Friday, April 17, 2009

Encouraging Words

When my friends learned that I ran marathons, I received mixed reactions like, “Wow, that’s amazing. I wish I could run 26.2 miles like you,” to “You’re crazy! Why would you want to run 26.2 miles?”

Unless you participate in an organized run, you’ll never understand the excitement and thrill of being a part of a race. It’s very exciting to be among thousands of runners with a passion for running, and in the midst of the energy that they bring. It’s also heartwarming to be surrounded by an overwhelming number of people who come to see the race. These supporters are out there because they admire what we do. They offer us encouragement and support through claps, whistles, signs, and cheers. This is what keeps us going.

No matter how many marathons I’ve ran, each time feels like my first. I get nervous at the start of every race. It’s common. Afterall, 26.2 miles is a lot of miles to cover on foot. And I never know how my body will perform or how my mind will react at a given point in the race. Only one thing is certain; that there will be supporters, who I can rely on, to offer me encouragement.

Good job Looking good

You can do it

AWESOME you’re almost there

way to go keep it up

I find that cheers help me run faster than I normally would run. When bystanders are sparse, my pace slows a little and my energy drops. But as soon as I hear the cheers of the crowd, my pace picks up, my energy rises, and my face lights up. It’s an instant adrenaline rush- my energy boost that carries me through a couple of miles until I reach the next batch of supporters. I love all the “hoopla” that comes with an organized race. Even if I am at a point of exhaustion, the encouraging words I hear from the crowd, makes me want to push myself a little harder. The cheers drive me to do the best I can in the race. The best I can do is finish.

Nothing compares to the thrill of crossing the finish line. That’s is when I get to experience what it’s like to be a rock star. The crowds grow thick and the cheers get louder. The cheers resognates in me like an echo as I fight to the finish. And when the race is over and I’ve settled into my cozy home after a warm shower, I will relive that final moment. I will recall all the cheers, the congratulatory remarks, and the excitement of the event to experience that feeling of worthiness a little more longer.

“A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” ~ Emily Dickenson

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