2, 4, 6, 8- who do we appreciate?

I’ve always thought one of the coolest things about completing a marathon must be coming into the final straight with the people cheering along the way. Yes the personal sense of achievment must be awesome, but having people cheering you on must be quite a buzz and make you even more determined.

One of my favourite things that I saw recently was this French prank show who set up a fake winning celebration at the dop of the hill where they’d mob random cyclists and treat them like they were Tour de France champions. On Rude Tube the guy talked about it and explained as a kid he’d always dreamt of winning the race and thought this would be a nice gag to play on people, giving them a taste of that buzz. Here’s some of the footage:

Oddly charming, but you wonder if any of the targets were tempted to really embrace it and play up to it. May as well, isn’t it!

Anyway, the reason I’m thinking about this is because I went for a run today and its amazing what a little bit of encouragement can do for you. I’ve started doing 40 minute runs this week, and today marked my 3rd and it was seriously hard going.

As soon as I set off I had this weird feeling in my calf and foot, and wondered if I had something in my shoe or if I was about to cramp up. Cramping up midrun is one of my big fears. I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to cramp, it really hurts and often I’ll fall out of bed, curse and bang the floor when it hits. It remains one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve ever had.

Luckily there was no cramp but it kind of threw me and for some reason I appeared to get tired at the halfway point, but keeping me going was my new cheering squad.

First of all as I passed this old bloke walking his dog he offered me a cheerful “Keep going, son!” which put a smile on my face and I went on. About 10 minutes later as I passed the same bloke again on my lap he smiled “Well done, mate, you’re doing good! Keep it up!” I thanked him and it really raised my spirits and put a smile on my face.

I mean, yes if I could pick my own cheering squad they’d be different from a van driver and a dog walker, but we can’t always get what we want.

I just think it'd be cool to have your own cheer squad. Don't judge me.

Then as I closed in on the last 5 minutes and was starting to flag a passing van beeped its horn at me and the driver, a youngish bloke yelled encouragement at me as he zipped past. This may have been ironic, but his gleeful expression and arm pumping as he passed made me chuckle and again bucked me up so that I sped up a little for the next section.

So, basically if you see someone out jogging give em a bit of a boost. You don’t have to say anything, just smile or nod. You can go out and give them a “well done” or a “keep going” if you like, trust me it will definitely be appreciated.

Usually my encouragement comes from my music that I listen to as I run, or else my interior monologue which switches between nice, gentle support:

“Well done, Chris, now just keep going. Just think you couldn’t have done this 4 months ago!”

to becoming more of a gruff Seargent Major style bloke when I do flag a bit:

“What the hell do you think you’re doing? Get those legs moving, higher! One foot in front of the other. You thinking of quitting? Well, to hell with that, keep going!”

I don't like this inner voice as much.

I’ve only stopped one run prematurely, which I discussed last week, and I think in a way this is what I’m most proud of, the fact that I have kept going and even when its been cold and I’ve really wanted to just stay in bed watching porn I’ve made myself get out there and run. And regardless of how tiring it is, I always come into the house with a genuine feeling of achievement and well being.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. LLAP

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One Comment on “2, 4, 6, 8- who do we appreciate?”

  1. themadgayman says:

    Congratulations on the running! I know it can be difficult getting into those routines. Keep it up.

    I need to get back to exercising. I do it so I don’t feel so blegh…


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