Cheeleader swap

On October 4th, I had big shoes to fill. That is the role of my husband as a cheerleader (with a cowbell and signs), photographer, and biggest supporter! I nearly missed my husband’s glorious achievement and finish!

I had many signs made including one for each person I was cheering to cross the finish. The signs were in the order I predicted each person to cross the line (2 friends and my husband). Unfortunately, technology wasn’t working and tracking their progress, so I was guestimating based on what they typically run during training or simply based on what they told me. I missed our first friend and my girlfriend was rolling through a little quicker than she predicted (which didn’t surprise me). I snapped a great shot of her and proudly held her sign.  About 30 seconds later, I thought I see my husband. As he comes closer, I get more excited mainly because he looked amazing and was running through ~20 minutes faster than we both predicted! It was great weather for running but for spectators, not so much. My fingers were numb as I was fumbling for his sign and getting the camera ready. I even had my video ready on my phone! I barely snapped a shot of him, didn’t get to his sign but screamed and jumped for joy even though I failed terribly filling his shoes!

He finished his first 13.1 at 2:04! 
I’ve written a story previously about my husband, but as a reminder, this guy couldn’t even run a block when we were dating about 9 years ago. I think partly because he was trying to impress me (wink, wink). Even though we just celebrated 7 wonderful, married years together, we still strive to be sexy, flirty, impress one another, and most importantly…FULLY support our goals and dreams! My husband made the decision to push the button and engage on a disciplined track to train for his first 13.1 miles. He did this for himself. Not to mention, he signed up for another one a month later to run with me in Richmond, VA and crossed the finish 5 minutes faster!!
He ran his 2nd in one month, 5 minutes faster
finishing at 1:59! This was my 8th half &
while I wasn't trying to break my own record,
I finished only seconds behind it at 1:49 & some.
Change is EXTREMELY hard for most of us, especially behavior or habit change. The first step is simply acknowledging the need for change. Sometimes, it takes a while especially if you’ve been on this routine track for many years! For example, how hard is it for someone to stop smoking cigarettes after 20 years? Despite the risks that come with tanning, it’s a struggle to avoid extreme sunbathing knowing it makes you look good (temporarily). Isn’t it difficult to avoid the couch and keep moving after a long day of sitting / standing at work? What’s the point of giving up things that taste SO good, like fried foods? These are all valid thoughts! Sometimes, it takes the last straw to get us moving toward behavior change. Sometimes, the change is too late. For my husband, he was tired of feeling like he was 50 years old and he knew he wasn’t getting younger. So it was time for a new lifestyle…he now feels he’s reversed his age, his energy, his confidence and lowered his stress. As a wife, I couldn’t be more proud of him. He continues to strive on this new lifestyle. He’s hooked!

We all struggle taking that first step and sometimes we need help. We need encouragement, non-judgmental support. As a stranger, you never know what kind of day someone is going through and simple words of encouragement or actions can be their last push for behavior change. Or maybe, someone is having a bad day and need strength to keep their head held high. I couldn’t tell you how many uplifting stories I have heard from strangers at the gym, in the community, or simply from people I know. Again, I don’t talk much in a locker room or while swimming. One lady voluntarily and randomly expressed to me in the locker room how much quitting cigarettes has changed her life (after I was hearing her hacking to clear her lungs in the stalls, I wasn’t sure if she was okay!). She not only quit but hits the gym to swim and workout and has felt very blessed. She is clearly happy even though she is still a little sick and recovering. She kept talking about how much she feels better! Talking to strangers like this make me smile and warms my heart. I even hear stories often of people moving from the couch to a new lifestyle and it turns their life around. It’s amazing and proves that yes, it’s hard but nothing is impossible!

Needles to say, I’m proud of my husband and feel very blessed to be his wife and his #1 cheerleader.  Don’t be afraid to be a stranger’s encourager…it may be just what they need to take the next baby step to a life they never dreamed of having.

Be the Encourager.

Bible verse of the day: Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.  ~1 Thessalonians 5:11

Quote of the day: “It’s easier to go down a hill than up it but the view is much better at the top.”  ~Henry Ward Beecher


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