Finish Strong

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This photo was taken at the completion of my last run in the Cooper River Bridge 10K. As I look at the picture, I recall the range of thought and emotion I experienced as I pushed through the 6.2 mile run. I experienced everything from anticipation to struggle to exhaustion and finally, elation. What I remember most, though, is how I felt when I neared the end of that race. Although every muscle in my body screamed, “ We can’t go on!” seeing that finish line, I got a rush of adrenaline, and suddenly, a mere crossing – the- line was not good enough for me. Aching muscles be damned, I had to sprint across that line. I had to finish strong.

Whether you are an educator who is finishing up another school year or an employee who is nearing the end of a project or job or if you’re ending a relationship, the question is this: How are you finishing?

All things end, no matter how wonderful or horrific. That’s just the way it is. Of this, we have no control. What we can control, however, is the way in which we end things. We can choose to have a strong finish. How you finish determines whether you end up seeing yourself as weak or strong, winner or loser, victim or victor.

Finishing strong is a choice that requires one to take stock of oneself by reflecting on and acting upon a handful of questions:

• Did I give this situation the best of me? If not, where do I find the energy for one more “push”?

• What did I discover about myself? How will I use this new information to better myself or to improve my response to the situation?

• Did my thoughts and energy go to those things over which I have control or did my attention go to those things that were “givens”?

As you approach the end of your experience, your race, whatever it is, my wish for you is that you take a deep breath, dig deep, push through it, and finish strong.

What’s coming to an end for you? What steps will you take so that you can finish strong?

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