Starting Line

Can we just celebrate the starting line today and forget about those visions of someone in a race photo, crossing a finish line, full of pride and achievement? I’m here to tell you that getting to that starting line is often the greater accomplishment. Can I get an amen?

Now, here’s the disclaimer—I am intimidated by everything, EVERYTHING, that’s new to me. So I am speaking from true experience about getting those !@#$ doubts to shut UP. Getting myself to a starting line of something new is WAY harder than getting myself to the finish line. Not everyone has such extreme intimidation, but it still takes a lot of strength to START. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.”

You don’t have to be an athlete to face a starting line with that elusive finish line dangling out there somewhere. Anything you’re considering tackling (or are forced to tackle) requires that figurative starting line. To hell with the finish, people—getting started and taking the next step requires more energy, at times! Elisabeth Elliot says, “….do the next thing.” THAT is how you get closer to the starting line. We think we get to the finish line one step at a time, but newsflash…..that is how we get to the STARTING line.

So, the next step (see what I just did there?!) is to talk to friends about that starting line! You’ll hear,”YES YOU CAN!”, and “you’re so strong”, and “you got this”, and maybe even, “why do you wanna do THAT?”, and you will doubt every bit of it. BUT let your friends be the magnet that pulls you closer to that start line. In my ancient age and wisdom, I’ve learned and few things, and one of them is that there is truly power in numbers, in a community of people who believes in you even when you don’t.

While getting to the finish line is a huge accomplishment and feeling of empowerment, never, ever underestimate what it takes to get yourself to the starting line. And like my new favorite quote (of course, you know it’s coming…..) from This is Us….”The two best things in my life were the person at the very beginning, and the person at the very end”, the beginning is just as important as the end.

 

Caroline Arey

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