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Finish Lines

Finish lines are personal.  Each and every one of us has a story that is to be celebrated at a finish line.  Whether an athlete crosses first with banners, or crosses last, there is always something symbolic about them.  They ARE a big deal, not just to the spectator, but to the athlete, who celebrates something sacred, that only he or she can own.  It is a journey that started with a first step, lots of growth, failures, and ends with bang.   Finish lines are to be respected by others and cherished by the finisher.  That is why there are banners, lights, crowds, grandstands, music and announcers at finish lines.  They are special.

I am a Pittsburgh gal, and in Pittsburgh, EVERYONE knows the saying, "Raise the Jolly Roger" (a saying on a banner that symbolizes the Pittsburgh Pirates).  The banner represents pride, of who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.  It unites everyone with a vested interest and come game day, all cherishes cheers and celebrations.

And so it is with any sport finish line; unity with celebrations and banners...

I have had the chance to meet many amazing people and athletes in sport. All of their finish line stories are truly unique.  

-An ex-marine, who suffered from PTSD, who found peace in her training and racing.  

-A father, who was able to grieve for a child who passed away, too soon,.  

-A young athlete, who is finding his path in life.  

-A son who has an ill parent and is trying to cope through training and racing.  

-An athlete who made a life transformation from one of “self destruction” to one of “self reconstruction”.

-A professional, who wins their very first prize purse, and can be reassured that they can pay the monthly bills .

I can go on and on.  All have a story to tell that is very personal, and serves as their fuel to get to their finish line.

Finish lines are as symbolic as one can get.  Raising ones hands, giving high fives, smiling, and if lucky enough, raising a banner, are symbolic gestures that represent the personal journeys of getting there.  Some celebrate in honor of others, in memory of lost loved ones, or of overcoming illnesses.  Others celebrate to respect the sacrifice made by selves and family for that occasion.  

My finish line story is personal.  It includes honoring loved ones, both present and past or "above". 

Think about your last finish line.  What thought was there?  And NOPE, the response "I was happy to get the *&%$er over with" will not be accepted.  WE ALL think that!

What was personal about your finish line? Maybe it was a thought, person, event, overcoming obstacles, a phrase or an emotion or perhaps, all of these?  Really dig deep, and you will find your why and the reason to embrace the symbolism of the finish line celebration.  And clap your hands in celebration, give high fives, raise the banner, and CELEBRATE at every one of your future finish lines. You have earned it!  And do the same for others when they reach that sacred ground of a finish line.  It is a very personal journey that only we can own, and no one can ever take away. 

~Amy Javens is a QT2 Level 2 coach and recently won the female title at Ironman Los Cabos

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