Crossing the Finish Line 

Crossing the finish line
Crossing the finish line

If you have ever won an award or accomplished something challenging in your life, then you understand that surreal rush of pride and self-worth when you realize what you have just done. It is the same incredible feeling every time you cross the finish line of a competitive race or a charity race for a special cause. The greatest part is you don’t just feel the rush the first time you do it, that feeling comes back every time you reach a new distance or beat your previous time. There is no greater feeling that realizing that you just did something that you previously did not believe was possible.

My first finish line was the Detroit half marathon in 2009. I was previously an overweight smoker who couldn’t run a single city block up until the day I decided that I wanted more out of my life. I was not happy with how I had let myself go and I needed a change. I made a commitment to finish a half marathon and it motivated me do whatever was necessary to carry myself to cross the finish line. I trained on a regular basis for seven months starting with walking long distances and then eventually being able to run.

As much as I trained, I still struggled to keep up my pace during the half marathon. I developed blisters in the bottom on my feet and I had to walk the last few miles.  Fortunately, I was overwhelmed by the cheering of strangers along the route who pushed me to keep going. Despite the pain and the fact that my overall time was not impressive, I felt on top of the world when I crossed the finish line. 

That feeling of success will start to carry over into your personal and professional life.  Once you have used your drive and determination to push your body through the finish line, you will feel like you are capable of anything. The more goals you meet, then the more goals that you will want to set for yourself. Isn’t the purpose of life to live it to your fullest potential?   

Running is about challenging yourself and pushing yourself to achieve the very best that you can do. If the race you are participating is in fact a timed event, then you can use the results as a benchmark for future attempts. My first half marathon took me 3 hours and 7 minutes, but my second half marathon only took 2 hours and 40 minutes. Neither of those times would be considered impressive to experienced marathon runners, but for me it was a huge leap forward.

Racing competitive is all about beating your own time. It has nothing to do with coming in first or trying to keep up with the leader of the pack. Every time you cross the finish line think about how far you came and how much further you can truly push yourself to go. Try to improve each time you cross the finish line and the rush or pride and excitement will always be waiting for you on the other side.

We like to thank Katherine from California for sharing her story with us. Share your first experience of crossing the finishing line with us below.