Monday, October 12, 2009

Smile and the World Smiles with You

No matter my mood, I usually go through life with a stern look on my face. It’s not uncommon for someone on the sidewalk to tell me to “cheer up” or to say, “things can’t be that bad.” These strangers are missing the fact it’s not that I’m unhappy, I’m just not a natural smiler.

But after being in Kona and watching Chrissie Wellington crush her third straight Ironman championship on Saturday, I am committed to flashing my pearly whites more often. I am in awe of Chrissie’s athletic accomplishments—winning her first Ironman championship a mere 10 months after becoming a professional triathlete; coming in first in all seven Ironman races she’s competed in; finishing 23rd overall at Kona this weekend; running a 3:03 marathon at the end of an Ironman, and more—but I am even more impressed by her attitude throughout. I swear Chrissie wore a smile for all 141.6 miles of the race. Even underwater, I’m convinced.

She looked exuberant as she ran through the hoses in the swim-bike transition. Chrissie was wearing an enormous grin as she whizzed through the aptly named “Hot Corner” near the bike transition area. And she was beaming—yes, positively beaming—as she ran up a steep, steady hill at mile 10 in the marathon. (My photo, above, doesn’t begin to capture her cheery face. Dratted iPhone photo-delay!)

After cheering my heart out for Chrissie as she broke Paula Newby-Fraser’s 17-year Kona record, I knew I had to do something to be just a bit like Chrissie. I decided wearing a smile as I tackle San Francisco hills this Sunday in the Nike Women’s half marathon will be my homage to this phenomenal Ironman athlete. Chrissie shows that smiling in the face of adversity is the way to go.



Kate said...

I'll have to remember this at Nike. Enjoy the view in the front corral Sarah! :-)

Christi said...

Great Blog!!! Good Luck on Sunday!!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GOOD LUCK!! Big Smiles, represent the Tall ladies..

Jamie said...

I guess I could have read this post before responding to that last email. :-)

Clearly you have a full appreciation of Chrissie's awesomeness. Haha.

I wasn't a "natural smiler" when I was younger and got a lot of those same responses from complete strangers. When I was most calm and relaxed, my face just made this really grumpy expression apparently.

After being called out on it one more time than I wanted to, I made a conscious effort to retrain myself.

Hope the Nike half went well! Looking forward to a race report.

Sarah said...

I love this post! The moments when I smile while running are when I feel the best!