The last week of our triathlon training programs, we host a mock triathlon for our athletes so they can practice putting all 3 sports together to get ready for their upcoming race. Last year, as we were finishing up a mock triathlon for our She Tris training group, one of the ladies in the group came across the finish line and said, “Thank you for cheering for me! No one ever cheers for me!” Her statement caused me to pause and I didn’t know what to say right away. She had shared that she had a rough year going through a divorce and was finally doing something for herself. Then I thought maybe she never put herself in situations where people could cheer for her? But could that be right? Don’t we do things almost every day where you could use an “atta girl” or “go girl” to push onward? That just shouldn’t be that a person never gets cheered on.
A few months later a friend that I met through Tri it for Life was taking on her first full Ironman distance race and shared with me that she was really perplexed by those who questioned her ability to do the distance and questioned why she was doing this race. And again I thought, “Why? Why do we do this to each other?”
Even this weekend while I was running the Charlie Post 15K race, there was a volunteer that I saw at 4 different points. The race got really spread out and at some points I couldn’t see anyone in front of me or anyone behind me. This woman just watched me run by all 4 times without saying a word. I thought, why wouldn’t you cheer someone on? Perhaps she didn’t feel like it? Perhaps she thought I didn’t need it? Oh, but I did. The infamous Peggy Klimecki cheers carry me far every time she’s out there. And Coach Chris Bailey, even though I’m not one of his runners, always cheers for me and yells, “Eyes up!” And he’s so right! And it helps! I so need those cheers. We all do.
As we head into another Tri if for Life season, an incredible organization that is a big part of my “why”, it is filled with women that cheer non-stop for one another for 16 weeks and beyond. I encourage everyone to cheer anyway – even if you don’t think she needs it, even if you don’t feel like it. Make yourself do it. Cheer anyway. We all need it.