Where is the finish line? You see, in a race it’s easy to give everything you’ve got. You know where the finish line is. It’s right over there. You just gotta run as fast as you can. Ignore all that temporary, piercing pain and forget about your lack of energy. Squeeze every ounce of determination, grit, and motivation out of you. After all, in a race, the only thing that matters is that you give it all up for that 1st place trophy. It’s assumed that you’ll be able to get to the finish line. Maybe not first, but everyone finishes the race around a similar time.
However, this is a marathon and not a race. Everyone finishes at a different time. There are also many personal finish lines in a marathon. Checkpoints and miniature goals, if you will. These are the things that keep you sane. You hope there is an actual finish line somewhere along this path. You can’t actually see it though. You just know that you don’t ever want to stop moving. Even though the pain will always be with you, don’t stop. If you ever stop, it’s going to be harder to get going again. Why can’t we stop again? Oh right, I remember. If you ever stop, it’s going to be harder to get going again. But it’s going to be tough. For myself, sometimes I feel like I’m not even thinking about what I’m doing. It’s like I’ve trained myself to continue to run so I don’t ever stop. Because in a marathon, it isn’t about how fast you finish. It’s whether or not you make it to that finish line. The actual one.
So far, I’ve sped past many things in this marathon. Averted my gaze. I didn’t want to deal with them. They were awkward obstacles I didn’t know how to handle so I tried to bypass them. I thought I could avoid them. I predicted that they were dangerous. They could possibly hurt me. I wanted a shortcut past them. And one of the worst feelings is when I have to run backwards and backtrack. Why is this the case? There weren’t any people handing out water bottles along my shortcut. Also in taking this shortcut, I forgot about everyone else running the marathon. The people that stopped to help me get up when I tripped and fell down. The people who looked back and encouraged me to catch up and follow. The people I could lead the way for. And of course, the people I ran alongside with.
Whatever fork in the road I take. Whatever number I decide to wear on my chest. Don’t forget, one thing is for sure. I won’t take the people and experiences I encounter for granted anymore. I want them all to make it to the only finish line I’ve seen and found.