A few weeks ago I was on duty directing runners and stopping traffic for a local 5k race. My three ?helpers? were ages 2, 4 and 6 (a/k/a my grandchildren) and they were doing a spectacular job cheering for the racers. They had previously been on the sidelines with me when I had cheered on their parents in a similar race and they had cheered with their parents for some of my events. (very cool) Bottom line ? they knew just what to say and were shouting out things like ?you can do it!?, ?lookin? good!?, ?just a little farther!?, etc.
Did I mention that we were positioned at the top of a grueling 7/10 mile hill? I was impressed with the quality of the first wave to crest the hill. And the second. And then there was the final bunch ? all walking. Now, I didn?t blame them, but the difference was marked. It was a sorry group struggling up that hill ? head down and feet dragging. The children were cheering their hearts out until suddenly the four-year-old stopped and really looked at the runners. He then shouted out, sincerely bewildered, the question: ?Why are you walking?? The first few walkers looked up startled, saw the source of the comment, broke into large grins, and ran quite respectably to the top of the hill and on to the remainder of the course.
At the gathering for awards post-race, several of the slower runners stopped by to high-five the kids. That innocent comment had been enough to motivate a handful of runners to pick up the pace and shift gears to run the remainder of the race.
I have since thought of this in my own work. A client was dragging through a training session and I told him my story. We now have a buzz phrase to use: ?Why are you walking.? One Friday afternoon my legs just didn?t respond to the rhythmic turn of the pedals on my Spinner
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