When I think ‘cheerleader’ I’m pretty old school in my thinking. Probably because I grew up in the nineties watching American TV shows. Pompoms, synchronised dancing - as I say pretty stereotypical. Think Kelly Kapowski, Saved By The Bell.
Yet this past weekend it reminded me that a cheerleader doesn’t have to be someone tied down to a particular appearance, or a choreographed dance routine and definitely not a cast member from my favourite TV show - there, I admit it! It’s simply someone who is there encouraging someone else or a group of people to ‘keep going’. A cheerleader simply wants to see another person succeed at their goal. To me that’s powerful as a concept. When on the receiving end during a race, it’s game changing.
No matter how fatigued I felt out on course. No matter how achy my body. No matter how low my energy. As soon as I approached an aid station or where people congregated along the route - and I heard claps, cheers, encouraging words, smiles - I felt an immediate lift. The pain. The discomfort. It all lifted.
My Dad said after how he couldn’t believe how fresh I always looked when he saw me on the route. The truth was, moments before I might have been trudging through the trenches, but seeing Dad, Nicola and the other ‘cheerleaders’, it provided a resurgence. It reset things. It helped me keep pushing on, when the easier option was to slow.
As always with my musings, I like to think how my writings can leave a takeaway without sounding too preachy or bordering on virtue signalling. On this occasion, I think it’s just a reminder of the power of wanting to see other people succeed. It doesn’t have to be the accomplishment of an almighty goal. It could simply be to see a fellow human succeed in having a day that was a little better than yesterday. I guess that’s The Smilinggg Way.
So let’s do away with the pompoms, but retain the cheerleading spirit. It has the power to change lives.
Steps 👣 + Smiles 🤗
Keep #Smilinggg 💛