A couple of weeks ago I received an email about one of my favorite blogger’s latest post. The title of Olive To Run’s latest literary bit of genius caught my eye as I had seen the same subject pop up on Twitter. Runner’s World had released an article about whether or not you should encourage another runner when you pass him/her. Forgive me if you’ve already read this subject to death, but I feel compelled to throw my two paws into the ring on this one.
After reading both sides of the argument, I actually agree. With both of them. Here’s why. And forgive me if my opinion offends thee.
Scott Martin (and no, I’m pretty sure it’s not the Scott Martin I went to high school with), was having one of “those” races. You know the type. We all have them. The kind where we question why we didn’t just stay in bed that morning. Martin was begging for mercy from a hill two miles into the race and got passed by a kid. Now, that right there would be enough to aggravate me. My fragile ego has a hard time dealing with much younger kiddies passing me during any race. Honestly. It just ticks me off. Don’t ask me why, it’s just one of my weird idiosyncrasies. But if I had been in the same position as Martin and been passed by a kid who sounded like he was out for a Sunday stroll, at the most inopportune time, and was called “sir”, yeah…I’d be crushed too. Along with quite a few other not-so-kind adjectives.
Now don’t be mistaken – I’m all for a well-timed attaboy or you got this. I just don’t want it coming from some young, speedy gazelle who’s making my sweat-laden odor-rific effort look like it’s entirely unnecessary. The only thing that will encourage is my will to go all-out ninja. And kick you. Hard.
HOWEVER…far be it for me to turn down a well-intentioned pat on the back from a fellow Team runDisney-er, WI.S.H.-er or anyone else who is at least legally old enough to enjoy the nuances of a well-constructed margarita, glass of Cabernet, or homemade brownie and ice cream.
I’ll be the first one to encourage someone who looks like they’re having a crappy race, regardless of how much of a mess I am. That’s what makes this insanity so much fun. Camaraderie and encouragement is what keeps us going, whether it be during a race, in training, or on social media. I love reading about peeps who just went out for their very first run ever. Or someone who nailed a PR. Or about a young girl who walks with crutches and completed a 5k. Now THAT is the kind of stuff encouragement is made for. And THAT is why runner’s efforts should always be acknowledged. Unless of course, you’re not old enough to buy a beer. Yet.
Enjoy the ride.
Are you open to encouragement? From anyone? Do you freely offer it?