Cheerleaders 6

The Marathoner

My sister loves me. When I reminded her that I am running the Route 66 Marathon on Sunday, she sent me these photos, with these captions.

These days, when I run a longer distance race, I get all sentimental about the early days. Each mile was a success. I celebrated each run. I felt profoundly thankful for every new running friend I made. So many men and women carried me along on my little journey, I can’t help but get weepy thinking about them.

I stumbled into running, but once I caught my balance, I went headlong. 

And I took my people with me. That’s kind of the point, for me. Running a new mileage, hitting a new time goal, finishing another marathon, those make me feel all warm and glowy inside, and I don’t want to extinguish it.

The Cheerleader

During my last long training run, 20 miles, I stopped for water, and heard a group of women celebrating having run 12 miles. They were so excited and encouraging to each other, I jumped in. As they high fived and giggled, I gave them my crazy lady WAY TO GO.

I’m not worried about the race; I’m more concerned with how my pink compression socks will seriously clash with my eggplant shorts from UR. I’m trying to decide if I want to take my hydration belt to be greener or if I don’t want to bother. But the run? The distance? I got this. Because I have my cheerleaders.

Who are your cheerleaders? For whom are you a cheerleader? What’s more fun?

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6 thoughts on “Cheerleaders

  • Alise Wright

    There are some people that I WANT to be cheerleaders who aren’t, and I think sometimes in my sadness about that, I forget that I have a CRAP-TON of people who cheer me on all the time, both virtual and IRL. They give me permission to dream bigger than I would on my own and they help me actually follow through on those dreams.

    I hope that I am a cheerleader back. This has been something that I’ve had to cultivate, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. I tend to only compliment things that people are doing above and beyond what I expect, so if someone does something well for a long time, I just expect it and stop mentioning it. But we need to be encouraged in our daily stuff, too. When I finally realized this, I made an effort to do this more. I think I’m getting better about it. And it’s definitely fun!

    • Jennifer Luitwieler

      You know, this is a really good point. I do the same thing, too, I think with my kids. I expect certain things, and so forgo the compliments. Even when I know how much a compliment or encouraging words makes my day feel full of all the great things.

      And yes, some people we long to hear from cannot or will not or don’t know how to cheerlead for us. And that is sad. xo

  • Kelli Hughes

    Of course I can totally relate. I, too, will encourage new runners, intermediate runners, super fast runners, etc… I love being their cheerleaders. I’m cheering for you too! Good luck at your marathon!

    • Jennifer Luitwieler

      One of the things I love about runners is that no one is too good to cheer for another, and no one is too low (or too high) to need encouragement. This confused me for a long time about the running community, and then I realized that it’s because we all started somewhere, and we all run our own races, and we all know how brutal and powerful and amazing it can be. I can’t help it but cheer, too. Thanks Kelli.

  • Kelly Kinkaid

    I think my favorite runs these days are the runs in which I’m with someone who is doing something for the first time whether it be their first run, or their first long distance, or they set a new PR. I feed off of this joy. This Route66 I’m running with a woman who at 50 is running her first 1/2 marathon. It’s going to be epic.