By Samantha McKenzie
Finish lines represent the big “win” for runners and marathon enthusiasts. They remind us that we’ve accomplished a goal, achieved an objective and made it to the end. To the champion, it is the moment of truth, when all of your hard work finally pays off. You did it!
I saw a video this week of a female runner, whose body overcome by exhaustion, buckle to her knees just a few feet away from the finish line. Just when viewers and onlookers thought it was over for her, she pulled herself back up from the ground, continued the short distance and made it across the finish line. The pain in her face spoke volumes. Her body was riddled with fatigue. Yet, somehow, she found the resolve to push forward.
Finish lines in life can be a little more elusive. There isn’t any tape or ribbons at the end to mark your accomplishment, no audience cheering you on. We learn, however, that if we are really trying to achieve a goal, we must discipline ourselves and condition our body and mind for success.
This means we may have to get up earlier each morning to prepare. It may even mean we’ll have a few more late nights and long weekends as we plow away at our agendas.
You’ll find that there’s less time to party, to shop, or to watch the football game. When you are training your mind to get across the finish line, you may temporarily lose a few friends. You will learn to say goodbye, for now.
Carving out your new schedule will seem impossible. People will tell you often, “I don’t know how you do it.” You’ll have less time to complain. When you are trying to achieve something big, you’ll fix what needs to be fixed and keep it moving – forward. You’ll learn to sidestep the trifling things as well.
Dream chasers plug away. They pound down doors and keep their ears cocked awaiting the one door of opportunity to open. I use the audio app on my phone quite often to leave notes to myself. When you’re grinding, you don’t have time to forget one thing.
I wonder what that runner told herself that day that made her get back up off the ground and make it to the finish line.
In life, you’ll find that the mind is your most reliable tool. Right when you are near the end and your body feels weary, right when doubt raises its ugly head and fills your thoughts with a thousand reasons why you should put off your goal, you’ll hear the voice from within remind you that, “I’ve come too far to quit.”
In these moments, we push ourselves harder, press on even more, and find a way to the finish line.