What is one goal you have and would like to accomplish within the next six months? Now, close your eyes and visualize the feeling you will have upon reaching that goal. (Seriously, stop reading for 10 seconds and do this.) How did it feel? Pretty good, right? Remember this feeling here in a bit.

Way back in 1968 John Akhwari represented Tanzania at the summer olympic games in Mexico City. John was competing in the marathon race and in the early going took a nasty spill. Akhwari fell hard onto the concrete badly cutting his and dislocating his knee. He needed immediate medical attention but refused and got back up to finish the race. Akhwari was determined to finish this race, even if it meant walking and hobbling along. The winner on this especially hot day in Mexico City crossed the finish line at 2:20:26 and Akhwari was the absolute last one to finish at 3:25:27. There were only a handful of people left around when Akhwari finished the marathon. A couple of reporters made their way over to him and asked, “Why did you continue and finish the race when you were obviously badly injured?” John responded, “My country didn’t send me 5,000 miles to start a race. They sent me 5,000 miles to finish it.”

Go back to January 1st of this year. You made resolutions, goals, or chose a word for the year. . We’re over two months into the new year, are you on track to reach your goals? Are you living up to your expectations? Have you had obstacles in your way? Now, think of that feeling you had visualizing your success of reaching your goal. This feeling should be your driving force. It is possible to reach the goal. 

Are you in a sprint or a marathon? What does your race look like? Realize that we are all running some type of race. We are all going to face trials and adversity in our relationships, work, and health. Don’t let the bumps and bruises deter you. Realize they make you stronger.

Did you know the first golf balls had no dimples on them? They were smooth, like a ping-pong ball. Over time people realized the small bumps (indentations) actually made the golf ball travel further. We are like the ball, the bumps we encounter along the way only help us travel further. We can’t get to where we haven’t been unless we embrace and learn from our bumpy road. If we have the mindset of John Akhwari, we will find a way to succeed.

Here a 5 Keys to Finish Your Race Strong

  1. Remember why you started. What’s the point? Why did you begin? Why do you want it? If we have a vision we need reminders of it. Put up a picture or a sign where you will see it every day. It will remind you of your vision. Develop the mindset that once you start something you will finish it. 
  2. Believe. Nothing happens without belief. Ever. If you’ve worked hard and put in the training necessary, you have every right to be confident. Self-belief and pride in oneself is a powerful thing. It is only developed through hard work. Believe and achieve!
  3. Embrace the middle. Everyone wants to start and finish strong, but if you forget the middle you’ve lost. Akhwari had to really push to get through his race injured. You have to focus on the process, one day at a time. Embrace the journey because in the end it’s what matters most and where the most is learned. You’re in the middle now, so keep at it and grind every day!
  4. Visualize. We’ve already mentioned it several times in this post, but visualization is powerful. If olympic and professional athletes swear by it, why can’t you incorporate it into your day? Five to ten minutes a day is all it takes.
  5. Get to the next gear. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have another level we can go to. I know I do. I’m guilty just as much as the next person of settling at a certain speed or at a certain level. The challenge for us all is continue to kick into the next gear. It’s difficult to get out of your comfort zone but it’s a necessity. No matter what happens during the race, make sure you find the next gear as you hit the home stretch.

It’s amazing what happens when you don’t give up. No matter how far you have to go or how rough the journey has been, don’t quit. Believe and achieve!

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.