That’s how I felt on Sunday during my race. As I worked my way around the course, I could hear people calling my name and cheering for me at almost every corner (even Luke was cheering me on through the mud). It’s great to be a part of a team and have teammates on the course, but it’s even better to have relative strangers cheering for me. (I somewhat teased the Cuttin’ Crew at the bus on the first lap because their cheering was very subdued compared to previous races. They’ve developed a reputation that we – or I – now expect them to live up to!) 🙂
I’ve always cheered for Cliff as he raced, but he often told me that he couldn’t really hear me above the sound of the wind rushing over his ears. I’m not much of a yeller, so I never really bothered to cheer above the wind (besides, I was always too busy trying to catch the “money shot”). I often heard Hank yelling at June to “get up there” and “catch her wheel” and wondered why she didn’t just tell him to “FUCK OFF!” I always thought I’d probably say that to Cliff that if he yelled at me. But, once I started racing, and could hear Cliff, Mark, Lou, Jim and Roman SCREAMING at the top of their lungs for (and at) me, I realized how motivational it is to hear people encouraging you to work harder. I now understand why Hank yells, and why June doesn’t tell him to F- Off (or, as she says in the comments, sometimes she does tell him off, but she knows it’s out of a good place that he cheers her on). The screaming and cheering gives you a little but more “get up and go” than you might have otherwise. (Since June is kicking ass in the Women 1/2/3 races, she already has “get up and go”, but I imagine that little extra motivation has made a huge difference, too!)
I owe a huge “THANKS” to my cheerleaders! Honestly, it’s YOU who keep me coming back week after week, because taking photos from the sidelines is WAY easier than this cross racing stuff.