My husband recently accomplished his goal of running and finishing a marathon. After only four months of training, he finished the race in 4 hours and 11 minutes, a pretty good time for a first marathon. I arrived moments before the first person crossed the finish line and I was able to experience the immense roar of applause that filled the air.
For the next 2 hours and 38 minutes, I watched the race with my daughters as we cheered from the sideline, 100 feet before the finish line. This was a brand new experience for us. I embraced the moment for each of the first 1,800 or so runners as they crossed the finish line. We found ourselves cheering for complete strangers and I even became excited to tears for many of the runners who struggled to make it down the final stretch.
Some runners were obviously in serious pain, barely able to lift their arms or extend their legs beyond a small step. I saw runners who were bleeding but did not give up, being so close to the finish line. Two male runners spent the last several miles of the race at a slow jog, while holding up an injured third man whose head hung forward and whose feet were practically dragging on the ground.
I was curious about the perspective each runner carried with them as they approached the balloons on the finish banner. It was so wonderfully revealing that I found myself carefully studying the runner’s facial expressions and body language. I knew that each expression extended from a different perspective, some included faces of pain, eyes filled with tears, arms waiving, fists in the air, shouts of joy, etc.
What perspective was each running carrying with them as they took their final steps? I witnessed a collage of perspectives like joy, thankfulness, regret, pain, love, hunger, thirst, accomplishment, and, of course, the list goes on. Each runner experienced something unique from the perspective they consciously or unconsciously chose to carry with them as they crossed the finish line. For some runners, their perspective may have disserved them and even prevented them from fully being in the moment after 26.2 miles. However, for many, their choice of perspective served them well in that they not only accomplished an amazing goal, but they enjoyed the path along the way.
Coaching Inquiries: What perspective are you carrying at this very moment? Check out your facial expression in the mirror to gain some insight. How is your current perspective serving you right now? How might you notice when your perspective is preventing you from being in the moment?
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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (Christina@LifeTrekCoaching.com)
LifeTrek Coaching International