing less as they grow up.

(Not to mention half of my "girl dad" banter was jokingly roasting some of the dads in the crowd for having some of the most stereotypical "dad rhythm" ever.)

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

I didn't owe you any explanation, but on a day that was so filled with positive energy and great vibes, your comment certainly stood out. The day wasn't about your thoughts, the day wasn't even about any fluff I was saying on the microphone to fill time.

The day was all about those girls celebrating how far they've come, and the people that helped them get there. Girls on the Run coaches, mothers, and yes -- fathers, too.

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