Words that Make us Move

My last post What NOT to Say on Race Morning lists some of our least favorite triathlon race-day expressions, including:

  • "So... are you ready?"
  • "That water looks really cold. I bet you wish you had a wetsuit."
  • "Wow, you're like the ONLY one here with a mountain bike."
  • "I've heard the hills are really bad and there's no shade at all."
  • "What are the distances again? That's it? Well, I can do thaaaat."
What, then, works to encourage and motivate us on race day?

This list of do's is harder for me to write than the above list of don'ts. My moods swing so much during each event. Something may motivate me early on during the run, and I may hate hearing those same words miles later. Overall, how the words are said, the tone of voice, the volume, the feeling behind the words, and who is saying it, all combine to make the words stick, or not.

Some words that work for me throughout race day:

- I'm really excited to watch you race today.
- What a great day for racing!

During the race:
- Get it done, Sara!
- You can do this, keep going!
- Go Mommy!

- Great race!
- I'm proud of you.
- Take your time, do what you need to do and then we'll pack up and head home.

Other signs of support:
- Making a home-made sign.
- Ringing cow bells.
- Showing energy and enthusiasm!
- Taking great race pictures.

What have your friends or family said, sung or written to make you move a little quicker as you swim, bike and run to the finish line?

Above Picture: Me this summer showing off a sign made by our oldest son.


Lynn Casey said...

I was never an athletic girl. One day at 270 pounds and a full pack a day smoker, I randomly pulled into a Running Room and signed on for a learn to run program!! Every week I amazed myself at what I accomplished. I could not believe that I completed my first 5km race just 3 months later! Then, I signed on for a 5 Miler (8km) race in a very hilly town. My sister, who is my hero and an amputee studied the route and drove the back streets to make random cheerleading appearances at many points of the course. Then, the absolute BEST part of this story... on the last mile I was dragging my ass and asking myself what the heck I was thinking signing up for this race! Up ahead, some crazy lady was blaring music from her car. As I apporached I realized it was my sister, Lori. As I got closer, the song playing was "She's got legs and she knows how to use them!" by ZZ Top. My sister was cheering and signing at the top of her lungs! As I crossed the finish line at 1 hour and 11 minutes all I could think about was Lori! That day was amazing! As time went by my running got pushed aside, I gained weight and fell off the exercise wagon. Now, 3 years later, I am starting all over again. This time I am going to do a sprint triathalon as my goal in May 2009. I can barely wait! Everytime I am swimming, spinning or trying to run I think of that carzy woman blaring the tunes and cherring for me. I love you Sis!


TRi*Tawn said...

Love the "what not to says." I'm doing a tri on Catalina Island on Nov. 8, and my mom is doing it with me. Well, she rides a mountain bike, which can be a sensitive subject sometimes, so I relate to not bringing that issue up! haha.

As for words to "move," I think the biggest gesture is someone just showing up for support. He/she could talk sh**, but if that person's there for me...well, it means a lot!!

Check out my blog. I just started it and as an obsessed triathlete, I think I got a good thing going: tritawn.blogspot.com

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Thanks so much for visiting and telling me about your journey. I love it! My sister has also supported me at long races, somewhat stalking me along the course. Please keep me updated on your training. This is exciting!

Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the list of what not to says! Very cool your mom is also racing. I did a relay with my parents a few years ago. I'm hoping they will also do a tri on their own too.
Best of luck Nov. 8th!

The Lazy Triathlete said...

Interesting topic. I think this is where men and woman are somewhat different. Your lists of "Don'ts" would actually motivate me. I see it as a guantlet which has been thrown down. I really hate to hear people tell me "you are almost there" when they are just sitting there and it is obvious they don't know the pain we are all in.

I do appreciate my friends to holler at me,and push me along.