“Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”
I am sure that you have all heard this statement over and over, and that it has now, kind of lost its touch from being so overused by coaches/teachers/parents and more.
Well…That is, until you hear this story, and that saying regains its powerful punch.
There once was a runner who was set to run a marathon. The pinnacle of most runner’s careers. The thing that sets the recreational runner apart from the true runners in the world.
He had trained for an entire year. Hour upon hour, mile upon mile, day upon day. He trained like nobody’s business, and he was now as ready as he could possibly be…Or so he thought.
During this marathon, he encountered dense fog in the morning, followed by dust and particles being blown into his eyes, heat, heavy rain, and hills, hills, hills. None of his training had quite prepared him for these obstacles that were now staring him directly in the face.
As if all of that was not bad enough, towards the last ¼ of the race, he began to see blood coming through the mesh on the front of his right shoe. The blood, slow at first, got worse and worse, heavier and heavier, darker and darker. He had developed some very large blisters that had burst, and he was now concerned that he was losing quite a bit of blood. He pushed on and he pushed on and his TEAM encouraged him to keep on keeping on. They shouted, “You can do it! You are almost there! Just a little bit more!!”
In all of this, his heart began to sink, his mind raced, his thoughts became mush, and his spirit…became broken. He gave one last push, one last bit of fury…But then realized that his foot was just too bad to continue on. And with that, he decided to quit and drop out of the race.
Upon getting to the hospital to get his foot looked at, his family, who was there supporting him, walked into the room where he was waiting on the doctor. His 9 year-old son, who was filled with PRIDE, and so happy with what his daddy had accomplished hugged him so tightly, and said… “Daddy, you did so good, but why didn’t you just run that last corner?”
His face looked puzzled.
Not realizing it during the race, the marathoner was actually only 1 corner and 50 more feet from the finish line. All of the turmoil that he had faced, the obstacles that were in his midst, and the pain in his foot…had caused him to lose sight of the prize.
He let off of the gas pedal and gave into his hardship.
And with that…The statement “Keep Your Eye on the Prize” regained its powerful punch.
Fast Forward 6 months. He went back and ran another Marathon. This time, in spite of severe heat and humidity, with the prize fixed squarely in his mind…He not only crossed the finish line, but even smashed his own practice times! His son met him at the finish line, with another huge hug, and said, “Daddy, I knew you could do it!”
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