Sunday, February 15, 2009

One Hundred Meters

We stood there in the sun along the finish line of the marathon route. The crowd was shockingly quiet, most of them waiting for their one friend or their one spouse to finish, at which point they would turn and leave. Their silence was embarrassing.

So as we stood there, warmed by the rays of the sun that had just broken thru the clouds, we cheered loudly. Trudy periodically took out a small bell and rang it. And she clapped and shouted to the runners. My brother Ben, who had run the first six miles of the route in amazing time, clapped and shouted, too. I stood there whistling and cheering for all I was worth.

I've been on the other side before. A loud crowd cheering you on is something to behold. So I whistled as loudly as I could until I was blue in the face. And I shouted as loudly as I could in spite of the fact that I knew I'd be hoarse for days.

"Go runners!"

"Good job! Finish hard, runners!!"

"One hunnnndred meeeeters to go!!"

My brother chuckled at that last one, and he repeated it in a quiet voice, perfectly mimicking me: "One hunnnndred meeeeters!" And he made some comment about the "cheering man" that the other spectators were undoubtedly whispering about.

"Am I being obnoxious?" I asked.

"You are not being obnoxious," he said, and yelled out, "One hunnnndred meeeeters to go!!"

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