This is a about why you should never give up. The finishing line might be right ahead of you.
We had recently moved to London (we’d been there for less than a year) when the school my son Chris attended arranged for their annual track and field day. Each student had to sign up to participate in their event of choice. On the way to school that morning I asked Chris what event he was going to participate in. He said was going to run the 1,200 meter race (3/4 of a mile). I didn’t think much of it then, other than it sounded an awful long race for an eight year old boy.
We arrived a bit early, although Chris’ race was not until later that morning. It was a beautiful sunny day and we spent the morning watching the other events.
Then the time came when Chris had to get ready for his event. He was warming up for a little bit and slowly the racers lined up to get ready for their run. I then noticed that the other students were a bit taller and older than Chris.
The race started and by my surprise Chris sprinted immediately to the front. It was like he was thinking “I’m gonna win this race”. However, it didn’t take long until he started to drop back in the field. He kept pace with the other students for about a lap (the race was three laps) and then slowly started to fall off the pace with the others.
During the second lap he fell further behind but kept on going. I could see now he was really struggling and was in some pain. I was standing by the track and cheering him on. Then I suddenly noticed his teacher was running on the sideline next to him trying to stop Chris from continuing the race. I saw Chris was shaking his head several times to his teacher and kept on going despite showing signs of pain and dropping further behind in the race.
Now the other parents was noticing what was going on, seeing the teacher chasing Chris on the sideline. They all stood up starting clapping their hands and cheering for Chris. Somehow Chris noticed this because it worked like an injection of energy to him. On the final 100 meters he started to accelerate in an attempt to sprint towards the finishing line. He wanted to give it all in front of the cheering parents. Even the teacher was now cheering him on to get to the finishing line.
You could see in Chris’ face that he was determine to finish even though the other runners had already finished the race. I was waiting for him at the finishing line and when he crossed the line his body fell into my arms like he was suddenly life less.
He was gasping for air. He couldn’t stand up for himself and couldn’t say a word for several minutes. It was then the teacher came over to me and said he tried to stop Chris from continuing the race when he discovered the “mistake”. You see, Chris was not suppose to participate in this race. It was for twelve years up only. It was too long of a race for an eight year old boy.
Chris finally started to get his breath back and was able to have some water. As he started to slowly move around again, and everybody saw that he was ok, they started cheering again. Parents, students and teachers alike. And would you believe, he then started to take a victory lap in front of everybody cheering. Because in his mind, he won the race. He won the race against himself. He crossed the finishing line. HE NEVER GAVE UP! He was determined to finish. That was a life lesson never to be forgotten. Never give up. The finishing line is just ahead of you.
Image courtesy of Creativedoxfoto at FreedigitalPhotos.net