Better together

On September 20, I got to work the timing table at one of the events for the Camp Gladiator Finals in Austin.  What stood out to me the most as I watched 6 rounds, with multiple waves each round, was the dedication of the people there that day.  Of course, the competitors are pushing their bodies and challenging themselves by deciding to compete.  But the best part, from my view, was the volunteers.  The event I was timing involved 4 down and back stretches on a football field, with specific functional displays on each straightaway (sand bag toss, shuttle, back pedal, bear crawl, etc.).  There were yellow-shirt volunteers everywhere, cheering and directing.  The other volunteers, in red shirts, were judges.  Here’s the coolest part of it all – each competitor had a judge assigned to them for whatever the functional challenge was.  Well, obviously, Jennifer, they are judges making sure the proper form is used! But wait, these judges would get down on the ground and do the exercise WITH the competitor when the competitor looked ready to give up.  And then, at the end, when there were stragglers, the judges would join in together DOING the exercise and CHEERING the person.  No one was left behind.  In many of these cases, the judges had NO IDEA who the person was. A group of friends went to a Crossfit competition on the same day.  The challenges can go on for a while, but people all over the place are cheering for the person competing.  No one is rushing the competitor to get done quickly, only to finish and finish...

Color versus Boring 5K

Since June 2007, my husband, son, and I have competed in a 5K or 10K every month.  The first couple of years, we had to really hunt to find a race that met our budget (3 entry fees), our schedule (we didn’t want to miss family events) and our travel distance limitations (about a 90 minute drive was our max for a race day morning).  Some months, we really struggled to find one that met all three of our basic criteria! We still use this same criteria today, over 7 years later.  While the options have increased, we still look at our calendar, our pocketbook, and our map to see which one we’ll do next.  What drives us to participate is finding a match on all three. I recently read two articles – one a sponsored post about an upcoming color run and one post about the fun of a 5K. As a runner and race director , I cheered when I read the latter – don’t feel like you have to keep working your way up from a 5K to a longer distance if you are not so inclined – just run your own race. As a runner and race director, I winced and bristled when I read the former – this race is “at the opposite end of the spectrum from your standard, boring 5k.” Why is a standard 5k considered boring?  I can’t think of a single race I have done since 2007 that was boring.  Whether it’s competition with yourself or a resolve you make to finish for a good cause, you bring the excitement!...

The choice

You know that point? Take a right and you’ll be done in 5 minutes.  Take a left and you’ll add on another mile.  Do another round on the circuit?  5 more pull ups? One more lap?  Choices.  Will I wish I’d gone further or did I give it my all today?  I’d prefer to answer in the affirmative on the latter.  But if I don’t today, I can try again tomorrow.  And that’s really the choice I make – to try again tomorrow. See you out...

I see you

I was sitting on the little retaining wall next to the playground and I saw you.  All of you.  Some of you in the park, some of you at the parking lot down the hill.  You were sweating and doing what you could in the moment to do what your coach just told you to do.  And your kids, they knew you were there to exercise.  I wanted to give all of you a high five.  Because if we teach them that exercise is a normal part of life, they become a generation healthier than we are.  And that is a very good thing.  And you planted that today.  Thank...