Finishing Strong

Lindsay - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 12, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in finishing strong. A person’s success is not assessed on the day they started achieving, the day they partially achieved, or the day they agreed to achieve to their own standard. A person is truly a victorious champion when they have finished strong at accomplishing a goal.

When I was a sixth grader in middle school, I decided to run cross-country. I joined the team expecting it would be as easy as running the elementary school’s seasonal Turkey Trot. It was not. The long hours, the overwhelming heat, and the pure exhaustion were not reasons for joining this particular sport. Actually, there were no reasons for running miles on end and ending up at the same place you started! According to Coach Reed, the explanation of having such dedication to an arduous sport was sweat, hard-work, self-motivation, and achievement. Finishing the race meant nothing to Coach—even finishing a mile-and-a-half at the lightening speed of six minutes! It was how you finished the race that gave meaning to the sport and meant the world to Coach. To finish strong not only displayed the dedication and effort a runner puts into the entire race, but the commitment and power put into finishing the long journey.

With the finish line just meters away, most runners are obligated to give up and coast through, knowing they will finish the race at the speed they choose. But a runner whose perseverance remains strong will see that finish line, boost their energy pack, and let the legs run wild until they cross that finish line. They understand that the insurmountable effort put into achieving will be returned. It will be returned with pure satisfaction, wholehearted accomplishment, and prideful triumph.

I have learned that finishing strong is not just applied to the end of a race, but to the end of any event—the end of finishing an exam, the end of high school, the end of a job, the end of life. It reflects how one responds to the challenges placed before them and whether they rise to the test. One should not be challenged to just finish. One should be challenged to finish strong.