This morning, transition closed at 6:50 but my wave didn’t start until 8:09. Because I had decided that I wasn’t going to huddle in a corner for over an hour, I went to go cheer on the half-iron athletes as they started and came out of the water to go back in for their second lap.
I. Was. Shocked.
Some had questions. Some looked tired. Some were going the wrong direction. They were like, imperfect. Good thing I had a cowbell! And – this is important. I did NOT tell them good job. “You’re doing it! Keep going!” Way less “aww you look like a loser. Try not to die out there.”
It is really quite remarkable how easily I was able to connect with complete strangers simply because they were doing something that I do. Let me tell you, I rang the hell out of that cowbell for them. I screamed with real investment for people that may not even know I was cheering for them and will likely never see again.
Why is it that it is easier for me to do this with strangers than acquaintances?
Well, I’ve already answered that here. Today served as a reminder that perhaps I should give more love to those around me who are striving to do their best. Even when my fragile, overachieving ego is threatened. Even when it seems ridiculous that people who are better than I am struggle with the same things. I suppose that REAL love requires RISK. Dammit.
I’d like to say that I likely would not have come to that conclusion had I not been racing without company today. Just putting that out there.
Aside: There was a lady wearing a top that read “Jamaica Cycling” so of course, I had to stop her and get the deets. It was her 350th triathlon. Apparently, she’s the only Jamaican representing the US on its…whatever, the people who get to represent the US in triathlon. Would love if someone could explain how that happens! #kthanks She is a triathlon coach in Fort Lauderdale. She’ll come up in my race report.