You always have a thing to give.

Posted: 08/26/2013 in Uncategorized
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So peeps, if you follow me on twitter, then last night you probably saw me post this in #Runchat*:

“My #Runchat brag: I do open calls for anyone needing encouraging words, then I deliver them. If u need encouragement, I’m your girl!”

The organizers asked us to post something about ourselves that made us proud of who we are and this is what I wrote.

It’s okay internet. You already knew I was weird.

It’s a strange thing, to put out an open call to all the world – or as much of it as you’ve reached – and say – “do you need someone to cheer for you? do you need a kind push? someone in your corner? someone to tell you ‘you CAN do this!’?”  I think as we get older, we assume that people who commit to hard goals already have all the confidence they need – they no longer need the clapping and wild cheering that energizes children.  I also think we get less able to ask for what we need in terms of that clapping and wild cheering – we are ‘supposed’ to have the fortitude within ourselves to complete the tasks we’ve trained for. Fierce. independent. Strong. Warriors.

And yet – as friends get ready for the racing season – and several I know are doing Ironman competitions, first half-marathons, first marathons, tenth marathons – I hear the stomach butterflies begin to emerge. People posting about checking and re-checking transition lists, worrying about oversleeping starts, the ohmygodIdidn’tpackthechamoiscream! dreams.  We are warrior grown-ups with very serious goals.  But sometimes, we still feel like the first day of kindergarten inside.

Sometimes we still need to hear from someone else “It’s going to be okay. You got this. You’re ready!”.

A few weeks ago, I was in a great mood going into a weekend – and I threw it to the world Twitter – “Who needs encouragement today? I have encouragement to spare.” or something like that (I don’t even want to read my own Twitter feed that far back to quote it.)  – but anyway – I got a single response.  Someone I did not know.  They gave me a date and a race – even gave me a bib# for athlete tracking – and I made a mental note to follow-through on giving encouraging words. 

Friends, it was pretty cool!

I sent a message 2 days before, the day before – then through the race as I followed along on athlete-tracker. 

What did it cost me? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ‘cept a few minutes of my time. 

What did it give that athlete? Well, only they really know. But I’m going to say, I know what being in a long hard run feels like, and sometimes, the encouragement of someone – even a stranger – can be huge. Knowing someone somewhere is rooting for you – it makes a difference.

I’ve done this same thing again a few times now – cast a net into the interweb asking who needs a kindness from a stranger. Sometimes I get nothing, sometimes someone reaches back and says ME! I DO!  I have yet to regret asking if anyone needs a cheerleader.

I did it again this past weekend and got a single response again – someone doing an Ironman on Sunday. Coincidentally, I knew a few other people doing that race – tracking one more just made it that much more fun for me (even more interesting – this Twitter connection ended up finishing right around the same time as a running buddy of mine – I bet they crossed paths in the race a bunch and didn’t even know it!).  A message the day before, a few messages through the race. I knew she wouldn’t see them until after she was finished, but so what? It still feels good to know someone was pulling for you when you were challenging yourself. Even if you don’t find out until the next day.

So what’s my point in all this?

Everyone needs encouragement to accomplish something.  And for everyone, encouragement is free to give. 

You just have to be willing to reach out your hand in either direction and go for a high-five.  So reach out peeps – put your hands out there – use the internet for something good – and help each other go get the dreams.


* This Twitter thing on Sunday nights called #Runchat, wherein 2 of our beloved running Tweeters (twits? I kid, I kid!) ask five questions related to running and runner-twits from all over the world post out their 140-character answers.  It goes on for all of 20-25 minutes and I think it is FANTASTIC! Not only have I gained followers of my own from it, but I’ve found some really good people to follow as well. It’s like a giant running community HIGH-FIVE to close out the week and start on the next one. Seriously – if you’re on Twitter – check it out.


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