Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Motivational signs

I just ran a half marathon in Nashville, Tennessee.  Yes, three weeks ago I ran a marathon in Paris, France.  No, I'm not on a mission to kill myself.

And the truth is, I don't even LOVE running.  I like how I feel when it's over.  I like being part of something that is "larger than me".  A community of people with common goals.

EVERY time I participate in a sporting event, I think "I hope I'm doing this when I'm 80".  Looking around at a group of people all trying something.  Trying.  Doing.  Less than 1% of the world population has ever completed a marathon.

We forget those things when all our friends are doing it.  When everyone we know does it.  We are just a little "blip" of the world.  All shapes.  All sizes.  All participating in something "bigger".

But something even greater than the participants?  The fans.  The crowd.

The individuals on the sides of the race cheering the participants on.  They are the best.  I don't think they know what it means to have them say "Keep going".

Even though we train - or we don't - it's the "fans" that help us out.

In Paris, after I saw my family, there was a huge group of volunteers all in green shirts saying "Andele, Andele"  (Hurry Up! - in Spanish) Those two things kept me going for at least a mile.

Or the German crowd with "Hop, Hop"  (once again, Go, Go)

And in America, there are signs.  I don't recall any in Paris or Athens - but they are all over the USA.  Signs, that make you smile and take away your thoughts from the pain.

"U are the only TEN-I-SEE"  (took me a few minutes to think why that was funny as there is no "I" in Tennessee)

"I tried running, but I kept spilling my wine"

"All 30-39 males, turn here, I'll show you a short cut"  (from cute girls at a corner)

"The only thing we run is up a bar tab" - from the cute college boys near Vanderbilt

"Go, Elise, Peter and Random Stranger"

"Growing out your bangs was harder than this - keep going"

"Mom, we are hungry - hurry up!"

"Have you seen my dad?"

And how the kids lined up along the way?  You have to give them a "high five" it makes their day.

Or not the sign, but the guy with no legs running on the "running legs" with his Army shirt on.  How can you pass him?  Yet, how can you not keep up with him?

Oh, yes, then there is a lady in a wheelchair on a corner, with her sweater on and a blanket over her legs - she's holding out her hand.  Cheering everyone on.

How can you not, go let her cheer you on?  They tell me, people came from across the street to touch her hand.  Later a random stranger will stop her to tell her thank you for cheering her on - she touched her hand.

But for me, she is my Granny.  She lives in Dallas. I live in Denver. She turns 85 tomorrow. I turn 45 in a few weeks. We are here to celebrate our birthdays together - in Nashville, TN.  Neither one of us had been here before. It doesn't get much more motivating than that.


  1. Oh, if I could only type through the tears after reading this...

  2. Thanks Leasa. I will run my first 1/2 in October. I will think of you when I run.

    1. Run, Chris, Run.... Just remember you've done things harder than this!