Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Talk About a Revolution...

Matt Harding

Sometime you should ask my daughter Helen to imitate me. It really is one of the funniest things you'll ever see.

She pulls her hair back into a ponytail, rolls up her sleeves and begins this whole routine..."Come on girls...You can do it! Good job...GOOD JOB...Keep going. That's it, Believe in yourself. Never doubt. If you smile you can run stronger. Celebrate the day. Celebrate your body. Celebrate yourself" And then she starts jumping up and down and running in place, dancing and basically looking like a complete and total maniac.

"Helen, is that really what I look like at Girls on the Run?"

"At Girls on the Run? Mom, you look like that MOST of the time," she will respond. "Only more!"

So, I'll admit it. I'm a complete and total goofball when I get around kids. This goofball spirit that manages to lie dormant at most other times of the day just erupts and completely takes over my being..

"Hey sista. What's up? How ya been? Whas crakalackin?" I'll hold out my hand (for a return high-five slap) to just about any third grade girl, anywhere, anytime. Doesn't matter whether she's actually done Girls on the Run or whether I know her...because I want to know her. I WANT TO PLAY!

Over the years, I've learned that being playful isn't something that just happens...we have to make it happen. There is this voice from inside the "Girl Box" that tells girls that it isn't sophisticated or grown-up to play, act silly or be a goofball. You can see it happen around fifth grade. The willingness to just break out into a disco, anytime--anywhere, simply disappears and girls become inhibited and overly concerned with what other people think. They just lose that fun, silly, playful spirit.

Whose fault is that? Is it theirs? I think NOT! I think it is OURS. Heck, if adults were playful, silly and uninhibited more girls would see it, want it and never lose it!

So I ask, I'm telling, I'm demanding you to try this small experiment with me. Seriously...I'm NOT joking. (Even though I have a huge smile on my face, I'm NOT joking!)

I think we need to incite a "Dance Revolution!"

To prepare yourself for our global revolution, you have to watch this video. Come on now. WATCH IT! Take a look and then come back.

On THIS MONDAY...September 21st at 4:00 EDT I want you to break out into whatever level of dance you can muster up. If you are a Volume 10, I want to see an all out full body disco or runnin' man. If you are a Volume 1, I want to see, at least an attempted disco or booty shake. For all of you in between, let it rip. In the words of the King of Pop himself, "Show me what you can do."

If you are so inclined, ask the people around you to join you. "Come on. This is fun. Join me." I have absolutely NO doubt that the retiree standing behind the grocery check-out line would love to disco. She's probably not discoed since she was twelve years old and YOU...yes YOU...will be her liberator.

I have no doubt that the guy fixing the broken pipe under your kitchen sink has NEVER danced while on the job. I'm quite sure there is some kind of rule against that, but ask him anyway. "Come on buddy. Put down that wrench and DANCE!"

Okay, so he will think you are completely crazy. He may even talk about it for the rest of the afternoon...heck the rest of his life...but who cares?

If you can...forward this blog to anyone and everyone you know. Maybe if we are lucky it will make it to the floor of Congress, an international tennis tournament or even a celebrity-attended music awards show.

We need to add a little play to this universe. A little goofball. A little FUN!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR Monday, September 21st for 4:00. Go ahead. Do it! And then around 5:00 (or 4:01 depending on how it went) I expect a report, from each and every one of you that rose up to this challenge and for one minute, on September 21st, 2009 at 4:00 EDT, stepped out of whatever boxes that restrain and confine you, to remind the world that being playful and child-like (rather than childish) is a pretty amazing way to be. (I'll be snapping be prepared to see those on Monday evening!)

Seriously (or playfully), post your comment here and show your allegiance to the belief that if we all just took one minute (or a few) and danced...danced like no one was looking...there might be a lot less finger-pointing, name-calling, shouting at, hearsay and bullying and a lot more attention to the things that really matter, like laughter,compassion and the power that comes when we dance with each other.


  1. Molly, just found out about your organization at my running club meeting in Brandon, FL. I love it! I'll let you know when/where I start helping. Great organization and idea.

    BTW - I am all about the dancing on the 21st. Fun idea! (It may even make my blog!)

  2. Molly,

    Awesome post! I am the student from College of Charleston that talked with your about an internship about 2 years ago. I'm a law student now in DC, so if you're ever in the area, please shoot me an email. I would still love to meet you!

    Thanks! Patty

  3. Molly,

    I hope you see this. I am a father of a now 10 year old daughter. Twice I have tried to sign up my daughter for your Girls on the Run program. I think it looks like a fantastic program and I am sure my daughter would greatly benefit from it. Unfortunately the group that appears to own the program in my area is failing miserably. They have been unresponsive to inquiries and now on two occasions, the program has been cancelled because only 2 girls signed up. I would like to see what I can do to actually get this program going at my daughters school and I am hopeful that I can get the support needed from your organization at a national level to overcome the failings of the organization at the local level. I look forward to hearing some positive feedback. Thank you (