22 Aug

Today I rode my bike on the trails at Lake Hefner.  Unbeknown to me, they were having an Iron Kids triathlon event there. 

They allowed “non-Iron Kids” to ride on the trail and many of us did.

I have never seen more adorable athletes!  I could not help but smile – the entire time.  I’m sure I looked like a goof, but I didn’t care.  They were so cute and fun to watch.  The youngest were 6 years old, the oldest were 12, I believe.  As I rode along and passed these young athletes I would cheer them on.  There were kids in all shapes, sizes and abilities.  There were some kids that were pretty tentative as they rode their bikes and others who demonstrated the correct form and had a natural grace – pretty much just like us adults.

Every kid, or group of kids I passed, I offered up some encouragement.  I couldn’t help myself, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

Being a cyclist myself might be part of it – the fact that I love bicycling and want others to.  The fact that my grandchildren, Ethan and Isabel, are within the age range of the Iron Kids participants was a large part too -that grandmotherly “thing” coming out.

There was something else though.

Another part, less familiar to me, was the feeling that as an adult I needed to.  I felt something akin to responsibility to make sure that I did what I could to help them along.

Some of the kids really struggled, their bikes wobbling, one young boy looked close to tears.  So I did what I could to help, they smiled, many said “thanks” to my inane cheers (“way to go”, “you’re doing great”, “you can do it”, “just keep going you’re almost finished”) and I felt good about so many kids participating.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way about children, I think it is that sort of “it takes a village to raise a child” mentality.

But, wouldn’t it be great if we felt the same thing about our fellow adults?  Cheering them on when they struggle, feeling some responsibility to make sure they are doing okay?  Sure, we do this for our family and friends, but what about everyone else.

Why don’t we have a similar feeling toward all the nameless people we see everyday struggling? 

What do you think?

No Responses to “Us”

  1. Tri Girl August 23, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    I think that’s a great idea! The last two times I’ve ridden at Hefner I’ve said hello to everyone I’ve passed. Most ignore me, but some respond back. I decided I won’t do that anymore, but since you posted this, I think I’ll just keep on doing it. Maybe it will make someone’s day. We should all be more encouraging to each other!

    When do you leave for VT?

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