Today’s blog features the insightful words of Dr. Rachel Goldstein.
High fives are pivotal to November Project. We give them out at the start of each workout. We pass them to each other as we complete loops. We line up along race routes and give them to complete strangers. They say to the recipient: I support you and I am glad you are here. Over the years, I have come to notice that these high fives appear to come in several distinct flavors:
The “knock-your-hand-off” high five: these are those hand slaps that leave your palm stinging and you wondering how some could be so strong in the middle of a workout. They are filled with enthusiasm and really pack a punch…sometimes literally. These high fives say: “I am really excited to be here with you!”
The surreptitious high five: you know the one that sneaks out from someone at waist level. These high fives usually come accompanied by eye contact and say to the recipient “I see you and you are doing a bang-up job.”
The back handed high five: the high five you receive as someone passes you and they reach their hand back. It lets you know just how much they appreciate your hard work.
The tentative high five: usually from someone newer or shy, these high fives come out late and may disappear quickly. You have to look for them to know they are coming. But grab them while you can, as this may be the first time this person has offered you their hand.
The missed high five: common later in the workout when you are too tired to accurately aim. Maybe you catch a pinky. Maybe you catch a total air ball. The important part is that you meant well.
The hand hug: a special variant on the high five, these are unique moments of contact accompanied by a little extra squeeze. Maybe they were a requirement of the workout (I see you NP Austin), or maybe you just wanted to provide a little extra support. Either way, these are special.
Regardless of the type of high fiver you are, the important part is that you give them and that you receive them. There is little better than offering a high five and having it returned…with a smile. These little moments are our opportunity to connect: with each other, with racers, or with the random walkers/hikers/runners who happen to be traveling through our workouts. I often leave NP with stinging palms and aching arms, but it is worth it every time.
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