Cheering it Forward

I’ve been really surprised at how nice people are to me when I run.  Maybe it’s just because I have such a tragic, painful, “I-want-to-die” expression on my face that they can’t help but feel sorry and offer encouragement.

Often it’s as I slog to the top of a hill that a stranger on bike will yell “Way to go!”, or someone walking a dog will clap or give a thumbs up.  It always takes me off-guard.  It honestly gives me a tiny kick of extra energy.  Like “Oh!  Maybe I really can keep going.”

But this morning was different.  As I ran past a woman who looked a little familiar, she clearly recognized me and knew my story.  She knew my half-marathon goal that’s way too big for me.  She gave me a huge smile and a big thumbs up and yelled “You can do it, Laura!”

I was grateful and encouraged, but I was also moved to tears.

Because it hit me like Roadrunner


(not the fast part, the stopping part).

I thought of all the kids whose names I know who are running abominably hard races in Africa, and the many people I know closer to home who are weary and probably want to give up right now.  And I wondered, “Is anyone cheering them on today?  Who’s giving them a thumbs up and telling them they can keep going no matter how hard it is?”

When I got home I made a list and started writing notes.  I want these folks to know that someone “sees” them.  Someone knows their story.  Someone is praying for them.  Someone is cheering them on.

Because a woman on the street knew my story and paused to cheer me on.

Do you know someone hitting the wall who needs a thumbs up today?

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