Yes we run 5k’s, 10k’s , Halves and maybe even full Marathons… Not everybody gets it, some people think we’re weird, crazy and even masochist. Maybe we are a little bit…
My mom came with me to the Dopey Challenge 2015 in Disney World and it was freezing outside (below 40s), I was ready to leave at 4:00 am and she just turned to me from under the covers and said “It’s so cold outside, you don’t have to do this …” And that’s the thing we know we don’t have to, but we want to!
It’s quite common for non-runners (family/coworkers/friends) to praise us and admire our guts, they tell us we are amazing athletes and they wouldn’t be able do what we do (which by the way it’s not true, most anyone can run or even walk!).
We hang our medals and people are impressed at our achievements. And yes, we deserve those medals, we put a lot of effort in the training, sacrifices, dealing with injuries and missing social events. But the truth is that we cannot take all the credit. Because running takes time from our family, work life and social life, we couldn’t do all these without a supportive team – our Runner’s Support System.
Runner’s Support System: Family
I know my husband and family have made sacrifices as well, maybe they don’t entirely understand me but they see my commitment and they support my goals and decisions.
I am fortunate that my first half marathon, my husband, our youngest son and my mom were there at the finish line. I will never forget that moment. It’s a clear sign of how much they love me and are proud of me.
There are no runners in my family so no one really understands my passion and dedication. When I complain about an injury, or when I’m upset for not finding my right socks or having the right pre-race snack, they don’t fully understand why is that a big deal, but they know that for some crazy reason those socks can make a difference between a good race and a bad one, so they care.
Runner’s Support System: Friends
On race day we see all these people who don’t even know us, cheering, making motivational signs, giving us water, oranges, candies, pretzels, chocolates and an occasional mimosa… all these means THE WORLD to us runners.
Runner’s Support System: Volunteers
Personally admire all of the volunteers getting up even earlier than we do, they don’t need to be there, but they’re there making us smile and reminding us how strong we are.
I want to acknowledge all those people that support us, family or not, friends or not, they keep us going. I want them to know that we notice them and their presence does make a difference, we love the creative funny signs, we love the cow bells, the costumes, we even love seeing them just standing with a cup of coffee getting warm while we are in plain misery.
Running by ourselves is boring, tedious and stupid — the volunteers, friends and family make the whole difference, we feel your love and touches us deeply.
Every time I see my medals I know how fortunate I am for having such a supportive, caring team helping me through. Those medals are a team effort and a representation of love.