Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Runner Spotlight: Molly Barker

Molly Barker, Founder Girls on the Run International and The Red Boot Coalition
Team GP2C has a new team member for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February!

Molly Barker is the founder of Girls on the Run International, the program that uses running to empower girls. She will help us power the flower on the course to raise awareness for Rett Syndrome! In addition, we are honored to have her as our guest speaker for our team dinner.

She inspires people with her work daily and we can't wait to share our weekend with her.

A four-time Hawaii Ironman triathlete, Molly used her background in social work, counseling and teaching to develop the GOTR in 1996. The program has served a million girls and earned her numerous accolades, including the Daily Point of Light Award, given by President Obama and Former President Bush in a ceremony at the White House.

After retiring from the organization in 2013, she was asked to join the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Political Reform, a Washington group seeking ways to bridge the political divide in Congress. By the time its 29 members of the commission made recommendations, however, Barker had decided the real problem was bigger than Congress. It was all of us.

That was when she began formulating an idea for The Red Boot Coalition, a new organization whose name was inspired by the gift of a pair of red boots from her daughter Helen.

In August 2014, Molly put those conversation-starting red boots to task and set out to get to the root of what was causing these polarizing conversations. From Charlotte to Las Vegas she listened to hundreds share their fears, concerns and hopes.

“Ultimately, leadership comes down to one very simple question,” she wrote in the telling of her cross-country journey. “Am I willing to make the effort to see, to listen, to look for the humanness that rests within each person I encounter?”

Molly is the mother to two children:  James, a fashion designer in New York and Helen, a bass player in Charlotte.  When asked recently what her mom does for a living, Helen responded, “My mom listens and loves people for her living.”

Molly shares, "I am honored to be a part of Team GP2C!  I believe so much in what Girl Power 2 Cure is all about and am hopeful that with their support, all those challenged by Rett Syndrome can look forward to a cure."

We asked Molly a few questions for this runner spotlight:

How long have you been running and what got you started?
I started running when I was about fourteen. My mom started running in her early 50's and I would run with her. Our time on those runs created a sacred space where I felt felt safe to be myself.

What inspired you to run with Team GP2C?
I am friends with Ingrid Harding. I have known about Girl Power 2 Cure for many years. Our paths crossed recently and she reached out to me to see if I could attend his year's event.

Share a few lines of your favorite running song at the moment!
From Seal's "If it's in my mind it's on my face"

If I could fly, I'd spread my wings
In time to free you from these foolish things
And we won't be back for sure
If it's in my mind, it's on my face
Wish I could take you to another place
And we just might miss your call

What would be a perfect afternoon for you? Sitting out in a small Adobe house in the middle of the desert in spring time. Having some tea and then heading out for a long run on dirt trails, far from the city and people. Follow that up with a delicious meal and watching a Netflix movie or reading a kids by my side.

Share one quote or saying that inspires you to keep going."This too shall pass." "And wherever you go, there you are."

Thank you Molly! See you in February!

Want to learn more about our Disney Princess weekend and come to our team dinner?