Week of April 14, 2003 Edition
Don't Stop Now
By Audrina Jones Bunton
It was a sultry Saturday, July 2002. Hundreds of onlookers gazed at the participants in this annual track and field event in Durham, NC.
Parents, friends, and spectators sat under colossal umbrellas shielding from the blazing sun, while restlessly shifting on the rigid and uncomfortable aluminum bleachers that surrounded the stadium.
At nine years old, she came running full speed and straight ahead, leaving everyone else behind while completing her 440-yard race.
With arms outstretched, she crossed the finish line and victoriously walked off the track exhausted -- and a conqueror.
Truly, she was the winner because everyone else in the race was -- what seemed like miles behind.
Listening for the cheers of family and friends, she heard none. There were no victory cheers, no clapping, and no smiles. Instead, her supporters were yelling and motioning for her to keep going, because she had not won the race. Her race was not complete, because she stopped too soon! She stopped 12 feet before the official finish line!
Onlookers were stunned. Supporters' heads dropped and then emotions flared as outcries of disgust and blame rang throughout the stadium toward the event timers.
"You're standing at the wrong line," someone yelled at the event timer. "You misled her into thinking that you were at the finish line," someone else shouted.
What had really happened? And, who was really to blame?
The true winner -- or so she thought -- did not complete her race. The true winner was in fact, not the winner at all. Perhaps misguided by the event timers standing 12 feet before the finish line, she stopped, thinking that she had won. In her mind, she was the winner -- but according to the rules, she was not.
Trailing her, another runner crossed the official finish line and won the race. Why, because evidently, she knew what her goal was and was not going to stop until she reached it. She did not allow distractions to stop her. She did not allow anyone to mislead her. She was not going to stop until she was indeed the WINNER!
What goals must you reach to be declared the winner in your life? What distractions must you ignore or get rid of to reach your goals?
Whatever your goals are, it is up to you, and no one else to reach them. Whatever the distractions are, it is up to you to honestly and wisely deal with or do away with them.
If you want to live a purposeful and fulfilling life, then wisely and wholeheartedly do what you must -- but don't stop until you reach them. Don't stop now!
Copyright 2003 by Audrina Jones Bunton. REPRINTING THIS ARTICLE: Permission is granted to reproduce or distribute this article only in its entirety and provided copyright is acknowledged. You can find other articles to
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Think About It!!
"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning." -- Louis L'Amour
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