the Strength at the Finish Line

This post is overdue… but it took a while to really process feelings and emotions and as we’re all currently learning and experiencing, there are still so many unknowns related to the Boston Marathon bombings.  

Long before I became an athlete I took an internship with a running company.  Soon this internship turned into my first real job after college where I worked my way up in the company to become a race director for large half marathons around the country.  Working with this company is how I started running, which led to sweet success and deep struggles in my life and then opened the door to CrossFit and the TRUE Strength journey.  The very first day I started running was not because I really wanted to but because my boss, the company president, said he was going to take a break from the work day and go for a run.  The next day I decided… well hell… I don’t want to sit in the office, I want a break too, so I announced I was going to take a break and go for a run.  It all started in that moment.  I didn’t know how far I was going but each time I went out – huffing, puffing, terrible form, hobbling… I had a finish line.  

And I found strength each time I crossed that line.  

I soon found races to experience and was in awe of the emotional experience and release that came from crossing each finish line. I found finish lines in other areas of life too and felt an internal sense of competition to get to the next finish line… accomplish something new, learn something, grow!

With the company I had the honor of spending most of the four hour races at the start and finish line.  Our company’s philosophy was that every single person who crossed that line should be celebrated – not just the winners.  We even had balloons for the final finishers.  The point wasn’t how fast you did it but that you… DID IT.  Every single race I cried at the start of the race and cried as the final finishers crossed the finish line.  Being a part of their journey and success was an honor.  In those moments we all bonded together and were family. Sharing in the strength that came from that finish line.

On Monday, April 15th, so many of us instantly became family as we had to find strength at the finish line in Boston.  Those who were at the scene and ran towards the victims are true heroes.  So many gave their own safety to help others in need and help protect those around them.  Around the country and world we felt a sense of violation and deep, true sadness.  Many of us are still finding ways to support and help from afar.  The thought of such a celebratory time being stolen is sickening.

Nothing I write, can make any tragedy better, but I can beg of you to remember the strength found at that finish line and each finish line of every day.

I remember when I still worked for the running company and my mom walked the half marathon.  I framed her finisher photo with a caption saying, “Smiling across all of life’s finish lines”

As we all sort through the tragedies that have seemed to come one after another in world recently, please fight to find the strength in your situation, your finish lines, your ups and downs. 

TRUE Strength 


2 responses to “the Strength at the Finish Line

  1. Dearest Meg, thank you for this beautiful and powerful post to True Strength and for including the reference to me. The photo of me smiling and about to cross the finish line will long be among my favorites

    Love, Mom

    Tobie R. Sanders, Ph.D.

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