[ so·lil·o·quy – the act of speaking one’s thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers ]
The noise of the crowd has always been a massive feature of the Wimbledon tennis championships. As in football and other sports, the noise in the stands lifts players, offering momentum, showing appreciation.
This year, as an at-home-television-viewer of Wimbledon, the crowd really added to the entertainment for me. They were simply awesome! Every point lead to a gentle build-up of noise as the rallies between Murray and Djokovic got longer and longer, followed by the most almighty roar when that point was won – especially by Murray! At one point the crowd made themselves laugh thanks to their collective reaction to one particular point, and that itself made me laugh too. Their enthusiasm for what was happening was infectious through the airwaves – it was like I could hear them in my own back garden. I loved that the crowd was utterly enthralled, absolutely hooked, totally committed, and loving the display being given by two very well matched pros.
It was the same at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The crowds were phenomenal. I wish I could have been in the stand when Jessica Ennis was about to win gold, just to experience that roar for myself (and to join in, of course).
Just imagine what it must have been like for Murray last Sunday. Feeling that noise through his body, knowing it was for him, understanding that the sell-out-crowd were egging him on and doing their best to lift him up and somehow boost his tennis playing ability through their sheer volume. Yes I know he was already feeling the pressure, and in some ways all that noise would have added to that, but the crowds positive sound can only have helped elevate him and make him feel good.
Sometimes, when I’m doing something important or strenuous, I could do with that Wimbledon or Olympic crowd surrounding me. Okay so I’m never going to be in a tennis grand slam final, or represent my country at the heptathlon, but even in my mundane existence, sometimes noisy optimistic encouragement would make all the difference. in fact when loads of people came to wave us off on the Graham Homes Memorial Ride back in May we were all so touched – it absolutely made the start of the trip. And I simply can’t describe what the crowd did for me when I carried the Olympic torch just over a year ago.
Perhaps we can learn something from the Wimbledon crowd. We should all channel some of that energy to give someone we know a bit of a lift. It is important to offer unconditional support and cheer others on. It is important because it can make all the difference – it can really help someone achieve their best, give them a boost, make them realise they can do it. Tell someone you know is striving for something that you believe in them. Share someone’s story of endurance with your friends. Go with someone who is taking part in an event to literally cheer them on. Our din doesn’t even have to be particularly noisy, it doesn’t even have to be public. Just a private word, a phone call, a text message, a tweet. Maybe it’s an action rather than words; a note, a card? Be the person who enjoys watching other people succeed, and do your bit to help them be the best they can be by uplifting them.
Life is all about the journey. Be someone’s crowd.