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 well.
Running can be a rather solitary sport, especially if you are not able to train with a team. I try to make connections with people I see at races or run/walk groups and clubs. This has given me some of my greatest friends! I met Leata at a race and Anyce at a walk meetup! Some of my very best running has been done at a race as I was encouraged and cheered by volunteers.
The point? We can accomplish great things through self-discipline and practice. And we are even better together, cheering each other on. Will you join me? If not me, pick someone? And get out there!