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During this last week, I was encouraged by a friend to enter a Cape Town 15km Road Race, the Dan Luyt.  This race was not on my radar until a few days ago; I did not study the course but knew that the area was generally hilly.

Even though I have been doing regular hill training, nothing could have prepared me for the number of hills that I faced on this race.  Having the will to run, the stamina and the strength is not enough when a part of your body is in agony.  The hills humbled me but this was not the main problem; the pain I carried throughout the last 5km’s of this race is what slowed me down and brought me to a place of doubting whether I would finish it in time.

As we know, some days we are going to feel elated and other days, we will wonder if you will ever make the cut-off.  A lot depends on our mindsets as well; do we generally have a positive outlook or negative one. The first 10km of this 15km road race went very well; it was the last 5km which challenged me to no end and made the journey somewhat unbearable.   

I got thinking about life in general. How often don’t we feel like throwing in the towel? When life gets too hard, when challenges get too tough, when it’s easy to break off than to work on our relationships?

Today, I knew that even though, I was in agony for the last kms of this race,   I had to finish it. I had to finish what I started.  And so it is with LIFE. Sometimes we are thrown an unexpected curve ball; we are forced to make changes that seem unfair. We are expected to slow down due to injury or ill health. To carve out a new story for our time left on earth.

There were those who encouraged me on the way, runners from other clubs but as I neared the finish, I did not expect what I saw.  A very large group of runners from my club were standing and applauding all the runners coming in, helping them to pick up the pace by just being there and cheering them on.  Some joined their partners and ran the last few 100m with them.  Friends joined their fellow team mates and helped them across the finish line.  The camaraderie, was thick in the air; A reminder again to myself that no matter what I face in life, giving up is not an option, because when I persevere despite the difficulty along the way, the completion of that race, task, project, new business venture, relationship intervention or whatever the situation is, I know when I have completed it, the feeling of victory, completion and breakthrough far outweighs the painful process.

Please feel free to share this blog with someone who needs some encouragement

(Image Credit: Goodwood Harriers)