Reaching the Finish Line

Reaching the Finish Line

As some of you may know, I was on the track and field team in high school. Getting to be a part of that team was definitely one of the highlights during this time in my life. I truly loved competing in all of the events that I participated in, especially the jumps. However, I didn’t do only jumps for all four years. When I started out, I was solely a sprinter. And even though I wasn’t the fastest person out there, I still liked competing. What I didn’t like however, was practicing for those events.

Each practice, everyone (regardless of what event we competed in) would start out with a warmup. We all jogged a mile, but since it was just a warmup, we went at a leisurely pace. Many times I would even talk to my teammates while we were running, which definitely meant that I wasn’t putting forth too much energy. That’s why I didn’t mind the warmup. The tough part came when we split up into our individual training sessions for the events that we competed in. Since I was a sprinter, I mostly had to work on my speed, but we would also work on endurance sometimes too. Even though I was running for short distances come race day, my coaches would make me run distances longer than the ones I was competing in so that when I actually had to compete, running those shorter distances would be much easier. It definitely ended up working, but in the moment when I was running these extended distances at practice, I hated it. And that was mainly because, even though we were forced to run longer than our actual event, we still had to sprint. For someone who couldn’t even sprint for a full 400 meters, doing it for twice as long was tantamount to torture.

Each time I started out, I would think that it wasn’t actually that bad, but by the time I hit the 300 meter mark, I would start thinking that I wasn’t going to make it. Even though I had already completed 300 meters, I still couldn’t imagine myself getting through the remaining 500. The main thing that kept me going was the fact that I had already come so far. After covering that much ground already, it wouldn’t make much sense to just give up. I had to keep going. And as I kept moving forward, I realized that I had finished most of the distance and that the hardest part was behind me. So, when I got to that point, I used that thought to push me forward. Even though my body was aching and I was running out of breath, I would keep going because the “finish line” was in my sight. It was a great motivator. And even though many, many years have passed since I stepped foot on a track to compete, I still like to use this same type of motivation in my daily life.

Every now and again I get to a place in my life where I just feel tired and defeated. I’ll feel like I’ve pushed myself as far as I can go, and I just don’t know how I’m going to make it any further. When I start to feel like this, however, I take a moment to look back on how much I have done. I think about all that I’ve accomplished. I remember that I’ve come way too far to just give up and throw in the towel. And I use this thought process to keep me going, and you can too. You may not be able to see the finish line yet because you don’t know where it is, or how much further you have to go to get there. But what if you were to give up now and the finish line was just around the corner? You couldn’t see it yet, but it was right there, but instead of pushing through you decided to give up, so you never got the chance to see it. You wouldn’t want that to happen would you? That’s why you have to keep on going.

Positive thinker, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Keep pushing through until you reach the finish line!