Charlotte, North Carolina
It was hot and humid in Charlotte and the track meet officials, athletes and spectators had more to cope with than any of us might have expected. A highlight for me was the opportunity to meet my blog reader and commenter Rob, a fellow masters track athlete. I know you are all familiar with Rob’s cogent and spirited comments here. Rob is a 300 meter hurdler and sprint relay participant. Late on Sunday I caught a glimpse of Rob happily wearing a gold medal around his neck.
I shared another moment with Rob that I am sure he will remember. As I was preparing for the 100 meter finals I overheard a woman in the warm-up area ask a fellow competitor how she had fared in her race. In a chipper and light hearted tone she responded with the quotable phrase “I finished with dignity.” The value of this phrase caught my attention and as I turned to find the owner of the voice my eyes caught Rob’s eyes and we both smiled in recognition of the deeper meaning embedded in this woman’s response. I paused for a moment from my preparation to jot the phrase down in the small notebook I keep in my backpack.
I would like to transfer that idea into a wider platform for thought here. I like this phrase because it is imbued with all the flavorings of hope that can help glue the ragged edges of our lives. It carries an optimistic message for continuing our work through, despite the challenges presented to our living.
If we transfer this woman’s phrase and
Our hurdles might be overcoming addictions or illness. Maybe our family is not the family we would have chosen if we had been allowed to choose. All of us have made poor choices and come to regret things we have said or actions we have taken. We have all been offensive or have been offended.
Still, somewhere in this lady’s remarkable phrase lies hope. We all continue to own the opportunity of the next minute, hour and day. Utilizing that opportunity it matters not what we have left in our wake. It matter most that we take full advantage of the opportunity to transform ourselves into someone we and others love and respect more. This is a marvelous saving grace we have been granted. We can choose to run to the finish in a new way. No matter our past we can still choose to “finish with dignity.”
Embrace the paradox and choose wisely.
Pleasure to meet you Mr. Rob, and a pleasure to know you Mr. Wayne.
Postscript: When I got home late this afternoon I found several tequila botles in the trash and some discarded swim suits behind the pool's fountain walls. Anybody know what that's about? Allsion sez she doesn't know???