Founded by gO Orthopedics in 2015, the gOgirl Program has been inspiring girls in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley for four years. It now falls under the gO Initiative which helps to educate people of all ages about mountain sports, as well as improve their athletic abilities. However, this program goes far beyond mountain biking, the gOgirl Program also helps to educate young women about nutrition, fitness, and mental health.
The schedule is full of fun activities such as yoga, meditation, swimming, and climbing. In addition, there are also talks with clever titles such as “Shifting: Bike gears & shifting mindsets” and “Maintenance: Bike, Body, & Mind” which illustrate the parallels between mountain biking and the challenges faced by many young women in today’s society. It teaches them how to deal with challenges in an informed, confident matter. Just as when facing a difficult hill when biking, the gOgirl Program encourages girls to face challenges head on and to know that they are strong enough to defeat them. These are all important tools for young women facing a society that can often negatively affect their self-esteem.
Sports can be a powerful thing. Girls who play sports are reported to have a more positive body image and better overall physiological health than girls who do not.
Another benefit of the program is enjoyable time spent in nature which can improve mood and creates an ideal environment for girls to foster close friendships, providing a valuable support system. Overall, the benefits of the program are clear. After all, those who witness the endurance of their bodies when they are able to conquer a tough ride are likely to appreciate just how strong they really are. As teen and pre-teen girls are especially susceptible to the negative effects of social media, this is no small victory.
As the program continues to expand, it remains grounded in its focus on holistic growth. As stated on their website, the initiative provides opportunities to build “strong minds” as well as “strong bodies”. This prepares girls to thrive in the greater communities of our world.
The chance to spend the summer mountain biking, swimming, and doing yoga in the gorgeous mountains? Awesome! But life-long tools for dealing with stress and self-esteem? Invaluable.
Learn more at thegoinitiative.org/gogirls