I’m The Runner Cheering All The Other Runners Across The Finish Line

image - Flickr / Hsiuan Boyen
image – Flickr / Hsiuan Boyen

I’m always looking to help out, to pass along a little positivity wherever I can. Like when I’m running a race. I get it, you’re not in great shape, maybe this is your first 10k or whatever, so I’ll give you some support. You’ll see me bright and early, I’ll be the one doing practice laps across the starting line. I’ll give you a high five. I’ll tell you, “Good luck out there! You’re going to do great! Don’t worry about your time! Just keep going! Don’t forget, don’t give up, because I believe in you!”

It’s a nice gesture, giving people a little motivation, maybe a few pre-race tips. I like to find runners beforehand that I can kind of tell haven’t really had too much race experience, I give them helpful hints like, “Make sure you’re striking the ground with the front of your foot instead of the heel! This is going to help your knees in the long run, trust me, I’ve been running for years! I’ve run thirty-eight marathons! I’m training for an ultra right now!”

Once we get going, trust me, everybody needs that occasional boost, and I got you, I carry all of these energy gel-packs in my running fanny-pack. Do you want one? I can give you one. Save it for about a quarter of the way through, and then down the whole thing. Just try not to litter, OK? You really shouldn’t litter during a race. You know what? I’ll probably have crossed the finish line already, and so if you see me running backwards along the racecourse, you can just hand me the trash, I’ll throw it away for you.

That’s another thing that I do, when I finish, I like to immediately turn around and start running in the opposite direction, cheering on everyone else who hasn’t finished yet. It’s great, you might be struggling, each step getting progressively harder, you’re sweating, out of breath, and then you’ll see me, I look like I haven’t even broken a sweat. You’ll get inspired, you’ll think, wow, that guy right there is living proof that anybody can do this.

“Dig! Deep! Do not give up! Like I said, look out for me running backwards. It’s a nice way to cool down, to watch all the people I’m inspiring to finish the race.”

Anybody that dedicates themselves to my level of training, of course. But you could do that. It’s possible. And you, and you too. That’s what I’m thinking when I’m cheering you on, “Go for it!” I’ll always say. Or another good one is, “Keep going! You can do it!” and I can just tell by the pained expressions on your face that you want to quit right there, like you feel like you can’t do it, that it would be so much easier to just walk the last half mile or so. And that’s why I like to get right in your face, just nothing but encouragement, “You’re almost there! Only point four miles left! Don’t stop now! Great work!”

Because you can do this. You don’t think I’m feeling any pain when I’m running? I mean, sure, I don’t look like it. And yeah, it’s only a 10k. Did I mention that I’m a marathon runner? Did you see that car in the parking lot with the thirty-eight 26.2 bumper stickers? That’s my car. I ran thirty-eight marathons. Did I tell you that I’m training for an ultra? Now that’s some serious pain. I’m not even joking when I say you have no idea, absolutely nothing in your life that could even serve as a base for a comparison. But it doesn’t stop me, I never give in to that voice telling me no, I keep going, I start cheering myself on, I’m like, “Come on Rob!” I scream it out loud, I clench my teeth and I dig even deeper. You’ve got to dig deep.

So just keep that in mind, your own challenges, your own personal struggles. Dig! Deep! Do not give up! Like I said, look out for me running backwards. It’s a nice way to cool down, to watch all the people I’m inspiring to finish the race. And sometimes some of the other top tier runners will do the same thing, and then we’ll all kind of have like a race-after-the-race race backwards, which, there’s no real finish line there, but still, if they’re getting close, I like to really push hard, sprint way back to the start, motivate as many runners as I can along the way.

And when I get there first, I immediately stop and turn around, like now I’m running forward again, but this time I’m cheering on the other finishers running backwards, I’m saying stuff like, “Great job! Way to inspire! Keep on motivating!” like I’m the source of even more positive energy, like it’s just sending ripples of good vibes outward.

Did I tell you about that Iron Man I was training for a while back? Man, I don’t care how fast you’ve run a race, you haven’t felt anything until you’ve done an Iron Man. Just think, if he can do it, I can do it. I’m talking about me. And you. Just keep it up. Don’t stop, because you’re doing great. We’re all doing great. What a great race! Great job cooling down! Way to stretch it out! Don’t forget to eat those recovery bars! And make sure to take an ice bath! All the pros take ice baths! I just took two, and seriously, I’m feeling just at the top of my game, just great, just absolutely terrific! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog