I never realized just how important cheering in a race truly is before doing it myself a couple of weekends ago during the Berlin Half.
Obviously during my own few races, I’ve ran past my amazing friends while they are cheering like crazy, got hugs and felt like I can do anything, but I’ve never been on the other side of the race…doing the Cheering.
And it really made me open my eyes to the spirit of races in a new way. It’s another thing to cheer for your friends as they know to wait for you in that one spot, but it’s another thing completely to cheer and help on the ones that you don’t have any personal relationship with.
During the race you see so many different people running, it still amazes me how different really. I will never take for granted how amazing we are as humans with our spirit to go out there and run something like an half marathon. It might be your first or your millionth, but it will always be special. The reasons are different, personal, but the are millions of them.
What I also realized in Berlin was that the people who aren’t running for the PB’s are pretty resilient, maybe more so than the sub 1:30ers, because whilst they might be completely at the end of the pack, and maybe even so far back that the cop cars are behind them to open the road for traffic, they are still there. And being there and still going on, that is very powerful to see!
My voice is almost gone for a good reason, I wanted to cheer and keep those unknown heroes moving on, to smile at them and make them feel that it will be okay, even if it hurts at that moment. And how happy some people looked when they caught your eye and realized that you are cheering them on. How many turned their walk to a run again, that stuff is inspiring!
I think we all should cheer at least once in our lives, because it makes us change how we feel about racing. At least I feel that it did that for me. That simple smile and encouraging look can mean the world to someone who you have never seen before and maybe never will again, but that tiny moment it might be the biggest thing for them. And I wish I can do that for so many more.
When I cheered my friends on, I obviously went batshit crazy, jumped on one friend and hugged him in the middle of his run while he was holding me :D. Giving hi fives, yelling their crew names, being so proud of being able to give them that tiny push in the end of their races.
To get love, you need to give love, and cheering is all about love. We need to see how big of a difference that tiny gesture can make.
I give my hats to all those heroines and heroes who finished the race, you all rock so much!!
Cheering has power, to both receiver and giver! Do it! Scream that love out!