The other day I had a huge opportunity to stand in the freezing rain and yell at complete stranger!
You should be thinking of two questions right now. 1) Why was I standing in the rain? 2) Why was I yelling at strangers?
The reason I was here was to pass out Clif Shots. I was getting paid to help sample products at the Ogden marathon. It was about 46 degrees, raining and I was standing out there in a non-waterproof jacket, jeans and trail shoes. I was FREEZING, but I loved every minute of being there.
How could I love this potentially miserable situation? I was there to encourage people to finish.
If you have every taken on the challenge of completing a half marathon or a full marathon there is soooo much that goes into this. These events aren’t just something you decide to do and do it tomorrow. They take planning, training and the support of your friends and family.
A few years ago my wife started to train for her first half marathon. I remember her getting up at 4am, to beat the summer heat just to get a 10 mile run in before work. I had never been so impressed in my life with someone’s will to run in a straight line for 3 to 5 hours straight, CRAZY! She ended up completing her first half marathon and swore off doing them again. A few months later and she was in her next one and next one, finally she signed up for a full marathon, 26.2 miles of craziness.
I asked her why she loved it and she responded that it was because of me? Now I slept most of the time she trained, but she said it was the fact she could hear me encouraging her to push. It was the encouragement before and after the runs that urged her to keep going.
My wife, in the middle of all her training, worked a Clif event called Little Red. It is a cycling event just for women, I think it is like 100 miles (I could be wrong). In this event Emily, my wife, yelled and screamed at people to encourage them to finish. After the race many of the women couldn’t recall much of the race except for passing my wife and hearing this stranger yell at the top of her lungs for these women to finish and finish strong.
It is interesting how this yelling doesn’t benefit us directly, but if you have ever been to a marathon you see thousands of people standing on the side of a street cheering for every single person as they run by. They get to spend less than 2 seconds in that person’s life, but the impact they make lasts a life time, as evident by a metal you EARN at the end of the race.
This type of selfless action is joy, pure joy. We, for a moment, impact someone’s life with such passion that it doesn’t matter if it is 100 degrees outside, raining, or snowing. We just get to be a part of the community and life experience of strangers and help them accomplish a dream, goal or personal best. It is one of the great things about sport. We go to a baseball game and root for our favorite player because for that 9 innings we are part of something bigger than life, joy.
I feel we need more joy in our lives and this is why we willingly participate in these types of activities. I am a strong believer in “people helping people.” But I believe more in the power of being truly joyful. Joy is a state of being. Not an action or response. Nor happy or sad. It just is and I love finding myself in these situations.
I intend, plan, and strive to make Cool E Fitness a place where people come to fill Joy from our instruction and from the people who work with us. If we can bring even one moment of joy to your day then we have succeeded. I would love to hear stories about times when you felt real joy. Please share your story below and let us share it with our community to help encourage others to do the same.
On a side note: If you need encouragement, please let me know and I will do my best to stand in the rain with you, yell at the top of my lungs and motivate you to whatever extent I can, so that you can reach your goals and dreams. This is my promise.