I am an avid runner, logging approximately 12-15 miles most weeks. Yet, I’ve never run a marathon, let alone THE marathon – as in the New York City/ING Marathon. But each year, you can find me on the sidelines in Brooklyn cheering on the runners. I get so excited for them, inspired by the discipline and dedication I know it takes (took) for them to reach this point, and am awestruck by those running with a physical impairment.
By the time the runners reach me, they are about one-third through the 26.2 mile race. Some people are running with ease, while others show visible signs of needing a little boost. And the Brooklyn onlookers certainly don’t fail them there! -;o)
As I reflect on this year’s race, I can’t help but think about the role of cheerleaders in our lives – personally and professionally. They are absolutely invaluable and indispensable!
We may do the work (be that running a race, building a business, nurturing a family, climbing the corporate ladder), but via their belief in who we are and what we are aiming to accomplish, our cheerleading squad provides inspiration, support, reassurance and encouragement. And depending upon the situation, they may also provide a second set of eyes and ears to help us see and hear what we cannot because we are too close to the situation at hand.
I don’t know Maria Lapetina, but I bet she was thrilled to pieces to see this sign as she was nearing the end of her 26.2 mile race. What’s more, what do you notice about the person holding the sign? She is beaming with pride! That’s an aspect of cheerleading that is usually overlooked: How wonderful it makes your cheerleader feel to see you succeed.
For me this photo is a great reminder that what we do for ourselves, we really do for others – our cheerleaders for sure, but total strangers as well.