Updated: Jan 3, 2020
By Kristyn Lough
We all start at the starting line. We are unaware as to how many laps we will need to complete. Eager to embark on the next step, you look ahead with determined eyes. BANG! The race begins.
It starts off relatively even. Your legs are motivated to keep up, maybe even take this one home. There are some people ahead of you and some people behind. You’re in the middle of the pack, pacing yourself for the long haul.
To determine how far you’ve come, you look back. There is no longer anyone behind you on the track. You look forward and slowly the others are separating from you.
You look down to realize that there is a giant rubber band around your waist, and the ends are tied to the starting line. You’re running, as fast and as hard as you can, yet you just can’t seem to keep up with everyone else.
Confusion overwhelms you. You’ve trained for this race just as hard as everyone else. Why do you feel so far behind?
The rubber band is getting tighter and the resistance is becoming palpable. Startled by the sound of footsteps on the ground, you look to your side and see that the others have started to lap you. Although you wish you were farther ahead in the race, you try to be proud of how well everyone else is progressing. With a compulsory smile on your face, you cheer them on and encourage them to keep going.
As the clock ticks the others continue to lap you. You are feeling the struggle against the elastic band now more than ever. Once in a while a runner will grab your hand and pull you along. You even make up some ground. But suddenly you are let go, and ricocheted back as the other runner has realized that you are slowing them down. For a moment you thought everyone was going to work as a team. As your hand drops back down to your side, you feel disconnected.
Why is this so much easier for everyone else? Why do I have to work so much harder, yet never seem to catch up?
With blisters on your feet and sweat dripping down your face, you contemplate dropping out of the race. Maybe this just isn’t for you. Giving up might be easier. At least then you won’t feel embarrassed while everyone else is celebrating their accomplishment.
Gradually slowing down, you come to a complete stop, hands on your waist, looking up at the sky in frustration. Why? WHY?
This is why.
You are endlessly looking at how far you have to go, instead of how far you have come. Not long ago, the idea of this race seemed an impossible task.
In a moment of clarity – a moment which can often seem to take days, weeks, months, even years – you remember that it hurt more to just stand still.
Taking a deep breath, you take one step forward. Then another. It’s hard; there is no denying this. But your legs have become stronger. Your mind, a little sharper. You may have always had to fight harder, but because of this, you are now more prepared for the next lap around the track. And in time, the elastic band becomes your Champions’ Belt.