A couple of months ago, my wife Peggy and I went to New York to run a Half-Marathon with our friend Meredith. It was an amazing run on a cloudy September morning in Central Park. The entire night before it had rained and we prepared for a wet run, and luckily the rain stopped before the race started and held off until we were walking home afterwards but needless to say it was HUMID throughout the race.
And for anyone who hasnt been to Central Park it is a lot hillier than you might think, I dont remember many flat stretches on the entire run. So, if you add up these elements the race was a little tougher than we had thought it might be that day AND besides all of that Peggy had just discovered she was pregnant (the doctor said it was ok for her to run).
During the race, we made sure to keep a good pace and to take it easy so we didnt put Peggy under too much stress. And as were getting near the end we were pretty sweaty, tired, and ready for the finish line. About 100 yards from the actual finish Peggy looked at me and said If you want to sprint to the finish go ahead.
I replied Thanks but Id like to finish with you. Peggy said No, no you go ahead I interupted and said No, really. I ran this whole race by your side, I want to finish by your side. As I finished saying that I got distracted by something to my left and turned my head, and as I turned my head and eyes back to the front to see the finish line I saw Peggy about 10 yards in front of me on a dead sprint! Her arms and legs were pumping so hard you would have thought she was being chased by a bear. (In Peggys defense she says that she said Lets Go! but I didnt hear that at all.)
It was crazy! Suddenly, I was in a RACE, not a run, the last 2 hours and 15 minutes no longer mattered, I was trying to chase her down so that at the very least I was going to cross the finish line at the same time as her. It was a strange mix of an animal chasing down prey, male ego being challenged, fun competition, and child-like play as I ran at full speed. When we got done, I laughed so hard at Peggy and asked her Where did that come from???! She said that she didnt know, but when she saw the finish line some surge of energy came forth and pushed her farther and faster than she thought possible in the moment. An urge to finish strong overcame her and that inspired me to also finish stronger than if I had gone on without her.
The analogy here is simple. We are coming up on a finish line in our business. The year 2009 is coming to a close and the Fourth Quarter is wrapping up.
The question for you is: How are you going to finish? Have the elements been a little tougher than you thought they might be this year? Has it been a bit more humid than you planned? Did everything not go according to plan? Good! Because none of that matters. Right now, you have a choice. None of that past 11 months is important right NOW.
You can choose between a few options: a.) coast to the finish b.) pick up the pace and jog a bit faster or c.) pretend there is a bear chasing you and hunt down that finish line like your life depends upon it. If you pick it up the odds of you inspiring someone else to do the same are great. You can talk some smack or you can simply start sprinting and see if anyone can catch you.
Here is what I want to know: Think of a time in your life when you finished stronger than you thought could or when did you sprint the last 50 yards.
Tell us an example (it doesnt have to be a long story), just a reference point to show that youve done it, and if you dont have a story thats ok, tell me that you can finish strong. Leave your comments, stories, examples, or declarations below. And when were chilling on the sizzler or catching up in January, someone will ask you, Where did THAT come from??