Sunday, June 8, 2014

I may still have a little cheerleader left in me

Hmmm…not sure if I should share this or not, but waaaaay back in the day, I was a cheerleader in high school.  Yup, I had the stupid skirt, shoes, sweater and pom-poms.  Because my main sport was cycling, I used cheer leading as a way to socialize with the non-bike crowd and I honestly enjoyed rooting the teams on.

Laura laughing her way around the bike course

Today, the cheerleader outfit has been thrown out--I mean burned--but there is still a bit of cheerleader left in me.  I love going to see my friends race, following their adventures on blogs or Facebook or just getting to see friends push themselves past a point they thought they could.  It has nothing to do with them winning a race or placing high in an event, I just think it's really cool they showed up even if they were a bit unsure about the situation.

I remember when I did road races, tris and running races.  A bit of me never wanted friends or family on the course.  I didn't want to make a fool of myself and I certainly didn't want them to see me if I was having an "off" day.  When they did show up, however, and I saw their smiles and heard their cheers, it always gave me more energy.  Although I don't race anymore, I do ride gravel events.  Some riders do it to win, I do it to see if I can finish feeling strong or learn something about myself.  When I'm exhausted and sore, there is nothing that picks me up more than to see a friend, volunteer or spectator smiling and saying I look strong (even if I know I look like death warmed over).

Ashley hauling ass on her first tri after a bike accident the day prior
This weekend was kind of a cheerleader's wet dream.  It started with an early, hilly ride Saturday on which a strong cycling friend, Mike, told me I looked strong on the hills--which I didn't but it still felt nice regardless.  The weekend ended with seeing another cycling friend, Laura, compete in her first triathlon of the season.  A few of us rode out onto the bike course, and got to see her, with another friend, go out and come back at the same intersection.  One of us--no, not me--even flashed her as she began to climb the final big hill.  I guess it not only made her smile for ten miles, but got a guy riding next to her to laugh as well.  And isn't this what cheer leading is all about, to make people smile when they are going through something difficult?

Mike, who could out ride me in just about any event, gave me a little ego boost with a compliment.
I may have outgrown my blue and orange outfit, and I may not be cheering for just one group of people anymore, but damn, I like this role and I think I'll keep it.

No comments:

Post a Comment