whoever you want to be…

Why every race needs a supporter

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Last weekend I was due to run the Rome Marathon. Unfortunately, due to a training-related back injury, I was forced to pull out at the eleventh hour. After five months of training it was a crushing personal blow, but I knew I had to swallow my pride. If I couldn’t go to Rome as a runner, then I’d go in a different capacity: As a supporter.

Initially it was hard to make the mental transition. At the airport there was a palpable buzz in the air as my four team mates’ (one of whom was my best friend) excitement began to build, and I tried my best to quell the feelings of disappointment. At dinner that evening I felt oddly removed from the build-up, and tried in vain to hide my sadness when I was handed my team pack containing my now redundant race number.

But as soon as the starter pistol fired on the morning of the race everything changed. Suddenly I was filled with a new kind of excitement – not for me but for the 14,000 or so runners who were taking part in this momentous race, my team mates included. When we saw them run past us for the first time I screamed my head off in support, and soon I realised how much all the runners – not just our own – appreciated the support of the crowd.

By the 34th kilometre the runners had dispersed and a great many were visibly struggling. There were very few supporters at this point in the course despite it being the point where most people begin to hit the infamous ‘wall.’ And so our merry band of five began to shout and cheer for EVERY runner that went past, calling them by their names (if we could read the small print on their bibs), encouraging them to high five us and, in one case, giving a protein bar to a runner who collapsed beside us with severe cramp in his legs.

Without exception our encouragement and enthusiasm were gratefully – joyfully, even – received, and I can honestly say it was both a joy and a privilege for me to know that we were making a difference – no matter how small – to so many people at such a physically and mentally taxing point in their marathon journeys. Having trained for the race myself I knew only too well the sacrifices that come with such a massive feat, and this knowledge spurred me on to scream even louder as each person ran past. Their grateful faces more than made up for my own disappointment at not running – if anything I felt glad I could be standing on the sidelines cheering them on to complete the race.

The whole experience taught me an invaluable lesson about the importance of having supporters – not just in races, but in life in general: A particularly pertinent sentiment for today, Mother’s Day, as I’m sure that many feel (as do I) that their mother is, and always has been, their biggest supporter in life. And whilst I’m not a fan of the commercialism surrounding these occasions I do feel it’s so important to make sure our mothers know how much they are loved and valued while we still have the chance to tell them. I feel very sad each year on this day for all those friends whose mothers sadly aren’t still here for them to tell them that they love them. But my belief is that no matter whether they’re in heaven or on earth, our biggest supporters are always watching over us. So well done to my fantastic team mates for completing the Rome Marathon, and
Happy Mother’s Day to you all.

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About Belle365

Hi, I’m Belle. Thanks for stopping by. Here's a list of ten things about me: 1. I want to write, but rarely do it. This tortures me daily, and, unless I seek to remedy it by writing more often, will continue to torture me until my dying day. 2. I worry: about hate, about greed, about selfishness, about the state of the world my (God willing) children will inherit. I worry about what people think of me. I worry that this makes me shallow. I worry about things happening to my loved ones. I worry how I would cope. I worry that this makes me selfish. I worry that worrying will send me to an early grave. But I'm so good at worrying that I also wonder what I would do if I wasn't worrying. Probably more writing (see point 1)....Oh. 3. I see myself as two people (though, as far as I am aware, I am not technically schizophrenic): a) the fancy dress loving party girl, who loves nothing more than having fun with her friends, because she has seen through her own experiences that life is short, so why not enjoy the ride? b) the more serious and reflective person who wants to learn and to help people and to find her higher purpose (I suspect it is also she who really, really wants to write). Sometimes these sides are conflicting. Fortunately they are in total agreement when it comes to chocolate, red wine and travel. 4. I don't see myself as an ardent feminist, but the older I get the more frustrated I feel by the societal view of women and ageing. Having just hit the metabolically displeasing age of 35 (now officially past it according to the massive wankflap that is Donald Trump, as well as virtually every media outlet on the planet, whether they overtly state it or not) I hate the fact I am made (and have let myself be manipulated) to feel that my fertility is now teetering on the edge of a clifftop free fall, and that even if I do negotiate this rocky march towards infertility and manage a miracle procreation, my usefulness as a financially solvent career woman will be over, seeing as having a baby in your mid to late thirties is pretty much akin to career suicide. It's enough to make you want to drown yourself in a vat of wine (hence why I often don a wig and do just that - see point 3a). 5. The older I get, the more I realise that you are never too old to love drum and bass (whether you are ever too old to publicly dance to drum and bass is an issue I am currently grappling with). Ditto UK garage. I will never be ashamed of these two great loves. Never. 6. Speaking of great loves, I have two: my husband, who (sickening as it is) completes me, and Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I have loved since I first laid eyes on him as Romeo to Kate Winslet's Juliet, and will love until my dying day (likewise the husband, all being well). As much as I like Kate Winslet, I will never forgive her for leaving him on that door. There was definitely room for two. 7. I am riddled with self doubt, and have a serious case of imposter syndrome, particularly in relation to my fourteen year communications career. I have never understood how anyone could deem me capable of running their campaigns. The lack of complaints would suggest I haven't made a total balls up of it so far. But there's still time. 8. Infinity and death frighten me senseless. I can't even talk about the universe without breaking into a sweat. I need to believe in life after death because death CANNOT be the end. I should probably have some (more) counselling to address these issues. 9. If procrastination were an Olympic sport, I would win Gold, Silver and Bronze (to give an example, I sat down an hour ago to work on my new novel, and instead have been updating this bio. I refer you to point 1. Sigh). 10. I make more lists than Buzzfeed. When I die, besides having Oasis's Champagne Supernova played at my funeral (deep breaths - see point 8), I should probably have a To Do list inscribed on my headstone for when I reach the other side...

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This entry was posted on March 30, 2014 by in Bea Family, Bea Spiritual and tagged , , , , .
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