The weight no longer a burden.
You can draw in a deep breath.
The long-awaited moment of reprieve is here.
It’s okay to now attend to the “other” plans; you know, those promises, hopes, and dreams. The ones that were placed aside for what felt like forever.
The innumerable sacrifices and early morning workouts are done.
The all-consuming grind of an all-out effort catalyzed by total focus and exhaustion has concluded.
The spectators may or may not remember you.
Now, a decorative piece of fleeting glory adorns your neck.
With that, comes recognition.
It’s nice. That's undeniable.
But the finish line is merely the beginning.
The effort put forth today will outlive any one race result, success or failure.
The race actually started months ago.
It was a culmination of intention, consistency, imagination, and curiosity.
After the race, did you find what you were looking for?
Are you open to learning?
What did I do right? What went wrong?
Did I go out too fast? Did I hold back?
Did I lay it all out there?
For whatever rhyme or reason, the analysis won't stop.
Like a miner sifting for gold... Except, what exactly is the gold?
Why are search for it at the finish line?
Is that really the best option?
Before the quest,
You need to clue in.
That means gathering intel.
Lots of questions asked.
Hopefully, it results in some learning.
Or some humility.
If you’re fortunate, you just might get to bring home some gold.
But what exactly is the gold?
Is it tangible?
How do can it be quantified?
Is it a “job well done”?
Is it the job itself?
Where is it?
Is it waiting at the finish line?
Can it be measured in ounces or pounds?
Is it revealed in the pursuit?
Does it mirror the investment?
I wish I had an answer, but I don’t.
However, there are two certainties I have learned:
1. The gold must be earned.
2. Once earned, you wear it forever.
That type of value outweighs gold or any superfluous item.
It never rusts.
In fact, it becomes a part of you.
Nobody can ever take that away. Ever.
Whatever you’re gold might be, keep searching, keep learning, and getting better.
Oh yeah and keep your eyes open because there's plenty of gold to be found along the way.