LOCALS WE LOVE: GIRLS ON THE RUN’S MOLLY BARKER

The naturally stunning, self-proclaimed tomboy Molly Barker is a firm believer in women celebrating who they are starting at a young age and we couldn’t agree more.

The naturally stunning, self-proclaimed tomboy Molly Barker is a firm believer in women celebrating who they are starting at a young age and we couldn’t agree more. The founder of locally grown and nationally established Girls On the Run indulged us recently by agreeing to be featured in this week’s Locals We Love. Read her feel good interview for a dose of encouragement and inspiration below. PS. We can’t possibly pick a favorite answer from such a wonderful interview but we more than appreciate her “Ah-ha” moment… so wise Molly!

GG: Tell us what inspired you to found Girls On the Run?

MB: Growing up a tomboy in the 70′s wasn’t, at least from my young perspective, valued by my peers.  So I stepped into the “Girl Box.”  The Girl Box is a phrase I coined to describe the imaginary place some girls go around middle school, where they begin to conform to a set of standards that are not only unachievable, but can be detrimental to their health and well-being.

I was 32 when I realized that I no longer needed to conform to any gender stereotype and followed up three years later to start Girls on the Run.  The program is designed to give girls the tools to celebrate, honor and embrace who they are.

GG: Tell us about your first significant “Ah-Ha” moment in your career?

MB: This may sound silly, but about three years in, I realized that there really are people in the world who love excel spreadsheets and accounting.  This meant I could actually find and hire people who loved to do the things I was not only insufficient in knowing and doing, but that I didn’t like as well.  In essence I realized that by asking for help and getting it, I was giving someone the chance to joyfully do what they love to do!

GG: When away from the office what can you be most likely found doing?

MB: Running, yoga, hanging with my kids.

GG: What projects are you most proud of both inside AND outside your profession?

MB: I’m currently in the process of creating, with a group of fantastic supporters, a new program, designed to address our nation’s (heck our globe’s) current state of hyperpolarized dialogue (and behavior) in religion, politics and economics.

For one full month this past summer, I set off on a cross country journey to ask Americans, from all walks of life, what they thought was going on in the world…the spiraling sensation woven into the fear, polarized dialogue and the us versus them perspective adopted by so any of our larger institutions.

Set to launch in mid October, the Red Boot Coalition will provide people from a wide spectrum of beliefs, to come together and address the fear and anger  we see so rampant across not just our nation, but the globe.

GG: What local cause most has your heart?

MB: Girls on the Run of course.

GG: What little known tidbit about you would the Charlotte community get a kick out of knowing?

MB: I am truly terrified of heights.  In a couple of years, I’m going to need to hire someone to drive me through the mountains and across really high bridges.  🙂

More than moved by Molly’s words of wisdom and interview? Learn more about how to get involved with Girls On the Run here and the Red Boot Coalition here