1. Wright, Kathy B. PhD, RN, CGRN, APRN, BC, Editor

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I recently read an account of a marathon runner who wrote about his first marathon race. He had prepared for months to run this event, but towards the end of the race became so weary, he wanted to quit. The runner commented that what kept him going were the cheers from the crowd. He was amazed at how enthusiastically the onlookers, all strangers, encouraged him as he began to fade: "Don't give up." "You can do it!!" "Just a little further." "Keep going." According to the athlete, the cheers and support of those onlookers spurred him on to accomplish his goal of completing his first marathon. While reaching his goal was a life-long dream, he commented that realizing others wanted the same success for him was profound and inspirational, giving even more meaning to a spectacular accomplishment.


While I am no athlete, I can certainly relate to the power of the sidelines. I recently completed a major goal of obtaining my PhD degree. All along the way, as the course became challenging and I became weary, the onlookers (my friends, colleagues, and family), cheered, encouraged, and supported me until I reached the goal. I would not have made it, had they not played their part on the sidelines. And they enjoyed the success of reaching my goal almost as much as I did!!


Can you think of "races" in your life where someone else spurred you on to success? I hope so!! And more than that, I hope you can think of races where you have stayed on the sideline and been the "encouraging observer." Our patients need us to recognize their need for encouragement and support. We may never be asked to run the race they are in. Or maybe we have already completed a similar race. Some of us may have even given up before completing our race. Regardless of the outcome, our experiences can be opportunities to cheer and encourage others to be successful.


In addition to supporting our patients from the sidelines, we also need to cheer for our colleagues. Do you know someone planning to sit for the certification exam in May? Cheer them on!! Is a colleague considering a change in work role or contemplating stepping into a volunteer leadership position with SGNA? Cheer them on!! They must make the commitment to the race; you can't do that for them. But once committed, do your part to spur them towards success. Watch them. Believe in them. Want success for them. And help them complete the race. Life is a journey and it so much more enjoyable when we share that journey with others.