I have spectated everything from a 5k to a triathlon. I watched in awe as these regular humans conquered their fitness goals. I spectated you see, because I "couldn't" run/play sport. I was never a "sporty" kid. I dreaded the mile in school more than your pet dreads the vet. In my head you see running and sports in general, was reserved for the biologically lucky - the people who had natural athlete bodies. I was not one of those people - So I watched them. I cheered them. I believed in them.
Spectating is so much more than holding up a sign.
Spectators make all the
I realized the importance of spectating when I ran the Chicago Marathon. I now make funny signs, and cheer on random strangers (by name hopefully, if they have it on their shirt!) -anon
I could go on about how spectating is inspiring, and how everyone should do it. However, there is one thing that we have to remind ourselves: not everybody is going to support you, your goals, and dreams. In a group discussion about the marathon I eagerly asked a few friends if they were going to come out and watch.
A few just avoided the question and stood silent. I'll never forget the look on their face and what one said,
Honey, I love you. But I'm not going to wake up early on a Sunday and stand around while people run. I don't love you that much.
Did it hurt to hear that? Absolutely. But it's okay. Yes, we want our circle of people to show support. We spend countless hours training in every condition. We are up before the sun, and sacrifice Friday nights for Saturday early runs. That is our choice.
Not spectating is others choice, and that is okay. Just because someone isn't on the sidelines, doesn't mean they aren't proud of you. And just because someone doesn't wish you luck, or give you props doesn't mean they aren't proud of you.
When you're out there, competing in your sport the only thing that matters is you and your goal. We need to remember to be proud of ourselves.
To see my friends doing their thing, and to see people accomplish their goals. It's pretty moving to see someone complete something they've worked so hard for. Inspiring! - anon
A few things to remember when spectating any event:
- bring food & water for yourself
- plan your outfit and shoe choice for the weather
- ask your athlete if they want you to have anything specific for them
- be prepared to catch miscellaneous items of clothes - we layer up and heat up fast, so go ahead and catch that pair of $2 Walgreens gloves, we'll want them for the next one (and because we're spending money on a new pair of shoes after this)
- plan your route before
- plan a meeting spot post event
- yell athletes names if they have it on their shirt - seriously, it gives us a mad boost of confidence
- MORE. COWBELL.
The enthusiasm and appreciation of the crowd improves the experience you have. Most people aren't racing as competitors, for them the race is about experience, and the crowd boosts the experience. - anon
1, and 2, and 3, and 4...
Whether you're training for your first 5k, or just looking for some quick moves to do during your next Netflix binge, you'll find tips here.
You'll also find: recaps of races, and various fitness events; athlete recovery options; and perhaps a surprise interview with some inspiring fitness professionals.