The first Sunday in New York City is nicknamed Marathon Sunday by the good folks who inhabit this city and look forward to this day all year. This past Sunday (marathon Sunday) on our evening dog walk, my son and I went to 90th and 5th Avenue just after 6pm to cheer on the last of the runners making their way into Central Park for the final miles of their personal marathon. It was dark. There were workers collecting heap loads of trash and breaking down the marathon set up. The formerly packed sidelines were now more like a ghost town. Ironic and sad that the people who might need the cheering the most walked, trudged, limped, and slowly jogged into the park largely in silence.
My son wasn’t too pleased when I tried my best to compensate for the lack of cheerers. Every teenage boy’s worst nightmare to have his mom screaming her head off on the evening dog walk. So we took a different strategy and walked beside the walkers and had some nice sideline chats instead. Then in the distance, I saw this one solitary woman with long blond hair and a smile like Christie Brinkley offering the most sincere and heartfelt cheering I have EVER heard. She would lean in, smile widely, look at each marathoner in the eye and tell them how amazing they were.
We stopped in our tracks just to watch her in action. I wanted to be one of those runners JUST to be on the receiving end of her generous, sincere and sunshiny outpouring of support. I suggested to my son we be her backup singers. He didn’t love this idea either, but you could see that he too was moved by her undeniably awesome, kind and sparkly spirit. I am certain she stayed until the last person crossed her path. I know this because she said with her voice cracking just a tad, “I just can NOT tear myself away.”
I think we should all commit to trying to be more like this magical cheering and nameless person. This one-woman band lifting the spirits of these perfect – but in serious need of spirit-lifting -strangers. Why wait until the next race to be like her? Who can you cheer on today?? Who can you help cross a difficult finish line? Or maybe, more importantly, tackle a new and scary start line? I regret not getting this woman’s name and adding her to the group! We all need more people like her in our lives. Cheers to each and every one of you. I think you are amazing. 🙂 Linda