You’ve just crossed the finish line of a half marathon that you’ve been training towards for the best part of four months. You glance at the clock, pause the watch, and the disappointment instantly kicks in. Now the real challenge begins.
You collect your T-shirt from the finish line marshal (with more of grimace than a true smile) grab a bottle of water, and even though we all know you will, you start to wonder if you’ll ever run again. You try hard not to put yourself under pressure and tell yourself that the time doesn’t matter and that it’s finishing that counts, but you just can’t help but feel a little deflated.
You begin to stumble back to your car when out the corner of your eye you spot someone you know. You hope they haven’t seen you. You keep going but they’ve already clocked you. They start to make a direct line for you. You try to shuffle a bit quicker but it’s too late. Then you hear the immortal words echo around the race village… “How did you get on?”. Noooooo!!!!!!
You quickly begin to run through your auto-response options:
– Yeah good
– Err fine
– Go away
– Please come back later
But you both know they don’t want to hear any of that. THEY WANT A TIME! That’s all they want! Surely you won’t deny them a time!!??
The pressure mounts and you try to worm your way out of answering in true politician style. Even though in the grand scheme of things it wouldn’t really matter whether you said it took you three days to complete it or that you won it.
I rarely ask someone their finish time. If they are happy with their time and they want me to know most runners will seldom need any encouragement to offer their news with pride.
So next time you see someone that has just taken part in a race why not reduce the risk of putting them under pressure or making them feel uncomfortable, and ask surely the most important question of all, “Did you enjoy it?”.