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Perspective: Take a moment to applaud cheerleaders

Colin Lloyd

Ya gotta love the cheerleaders.


I began to understand this as I watched the end of a televised marathon — a grueling race that got me thinking about crossing finish lines.


So much personal endurance is involved to reach those final seconds when pain and pride collapse into cheering, waving arms, and smiles — the noise of joy blends with exhaustion.


Now imagine what it would be like to see empty space at the end, nothing but a simple line on the ground to step over.


No, there must be more. And there is.


I saw strangers handing bottles of water to runners. Everyone there was part of the event. And that is important.


We do love a pat on the back, a reminder of why we are in the game. Why it matters to be better, to succeed, to achieve.

Win or lose, we need cheerleaders. They are part of every sport. But cheerleaders are an important part of every challenge, far beyond sports.


I have crossed a lot of finish lines in my life and they often included celebrations — birthdays, graduations, awards. I had my cheerleaders. But how many people cross finish lines alone? Or at least it feels that way.


We're all in the same race, right? We need our cheerleaders. So maybe I should ask myself ... more often than I do ... who do I know who needs to hear some applause? Right now.



I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.

Lonny Cain, a graduate of the journalism program at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, has been in the newspaper business for more than 45 years. He and his wife have three sons. They live in Ottawa, where he was managing editor of the local daily newspaper for 30 years, retiring in December 2014. He continues to be a columnist for The Times in Ottawa and is pursuing other writing projects.