on... Cheering not Jeering

Random thoughts on... cheering, not jeering

Recently, it occurred to me that what I thought of as encouraging banter may be mis-construed. The phrase that I caught myself using was “push him”. With a bit more time and eloquence, I would have said “keep going, and help the person in front to push on faster towards the finish”. As it happened, I didn’t, and the person “in front” looked straight at me, pretty worried if truth be told! That was my first mistake. The second mistake was not dubbing the recording before uploading it to Facebook.

Apart from the polite “well done” and “good job”, so often said at parkrun, what else do people say? Most comments from me have come when running, with the aim of pushing my fellow runners along, but don’t forget other forms of exercise. Some personal favourites have been “push push” (thanks to “gym Nikki”) and “shift it” when trying to move things on. Can’t forget the classic “ ’ave it!” from our very own Captain Howard and while I’m on the subject of quotes, I’ve never shouted it, but “Bonkers Cath” is very fond of “you know it’s good for you”, let alone Spin Jo’s “where’s your inspiration” (sat in front of me!). Sometimes you have to remember these calls and use them to shout at yourself.

I asked the whippet for his comments, and he hated being told that his “Shoelaces are undone”. It’s annoying enough that they are undone, without everyone stating the obvious! Tying shoelaces slows you down apparently! Don’t judge me on that one – not my words!

Personally, I enjoy comments as I run, though not a conversation. I’ve come to learn that some others may not. Partly down to the words being used, the occasion and how their feeling. I have read of some folk getting upset at being told they’re “looking good” when they’re drowning in sweat and certainly not feeling good.

Last June, I was running a 10K in London with the whippet. There had been a mix-up, and I ended up with a Red “A” number, meaning that I was in the first wave. It was desperately hot, and we struggled. The crowds, however, were superb – lots of noise, cheering, music (especially good were the drums down Diagon Alley). One thing stuck in my mind though – the woman who said to her friend “he’s supposed to be one of the elite runners” as I struggled past – I was not impressed! Btw, the race was won by a bloke called “Mo”, though he did start at the front. Was good to see, a month or so later, that he can still win races when he starts in line with everyone else.

I’m keeping it brief this week, but one thing that you can be sure of, any comments that I make are always in good faith, to encourage not discourage. Right, over to you – what have you said or heard?

Nigel.