The winter Olympic season is upon us and there will be many people from different countries competing in several sport activities. All competing athletes have earned their place in the games through hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Many have endured physical pain and bodily injury through the training process, but the story does not end there. Despite earning a place in the Olympics, these athletes will still have to compete to earn a medal either as a team or individuals. The Olympic competition never stops, and most will be back again in 4 years to repeat the process all over again. For me, the sports I find intriguing are the track/sprint events. Something about adult people feverishly racing against time and trying to set new records gets me excited; not to mention the grueling facial expressions made in the process. Despite being my favorite, it’s also the sport that has brought me much sadness. Sometimes, athletes are disqualified from the race for a false start. This means that despite months and years of training, such a person will be denied the opportunity to participate because they “mistakenly” started running seconds before everyone else did. Another sad turn is when an athlete completes the race but gets disqualified because they run part of that race in another person’s lane. They might have begun the race in their assigned track but perhaps veered onto another person’s lane resulting in their disqualification.
At the 2012 Summer Olympic games in London, Canada’s 4×100 relay team was disqualified and stripped of their bronze medal when it was discovered that Jared Connaughton had taken one step on the lane line during the third leg, and on the final turn. In simple terms, Jared veered out of his lane by a single step and although the three other members of the relay team run right, it wasn’t enough to salvage the situation. An entire country was disqualified over a single misstep. So then, it’s important to cross the finish line but it’s equally crucial to run right. So how does this apply to real life, you might ask? Well, imagine the Olympics as the world stage and the track or lane as your chosen or imposed profession. We are surrounded by millions of people who pursue interests and passions to earn a living. Sometimes, we share similar interests and other times, we don’t. One thing is certain though, we walk side by side and we all must run the race of life to survive.
In this particular race called life, there is a start time and an end time; no one will run forever. Unfortunately, some disqualify themselves by trying to run a race in another person’s lane. Take for instance, a lawyer running the race of life as a doctor because they want to be like someone else. Such a person might do well, but they would have run in the wrong lane. There are many distractions in our world today and it can be challenging to remain committed to your race after you painstakingly hone in on what your strengths are, but if you stay focused and determined, you will not only finish the race, you will also win a medal of real satisfaction and contentment that no one can strip you off. Your stage may not be as huge as that of the Olympic, you may never make it to national television, no one may ever know your name, but you can still be successful in your own right if you stay true to your course.
It’s never too late to run. So, find your race, run the race, but be sure to stay in your lane because that’s where true happiness and fulfillment emanates from.