The Start Line: (Final Part)
How you start can often determine how well you finish. In today’s day and age, competition is fierce. Every second counts. Opportunities can be missed by the smallest of margins. It is vital to understand that your reaction to the gun is equally important as the race that is ahead of you. If your response is quicker, you have an added advantage on someone who may be better than you. Your break through could get snatched away by someone else if you are too slow. How quick is your response?
When I entered my first cycling race last year, I was ignorant of how fast you needed to take off. The announcer said that it was no race zone until the traffic lights and then it was race on from there. I took my time thinking that no one was actually racing but then got a surprise when I saw the guys in front of me go “slightly” faster to get there first. I was stunned when I still had 400m to the corner and the other guys were already shooting off. As time progressed and I entered a few more races, I learnt to be vigilant from the start.
In this final part of The Start Line series, I will be talking about two points:
BEING A CONTENDER and PACING YOURSELF.
1. BE A CONTENDER:
Approach every race (life situation) with the belief that you CAN WIN. Whether that is true or not is insignificant. Every champion must first believe in his heart that he can do it before he actually does it. You could be up against the greatest of all time but that doesn’t matter, because he is standing next to CONTENDER that could be the NEXT Greatest of All Time. Anything can happen if you put heart and soul in to it. No one will believe in you until you start believing in yourself. Make sure when you step out there, your presence is felt. Give it your all until your opponent gives in and you cross the finish line with victory clutched in your fist. Always put up a fight. If your start wasn’t the greatest, don’t lose heart, quickly progress on to the next stage and take it from there. Starting only gives you an advantage, you have to cross the finish line first to WIN.
2. PACING YOURSELF:
The first thing you need to understand before participating in a race, is how long the race is. If it’s a 100m sprint, you can afford to give it your all from start to finish because the race is short. However, in life, many of the races we enter are much longer than a 10sec dash. We may want to start a business or get married in which case, you have to strategize the game plan differently and learn how to Pace Yourself. Businesses fail because they start off with high standards for the first 6 months and then they get slack and no longer maintain the same standard they did when they first started. Marriages struggle because all the effort was made for the wedding day and the first 2 years and then things start heading downhill. These races are long and you have to pace yourself and replace the energy you have used in order to keep going. Such races require a lot of learning and unlearning. Some bad habits will slow you down and you have to learn new things in order to speed up. As you get better, you will know when you need to slow down and you will also know when to increase the intensity. Some days, you will feel sore and other days you will feel strong. This is all part of the race. You will do well to remain disciplined and focused on your goal. BALANCE is the key. Don’t spend all your time working and never having fun and don’t always have fun and never work. A valuable key in success is knowing WHEN to ACT.
Hebrew 12:1, Paul says, “And let us run with PERSERVERANCE the race marked out for us”.
Keep persevering and never stop believing that you can do it! Good luck with all your upcoming “events” and go hard with whatever you are currently participating in. Whatever you may be doing, do not grow weary, because you shall certainly succeed if you do not give up!