Cry it out: What moment in 2013 brought tears to your eyes? Are you usually a crier? Or did tearing up take you by surprise?
This would be a shorter list if I had been asked when I didn’t cry this year…
I am a crier. Crying in sadness, in joy, in anger, frustration, jealousy, when I am overwhelmed with love or pride and happiness. Crying is my universal language of feeling.
This spring I ran the Fargo Half Marathon with disastrous results. An excruciating injury around Mile 4 shook me up physically and mentally and I was unable to overcome and recover over the next 9 miles. I was miserable and disappointed and considered quitting with almost every step.
As the heat and humidity of the day was hitting it’s highest, most brutal points, I was slogging through mile 10 or 11 on a residential street near the North Dakota State University campus. I was slow. I was uncomfortable. I was feeling really sorry for myself and thinking about the time I had wasted driving all the way to Fargo and making Aaron come along with me, how I had wasted a perfectly good weekend with a selfish quest to run a half-marathon. It was maybe some of the most negative thoughts I have had running.
The streets had fewer and fewer spectators as I was so far back in the pack now that most people had already met up with their finishers at the FargoDome. Ahead of me, on my left, I saw two blond women waving and jumping up and down, cheering for someone named Katie.
Wait. I squinted and wiped some sweat from my eyes. It was not just two women cheering for someone named Katie. It was 2 of my closest college friends cheering for me.
Well, I done lost it right there in the road.
Big crocodile tears, huge sweaty hugs (sorry, ladies!), and telling them through the sobs, “I am so happy to see you!” I knew they knew I was running the race, because we had planned to see each other later in the weekend, but I had no idea they would come to cheer me on.
As I said at the top, crying is my universal language of feeling. I have cried every time I see a family member or friend at a race. Every. Single. Time. 5K, marathon, triathlon, doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter if it is the beginning or end of the race, the first or the fifth time I have seen the same people. Big, fat, sobbing tears.
And here’s why. First, watching running when you are not a runner is boring. It is officially the worst parade ever. So the fact that my family and friends would come out and watch thousands of idiots in spandex who are running for fun for the brief moment to see my sweaty self in a sea of thousands is nothing short of remarkable. Second, and I felt this particularly when I saw my friends at Fargo, my friends and family do not care that I win or lose, they care that I am running the race. They know I am in the back of the pack, that I am hurting, that I am stressed or sad or tired, and yet their cheers, to me, sound like I am winning first place. Like I am the champion. Anyone who says they don’t need that kind of love and that kind of boost in bad days and in good from the people close to them is a liar. We all need to be built up.