The Finish Line Is A Glory-Hog

Credit JiteshJagadish on Flickr
Credit JiteshJagadish on Flickr

The finish line gets all the glory.

Crowds gather at the end of a race with blankets, signs and Gatorade, ready to crown the winner with a laurel wreath. Celebrities show up at awards galas to nominate and congratulate each other on lofty achievements. Local TV news stories are produced about the amazing achievements of small town heroes.

The finish line is a glory-hog;  but in reality it shouldn’t be.

Finishing is great, but starting is harder.

Getting up off the couch after a lifetime of Doritos and reality TV and deciding to jog around the block, knowing full well that you probably won’t make it all the way, takes determination. Taking the plunge during your 7th grade play and stepping on stage for the first time, even though some of your friends will probably laugh at you, takes real courage. Deciding that the best way to start spending your Saturdays is helping at the local homeless shelter instead of going out with friends takes a serious change of heart.

The finish line can motivate us, but will it’s ever distant promises sustain us? Usually not.

Do you daydream about a big goal that you hope to achieve, someday? Have you put it on your New Year’s resolution list year after year only to find it unattained time and time again? Then you know how important the start is.

If we don’t jump in with both feet and start moving towards our goal then day dreams of glory at the finish line are just that- daydreams.

Stop dreaming and start doing. Take a small step in the right direction and then just keep going.

No matter what.

Starting is what really matters. We need to celebrate it more often.

Author: Steve P Brady

My vocation is that of an English teacher and job search coach. In my leisure time I am a reader, writer and runner (and a huge horror fan).

9 thoughts on “The Finish Line Is A Glory-Hog”

  1. What you have written in your post is so true, taking those first few steps in any challenge are the hardest. Having the nerve and courage to take on something that we know will be hard is much harder than actually achieving the goal.

    Me and my husband both run, the difference is I have to work a lot harder to achieve half of what he does. He had done a couple of marathons, but I never had the nerve or thought I had the ability to complete one. On turning 42 I decided that that was the year I would do my 1st marathon………..Just making the decision was hard, training was hard, but the hardest thing was standing at the start line knowing what was between me and the finish line and still doubting myself.

    Starting anything often takes more nerve than some people give credit for!

  2. Debbie- Great example! And kudos on your first marathon. I am a recreational runner myself- though I have never attempted anything beyond 10 miles. Very impressed.

  3. Thank you Steve. I too am only a recreational runner and whilst I am tempted to do another marathon, it is getting to the start line that puts me off the most!

  4. Thoughtful post on some of the challenges inherent in starting on a new unknown journey.

    I think successfully starting or tackling a new project requires a special blend of: energy, vision [of the project], support, guts/daring and planning. The amounts required of these components probably vary both by the type of new task/goal, as well as by one’s personal state of mind.

  5. I agree that taking the first steps toward a goal is the hardest. We say we’ll start tomorrow and put it off time and time again. Sometimes people don’t know how to start and that’s where we need mentors and people to help hold us accountable.

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