Saturday morning, I ventured out with my parents to watch them complete another 5k. I absolutely love being out at the finish line cheering on my parents and also my friends who are racing. This is a huge accomplishment for all of them. They train hard and work towards the next PR (Personal Record). A PR is not only time but also how well you did the race compared to the one before that.
I truly do love being out there encouraging as many runners as possible across the finish line. I’ve been known to stay until the very last runner comes across that finish line because everyone needs a cheer leader!
I love it all. Especially when I see runners who didn’t think they would make it to the finish line. Saturday’s race proved no different. So many kids as young as 10 years old finishing the race, a young man in a racing wheel chair, adults that could barely walk at the end, they all made it across the finish line. Then I look up to see a young boy coming towards the finish line. I cheered him on like I had been for everyone else, but when I saw the joy on his face and his arms lifted high, I cried. I cried for so many reasons. One he came across the finish line with a victorious smile, two he could have given up along the way and walked but he was running. Three, it didn’t look natural for him to even consider running, he has Cerebral Palsy. How do I know that? He looked like my brother. I found out that my dad saw him along the course and took the time to encourage him and cheer him on! (My parents are huge reason for my always wanting to encourage anyone I can. They model it so well in their lives!)
This young man reminded me so much in that short minute of seeing him finish the 5k. Your disabilities should never define you. I wish I could hug that young man!
His victorious smile coming across the finish line made my weekend!