You Go Girl! Unique JHMS club inspires fun, friends and fitness

(Jackson, Wyo.) - While many young girls in Jackson are busy with sports and activities everyday, some spend the afternoons babysitting their siblings, watching TV or just hanging around the house. Now, with You Go Girl, many spend this time running with friends, taking field trips to Grand Teton National Park and participating in charity races. You Go Girl was started by Jackson Hole Middle School reading support specialist Cathy Parrott and registrar Shelly Paciulli in the Spring of 2012. It started when the women noticed that some girls would mysteriously be sick every time they had to run the mile. They discovered that the girls were self-conscious about running and were afraid that they weren't making improvements throughout the year. "So we ran it [the mile] with them and noticed a few things -- they were trying to keep up with the boys, they didn't know how to pace themselves, and it was just competitive for them and they didn't enjoy that feeling of being competitive," said Parrott. That spurred the initial idea for Parrott and Paciulli. They decided to start an all-girls group that focused on running for fun, exercise and health called You Go Girl. [image: Inline image 1] *Photo h/t You Go Girl / Pitchengine Communities* The group meets once a week during the school year and twice a week during the summer for runs. They also take field trips to Grand Teton National Park and other local trails, and run races for charity like the Spring Runoff last month. St. John's Medical Center paid for all of the girls to run the Spring Runoff and also has provided shirts and sports bras to the girls. "A lot of these girls don't have running gear, so that is what we fundraise for," said Parrott. "If you see our girls out running, you might see them in jeans, Keds tennis shoes or in UGG-type boots." Every girl in the club has a team shirt and, as they raise funds, they provide shoes for the girls who need them. The girls also get prizes for running and exercising on days that they don't run with You Go Girl. "Primarily, most of our girls aren't involved in other sports or activities," said Paciulli. "There is a population here in Jackson that doesn't have access to the club sports, so it is nice for them to have a group," added Parrott. "On rainy days, we do yoga with them. It has kind of tuned into a whole fitness program." [image: Inline image 2] *Photo h/t You Go Girl / Pitchengine Communities* When speaking to a group of girls involved in the club, it is clear that they are in it for more than fitness. Many mentioned that they just love hanging out with their friends, being a part of a club, taking field trips, and winning prizes like backpacks, sweaters, and leggings. "Some of our girls like coming, not because they enjoy running, but they come because their friends are there," said Paciulli. "It's a club, they are part of something and they enjoy it. And then they start to enjoy running." *Feature Photo: h/t You Go Girl / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news