Cheer Leaders

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– by Jaime Willis

I’ve spent the past several days in a drooling stupor as I recovered from my tonsillectomy (not as bad as everyone says, honestly). Anyways, in my recovery, I had a chance to catch up on my internet blog-reading and even discover a few new blogs. I want to share part of a great post made by Zan McQuade (btw, best name ever, right?) in her blog www.thatcupoftea.com.

Sunday was the New York marathon. I’m not an athlete; I get winded just briskly walking the mile to the racecourse to cheer on my friends. But there’s something inspiring about watching people accomplish that thing they’ve wanted to do for years, that thing they’ve trained for and anticipated for months. That thing that to complete requires some sort of superhuman PUSH, determination like no other…

I don’t know the psychology involved, but I’ve heard from various marathoners that it helps to hear people just call out their name as a bit of encouragement. Something in me tells me that if I were doing something particularly difficult, and someone shouted “way to go Zan!” I’d feel bolstered. Or at least pretend to be. So I started shouting out the names of strangers.

Who knows if it was me, but I counted at least three of these strangers who were walking by the time they hit 108th street, who heard my ridiculous clap, my lone “you can do it!”, looked at me, and their expression changed from the dead despair of defeated men to the inspired confidence of runners. And they would start running.”

But it isn’t just marathon runners that need the encouragement, is it? We all need a little push forward sometimes. We would all do better if someone was clapping and cheering us on, wouldn’t we?

While I sat there last night wishing I had my own tonsillectomy Cheer Section – “Way to Rest, Jaime!” “Keep up the good napping!” – I thought that I would take the time to cheer on a few others in their own personal quests.
“WAY TO GO JACKY!” My friend Jacky is ordering a new dishwasher by herself in Italian (she moved to Italy several months ago with no Italian language skills) –way to go outside your comfort zone!
“KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK RACHEL!” My friend Rachel is helping to get out the vote for a non-profit childhood obesity project.
“YOU CAN DO IT TAYLOR!” Taylor has started her own landscaping company in New Orleans!
“AWESOME JOB, REDDIT!” The readers of Reddit have done some amazing and inspiring things for each other!
“YOU’LL GET THROUGH IT!” Storm of Paul and Storm‘s guitar was stolen from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport last night. He is astounded by the feedback and offers of assistance through Twitter.
Join me in being a Cheer Leader — find at least one person in your life that you can encourage today and share with us in the comments.

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