Last Saturday I dragged my girls out of bed at 5:30 AM. We got ready quickly, grabbed breakfast to go and headed downtown to the Toronto Waterfront 10k. We joined up with the Tribe Fitness cheer station that was located at the 5.5k/8.5k mark and waited for the first runners to head our way. It was one of the best days and now that it’s over I wanted to share why I think everyone should get out there and cheer during a race!
It will inspire you
It was amazing to watch the fastest runners go by looking like they were out for a Sunday stroll! Getting to shout the names of athletes you know you will see in the Olympics was so fun; but as the day went on and the runners became slower and slower, it was pretty inspiring to watch the hundreds of runners who refused to quit. As we stayed until the last walkers made their way by, calling out names and telling them they were doing great; Aimee remarked to me how so many people were saying thank you and then smiling as they passed. Everyone deserves to be cheered for regardless of their speed and everyone needs to learn to cheer for those around us!
It will humble you (or maybe that’s just me!)
As runners ran by in various states of distress, I wondered which one of those runners I most resembled when I run. Judging by many of my race pictures, I generally look like I may puke or pass out at any moment; yet, sometimes I think I look like a superstar! I’ve looked at other runners and thought, “at least I don’t look that bad!” (Don’t pretend you’ve never done that….I didn’t say it was right; just admitting it’s happened before!) As the race progressed I started to realize that the runners I wanted to look like were simply the ones who looked happy. It didn’t mean they didn’t look exhausted or like they were ready to fall over; but they also looked happy! Those runners stood out to me–from the front of the pack; through the middle and right to the end!
It will push you
Cheering during a race might not have you running to the computer to sign up for the next race, but it just might push you to try something new. Maybe you’ll decide to take a walk around the block before bed every night or eat a little bit healthier! Watching other people push themselves out of their comfort zone is sometimes exactly what we need to push ourselves out of ours! Before the race was even over, both my girls were begging me to sign them up for the next 5k I’m doing in July.
We had a blast cheering, soaking runners and being inspired! Knowing that those few hours in the sun made an impact on my kids lives is enough to make me take them to cheer again! I was calling out people’s names as they passed and Chloe said, “do you know ALL these people, Mom?!” I laughed as I showed her that the runners had their names on their bibs! Cheering for people you know is a lot of fun, but encouraging total strangers is also so much fun! Next time you see a sign or an ad for a race, check out the date and see if you can make time to go cheer. You will probably be amazed at what a great time you’ll have!