Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Running with the Finish Line in Sight

I'm going to attempt to make a sloppy analogy, please bear with me…

I am a runner. I love a good race and everything involved in the process. I love getting up early, tying my shoes, using the Port-O-Johns, running miles and miles, then finally finishing and collapsing in a heap of noodlesk muscles…

...And getting massaged by cute physical therapists (note: if the race doesn’t offer free massages by hot men, well I’ll still do it, but I’m not as thrilled)
While racing there is an exhilarating sense of purpose; an anticipation for what is yet to come. Will I make it up that hill? Will I get tired and want to stop? Will the pain in my side ever stop? Can I make it to the end? How many calories am I burning? Will there be free watermelon and Gatorade left by the time I finish?

So as I push through the pain, suck down another gooey packet of strawberry flavored boogers, and pass a runner on the road, I am looking towards the finish line and the rewards awaiting me.
Rewards: Finishers metal, sense of accomplishment, Gatorade and oranges, applause, family and friends waiting for me (Ideally… one day someone will be waiting to greet me at the end), stronger muscles, massage, and of course, a giant cheeseburger (a necessity to finishing any race). Once started, a race is finished by thinking about the rewards to come.There is nothing at the beginning of the race that allures a person to finish. I don’t stand at the starting line thinking, “man this starting line is REALLY making me want to run for 13 miles.” “I MUST run away from this starting line.” “I have a need to put as much distance between myself and the beginning as possible.” Nope, the starting line is NOT why a person runs a race.
Now for my sloppy analogy…

I have been accused on a few occasions of “running from Utah” as if I had to get away from something. Let’s be clear, there is nothing I could “run” from that wouldn’t follow me.

New York was my finish line and I crossed it with pride and accomplishment. This was a loooooooong way to run if there weren’t going to be serious rewards at the finish line.
“Everyone who finishes a marathon is a winner” you know why that is?

Because it’s hard. Running is VERY hard. You do it for the benefits at the finish line, not because you have to get away from the starting line.

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