The best thing written after the bombing at the Boston marathon has been this, about The People Who Watch Marathons. It’s great – I won’t summarize, just go read it. Bring a tissue.

For those of us who are not one of the people who watch marathons, there are few opportunities to cheer for someone else. Sure, there are plenty of professional sports stars available for your huzzah and hurrah, but when was the last time you cheered on someone who wasn’t getting paid to do what they were doing?

That’s not to say you’ve not been encouraging. This past week, you’ve probably sent a text with lots of exclamation marks, or clicked a thumb-up “like” on Facebook. You may have written an email letting someone know you’re thinking of them. You may have even bought a drink and commiserated with someone who’s needed a boost.

But did you shout, throw confetti, or jump up and down with a clever sign? Did you thump a kickboard on the side of the pool and yell at the woman in lane 5 to swim faster? Did you jump up and do a cheer before your co-worker got up on stage to give his presentation?

Cheering each other on in helpful and creative ways is a skill that we have few opportunities to practice. Which is too bad, given how clearly it’s been established that encouragement increases self-efficacy (a person’s belief in their ability to succeed in a particular situation).  One place you can get your practice in is at Queerfit.  Come on out, good people. We’ll cheer you on and, just as important, you’ll get a chance to cheer on everyone else. 10:00 tomorrow at the usual spot. Goooooooooooo Queerfit!