Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: Cheers

Elly about to cross the finish line at the 2019 Miami Marathon.

Elly about to cross the finish line at the 2019 Miami Marathon.


My wife and I recently returned from Miami Florida where we had the incredible experience and privilege of watching our daughter Elly complete the Miami marathon. Let me assure you that as a doctor of physical therapy I understand what the body must endure to complete 26.2 miles of running. It is not only the demands of the race day that takes its toll on the body but also the weeks and months of training leading up to such an endeavor.

There are so many incredible life lessons observed and learned as a result of this experience but I believe the most profound one was that of cheers! Yes cheers! You see our daughter Elly had the support of numerous friends and family members cheering her on throughout this entire process. In addition to my wife and I, Elly‘s husband David, her son Remy, and our daughter Kate were in attendance at the race. Numerous others were offering their encouragement and support through texts and phone calls. The morning started quite chilly for southern Florida and extremely wet with a soaking rain. Kate and I accompanied Elly very early to her starting corral in preparation for making it to the starting line.

Prayers, cheers, and encouragement were offered and then the starting signal for her group came! Over the course of the next 4+ hours we strategically placed ourselves at various intervals along the marathon route offering encouragement, hugs, water and nutrition. By far the most exciting part of the race was to see Elly approach the finish line as we offered cheers loud enough to embarrass our children under normal circumstances. These were not normal circumstances however! The expression on her face was priceless! In spite of the grueling demands of the 26.2 miles she had run, she had the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen! It seemed to get bigger and more animated the closer she got to the sounds of our cheers and the approaching the finish line!

So what was my big take away from this you ask? On this very challenging journey we all face called life, it is of significantly greater necessity that we surround ourselves with those that are cheering us on then paying any attention to our detractors!

Cheers my friends!

Enjoy. Engage. Enrich.