How Do You Want to Finish?

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“When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.” — Edward Teller

The hardest race I ever ran was a half marathon that finished up a hill. On the surface, the event was perfectly ordinary.

Perfect weather, great conditions, great energy.  With one mile to go I felt great.

Then with 500 yards left, I stopped.

I couldn’t see the finish line.

I was tired, running uphill, nearly to the end but unable to see the final destination.

I let my feelings of exhaustion and doubt overtake me.

It didn’t matter that the crowds were increasing or that I’d passed the last aid station a couple miles back. I had plenty of evidence the finish line just ahead.

But a hard left turn 100 yards from the actual finish line created a visual barrier between me and the end of the race.

I let one turn, 100 yards in front of me, cause doubt.

Enough doubt that I simply gave up.

Just before I got to the end.

I didn’t trust myself enough to know that I hat it in me to finish.  I didn’t trust my body enough to carry me through.  Doubt overcame me.  It was hard.  I couldn’t see an end.  So I stopped running.

Then I turned the corner and there it was.  Right in front of me.  Just out of site, but so, so, close at hand.

It’s not the stopping that was painful.

What made it painful was the deep knowledge that I could have kept going.  I had it in me.

And I gave up simply because I didn’t have the physical evidence I wanted to prove I could do it.  I wanted the sight of the finish line to carry me though. I wanted to see the finish line with my own eyes to tell me I could do it.  Even though I already knew I could.

What barriers are standing in your way of a perfect finish in some aspect of your life?  Can you see past them?  Take a few minutes, step back and feel yourself crossing the finish line.  Really feel the relief, excitement, joy – whatever it is.  Hold that feeling and then ask yourself how you want to get there.  How do you want the last 100 yards to go down?  Run those last yards, up that hill, the same way you ran the first mile.  One step in front of the other.

“To travel hopefully is better than arriving.” derived from Robert Louis Stevenson via Jeanette Maw at Good Vibe University


  1. Shay de Silva

    April 29, 2012

    Very though provoking Christy! “Not being able to see the finish line” applies to so many things in life. Remembering to keep moving forward even when the end isn’t in sight is great advice. Thanks for sharing your story!

  2. Christy

    May 1, 2012

    Shay – you’re totally right, it’s so true for so many things in life. It’s easy to get discouraged and want to quit, even when the finish line is right in front of you. Keep going!

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