Girls just want to have fun; women's running group strives for many goalsSelf-discovery, empowerment and mental fitness are three things that Go Girls strives to achieve when members join the women’s running program in River Falls. Kristi Wagner is the founder of Go Girls.
By: Ashley Hall, News Intern , River Falls Journal
Self-discovery, empowerment and mental fitness are three things that Go Girls strives to achieve when members join the women’s running program in River Falls.
Kristi Wagner is the founder of Go Girls.
Wagner created it because she wanted to have confidence, empowerment and self-discovery for herself.
The group started with six participants. Now it has grown to over 60 women.
“I was in a mid-life rut and my friend, and I ran a 5K and it surprised me how profound that was to me and it lit me up,” Wagner said.
With Wagner’s husband and daughters supporting her, Wagner created Go Girls.
Wagner is a part-time professor at UW-River Falls and teaches exercise psychology.
She is also a former UWRF track coach and is the River Falls High School track coach.
“I understand running and fitness,” Wagner said. “My goal is to try and make it fun for those who do it.”
Go Girls is a women’s running group that was set up by women for women. Go Girls has members of ages that range from 30 to 65. However, there is no age limit.
“Once you are a Go Girl, you are always a Go Girl,” Wagner said.
This program has changed lives. Some members have gone back to school and achieved ambitious goals like doing a full marathon, Wagner said.
Go Girls is a River Falls local program. It’s sponsored by Bo’s and Mine on Main Street.
“Go Girls gotta go to Bo’s” is the slogan that Bo’s and the Go Girls created to showcase the support from Bo’s.
The cost to be a part of this life-changing program is $175 for 10 weeks. This price includes a “Remember” bracelet, Go Girls T-shirt and instructional classes at the Wellness Center located at the River Falls Area Hospital.
Wagner believes that knowledge is empowering and teaching about the correct or right way to stay fit and build confidence is vital to the process of the self-discovery.
“Officially we meet once a week but the women start to take ownership of the program and meet outside the classes through Facebook or email,” Wagner said. “I try to stay in their mind and in their head a lot.”
Through Wagner’s experience teaching, she has discovered that women are two times as likely to exercise with social help and that is another goal of Go Girls, to make it very fun and very social.
Though the program is about running and exercise, it is not the main goal.
“It is not just fitness,” Wagner said. “The main goal is self-discovery and encompassing that into their lives. What a beautiful thing to teach.”
Shauna Knott is the assistant wellness coordinator at the River Falls Area Hospital. She has worked alongside Wagner for five years.
“She works on trying to get everyone on the same page by working on the same goal,” Knott said. “It’s magical!”
Another big factor in Wagner’s inspiration was her daughters, 15 and 16 years old.
“I wanted to be an example to them,” Wagner said.
Go Girls trains for the Turkey Trot and the River Falls Days run. The Go Girls will be running in the two mile along with a new group, Go Kids. There will also be some members running in the 10K -- both events start at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Go Kids is a new program that Wagner started for children of any age. The cost is $50 for three classroom sessions, River Falls Days run and a T-shirt.
The overall outcome that Wagner wants to get across to the women and kids of both programs are for them to realize that they can do it.
“You insist to yourself that you can get that done,” Wagner said. “It’s a disservice to one’s self to cap your own abilities.”
To enroll in the Go Girl program or in Go Kids, go to their website at www.gogirls.us or email Wagner at Kristi@gogirls.us
Wagner plans on offering Go Girls in different communities in the future like Hudson and Stillwater, Minn.
The program has been well received at a local level but has been tough to get people’s attention because it is not all about exercising.
Said Wagner, “Fun is our concept!”