Monday, April 19, 2010

Listen to the Drunk Guy Shout

It's patriots day today, which is a holiday in Massachusetts and most people have the day off.  The Boston marathon is today and the Red Sox also have an 11 AM game.  It's a fun day to go downtown and watch the runners finish up their runs. I have only been a few times but I always feel inspired by the runners and their drive to push their bodies to the limit, but there is one marathon day I remember the best. 

I was still in college at the time and I met my brother not far from the dorms to cheer the runners on as they try to complete the last mile. We got a late start to the day, after all we were college students, and by the time we arrived at the route the only runners left were well into their fifth hour. These runners were struggling. A lot of them were walking and most of them really looked like they should be heading to the nearest medical facility and not the finish line.  The Sox game was over and the drunken fans had joined the few race spectators that were left.
My bother and I fount a spot to stand next to a rather drunk, middle aged man at the side of the race route and watched a few people limp by.  And when those runners got into shouting distance it was this guys moment to shine. Drunken shouting would commence, as he used any info this guy could glimpse about the runner from their hair color to the inspirational message they had written on their t-shirt.  Cries of "you can do it Red" or "do it for your mom" spewed from him with the enthusiasm that the runners didn't have in them since before heartbreak hill. The craziest thing about it was that it worked! People that were literally about to fall over would start to pick up the pace. It was amazing. For a few more feet these people found in them whatever remaining energy they had to jog or at least limp at a quicker pace for a few more seconds. 

It was amazing to watch. And inspirational.  To see people who were on the verge of falling over start to run again reminded me that there is always a little more gas in the tank.  If you want to do something keep at it, don't quit until you fall over.  Push yourself.  Reach down and listen to the drunk gut yelling at you.....ok, maybe that saying will not catch on, but you get the drift.

(Writing this post reminds me a bit of a book by Bear Grylls (from the TV show Man vs Wild) which I read around a year ago and enjoyed a lot, The Kid Who Climbed Everest: The Incredible Story of a 23-Year-Old's Summit of Mt. Everest.  Reading about someone else climbing Everest is another thing that may inspire you to push yourself.)

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