By Lamide Adenuga
A very important and vital ingredient for a successful and fulfilling life is the need to always remember the finish line, remember why you started in the first instance, this will make you chase after something in life, you know you have a target you are out to achieve, and you have something you are gunning for, It puts you on your toes and you know you must not give up; you must not give in until you achieve your goal of crossing that Finish Line.
A remarkable event happened in the 1968 Olympic Games which took place in Mexico City. It is a story I draw so much strength and inspiration from whenever I think about determination to reach the finish line, it’s about staying in the game no matter what; to stick to your goal, to complete a project, to never stop running towards your dreams, or simply put; to not give up. It’s the inspirational story of a Tanzanian Olympic hero, John Stephen Akhwari, he did not win any medal, matter of fact he finished last but he competed with pride and courage, against all odds, he reached the finish line.
It was in a very hot Sunday afternoon of Mexico, men’s marathon began at 3:00pm local time, out of 74 participants, 17 could not finish the race. Earlier in the game, John Stephen Akhwari cramped up due to the high altitude of Mexico City. Around the 12 mile mark, he was jostling for position between some runners, with a throbbing head and cramping muscles, he collapsed to the ground, he had a terrible fall earlier where he hit his head, damaged his knee and was trampled upon before he could get up on his feet. Despite the injuries all over him, and the pressures and pleas by the medical staff for him to quit and abandon the race, John Stephen Akhwari pressed on.
Fast forward to the end, the closing ceremonies had just been completed; many of the spectators, fans, and athletes had left, some still remained, “sipping” the last drops of the celebrations, and gathering their belongings to leave the stadium, Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia who won had finished the race an hour earlier. All of a sudden from nowhere came the sound of police sirens, people stretched their necks, they saw motorcycles flashing their lights encircling someone who made his way towards the stadium, one man, tired, weary, worn out, with legs bandaged, he kept dragging himself forward through the gates of the stadium, he was in obvious pain (at times he ran, at times he walked), finally he got onto the tracks of the main bowl, all the attention was on him, all cameras focused on him, everybody stood up and were clapping for him, but he kept on running, he hobbled towards the finish line, and after crossing it, he collapsed. Journalists asked him if he was not embarrassed and why he did not give up and quit since he was weak, weary, and worn out? Gasping for breath he replied, my country did not send me all these miles from Tanzania to start a race; they sent me to finish the race.
To me, he is a great example of the never-give-up, never-say-die spirit and attitude. He taught that we should always remember where the finish line is and even if we stumble and fall, we should pick ourselves up again, push through the pain, and keep going towards our dream
So dear friend, whatever your dream is, whatever your goal is, don’t stop moving towards it, always remember the finish line because that is the reason why you began in the first instance. If you can make it through the night there is a brighter day, let the fulfillment of reaching the end of it motivate you to keep going. You may be facing some struggles in your business, your academics, your career, your marital or relationship life, but think of the sweetness and the joy you will experience at the end of it all if you don’t give up. I shared the story of the man from Tanzania, John Stephen Akhwari because HE REPRESENTS ALL THAT IS RIGHT IN THE HUMAN SPIRIT.
Don’t give up on yourself, don’t stop running towards your dreams. You will get to the Finish line.
Lamide Adenuga is an author and an International Conference Speaker who believes that the right mentality can power anyone to success; an ideas man who is out to transform people and places he comes in contact with.
He is a Business Development Consultant/Business Management Consultant, a well sought out for motivational and inspirational Speaker, and a Business Coach to entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and business starters. He is also an Angel of strategy and organization and has featured on Radio and Television shows severally.
Lamide is a Public Relations Specialist and has written articles in various newspapers, journals and magazines. He is a Personal Effectiveness columnist in OVATION International Magazine. He is also a Television host with his Motivational telecast, “MAKING THINGS HAPPEN” on WAP TV.