I love it when it’s not about me. I get my biggest thrills out of the positive experiences of others. It’s fun to see people succeed. Especially those close to me. I take no credit, for all I can do is encourage. It is up to the person to make the choices necessary to succeed.
Today was such a day. Today I was the spectator, the coach, the encourager, the picture taker. Today, my entire family ran their first organized races. My wife ran her first 5K. My 10 year old son ran his first 1 mile race. My 4 year old daughter ran her first race as well (150 yard tot trot). And it was a huge thrill for me. Whether it was because I influenced (infected? addicted?) them in some small way or not does not matter. They all did great and I am very proud of them.
My daughter recovered from a sinister plot by twin 3 year olds at the starting line to hinder her by stepping (accidentally… or so they claimed) on her shoe and knocking it off. Although shaken by this devious lack of sportsmanship, she recovered to finish just fine and proudly displayed her finishers medal to all who would look (and some who wouldn’t).
My son, who admittedly I was worried about due to lack of training, was wonderful. He stuck it out on a hot course, had a big kick at the end and after claiming his medal, immediately demanded a popsicle…! He also admitted to me that he wanted to do more races… COOL!
Then there was my darling wife. Nervous, excited, anxious… It was beautiful. She took off with the crowd, stuck to her pace (with a little nervous speed in the first mile…!) and beat her time like a pro. She finished in 30:46 (9:55 pace), even with two overexcited children (yes, they were mine) nearly tripping her trying to run with her…! She finished happy and confident.
We all need positive experiences to make us feel better about ourselves. Running, for all of it’s frustrations and difficulties, can give us more of those positives than any other sport if we just relax, have fun and let it. Sometimes they are ours… but today they belonged to someone else and it was a joy to watch. Although I will admit… I got happy feet when the racers started crossing the finish line. I gotta find a race and get back into it…!