Posted by: rundadrun | March 19, 2011

Is a little encouragement so hard to give?

I have been helping out with my son’s track team a few days a week when I am not on the road.  It has been such a fun time getting to know the kids that I don’t already know from cross-country.  One thing I am realizing as the workouts get tougher is that some people just need a kind word.  In truth, we could all use a few of them from time to time.  Especially when you are a kid in high school who already has enough negativity in their life just getting through the school day.  I truly think that is why I am there.  I may be the only positive some of these kids are getting.

Today, I was blessed with getting to work with one such kid.  The team was doing a rather tough speed workout and some of the kids were looking for reasons to NOT do the whole thing.  And I have to admit, I would not have been all that hot to do 12×200 meters worth of running either.  One of the young ladies, who I know from cross-country, came to me and asked if she could run to the restroom.  She also said she would make up what she missed at the end of practice.  I am never one to get in the way of a bathroom break, so off she went.  She ended up missing a couple of repeats, but finished up the workout.  She then came to me and asked if she could do the remaining 2 sprints.  I was impressed by her wanting to get them all in.  I said sure, and gave her the times she needed to hit.  She was very determined to come in under the time required and when I yelled go, she was off like a rocket!  I raced across the infield and realized that EVERYONE was cheering her on.  The sprinters, pole vaulters, high jumpers and everyone else left on the track were yelling for her.  She ran her fastest 200 ever!  I realized when I walked over to her that she was near tears.  She was so excited and happy to come in 2 seconds under the time that the head coach had put down as the goal, she was ready to cry.  I gave her a minute to catch her breath, and then she lined up to run.  I told her she could go a little slower on this last one since she ran too fast on the previous one.  She told me that she wasn’t sure she could do another one, so I offered to run it with her.  So, with my cell phone in one hand and my cars keys in the other, I paced her through her last of 12 repeats.  It was awesome to hear all her teammates cheer her on again as she pushed through and hit the last one right on time.

So many times in life, all any of us really needs is a little encouragement.  Whether it be the cheers of our fellow runners, or someone to run along side us for support, encouragement is vital!

I see amazing things all the time in the distance running community.  Whether it is the whole team running back on the cross-country course to run in with a special needs teammate, or the runner who helps up a fallen competitor instead of running past.  I believe we have the best group of people of any sport.  It is all about encouragement and doing your best.  I wish the rest of the world would take a hint sometimes.

And a little encouragement comes  back to you eventually.  Today, after the workout was over and I was talking to the kids after practice, I had 3 young ladies come up to me.  One of them was the girl I ran with earlier.  One of the other girls told me that I had encouraged not only the girl I was running with, but I had encouraged her and her other teammate as well.  And then she asked if they could call me coach.  Now who was being encouraged?  🙂

So, give a good word to someone today, especially a young person.  You never know when you will touch a life.  And you never know when it will come back to you.

Happy running,

Coach Rundad



  1. What a great story! It was a great way to start my morning! Hope you have a wonderful day 🙂

    • Thank you! I am glad it brightened your day. 🙂

  2. good word!

    • Thank you! They are a great bunch of kids to work with.

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