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  • Writer's pictureIain Johnston

Conquer the Finish Line

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Your eyes are closed... as you gently bounce from foot to foot, like an athlete warming up on your mark.

You loosen your limbs, allowing blood to flow from your shoulders to your fingertips, from your hips to your toes.

You're limbering by a gentle rhythm on the tips of your toes, loosening your joints and ligaments, relaxing the fibres of each muscles, but at the same time stimulating them for the race.

Your breathing is at first powerful, but deep and filling... inhaling, exhaling... oxygenating your body, fuelling your flesh for the sudden explosive burst of energy its about to release.

You clear your mind.

Singularly focussed is the goal.

This is the moment.

Right here. Right now.

Any distraction will hinder you.

100% focus is required for the race.

Nothing else can enter in. You empty your thoughts.

And as your thoughts begin to crystallise solely on the race before you, your breathing becomes calmer.

In through the nose.

Out through the mouth

In through the nose.

Out through the mouth.

You feel it.

You’re centred. Crystal clear in focus.

You’re body is primed. Trained.

And now the blood is flowing.

And the tendons and joints and ligaments are limber.

Your muscles are ready to explode.

You feel the electricity coursing through your veins.

Your rhythmic bounce continues.

Left foot, right foot.

Left foot, right foot.

You feel powerful.


Ready to explode.

Fiercely determined.

Your eyes spring open.

They’re hungry. Confident.

Fierce. Determined.

They focus sharply.

Tunnel vision.

Nothing to the left. Nothing to right.

A crystallised view of what is before you.

The track.

Your lane. Not the lane beside you.

Your lane.

And the finish line.

Left foot. Right foot.

Inhale. Exhale.

A perfect synergy of body, mind and will.

The track presents itself before you.

It’s not a single straight lane. Not an Olympic sprint.

Not a circular orange track, with hurdles, or other team racers waiting for a baton to be passed from one to another.

The track shifts and changes. Twists and turns. Rises and falls.

Some rises are so steep you can’t see how you can run up such an incline. Some falls are so steep you can’t see how you won’t lose your footing and tumble and slide.

Smooth in some places. Loose dirt in other places. Clear, then overgrown, muddy then dry and cracked.

Obstacles intermittently cover it. Boulders. Fallen trees.

False paths divert from the main path.

You take it all in.

You perceive dark shadows hiding in the undergrowth to ambush you.

Snakes slither across the track from time to time.

Giants, grizzly and intimidating, incessant on obstructing your race, litter the track at different twists and turns. They breathe and growl, brutishly awaiting your coming and your feeble attempts to pass them.

In some parts you can’t even see the track ... thick darkness overshadows everything. How will you ever navigate that section?

Left foot. Right foot. Inhale. Exhale.

You steel your gaze. Taking it all in.

The race is going to be long and arduous.

Mockers are positioned either side of your track to jeer you and make you believe you’re not worthy of running this gauntlet before you.

You begin to realise, this isn’t a race.

It’s simply about surviving and getting to the finish line.

You realise that every portion of this track is able to bring you down.

And so many who have stood on this exact mark and run this track have failed and fallen or given up. Either overcome or succumbed to the relentless obstacles, attacks and distractions... withering in strength and resolve at each step.

The reality sets in... it is not humanly possible to run this race and survive.

Left foot. Right foot. Inhale. Exhale.

But then, there are those who have.

Those who have gone before you.

Those who have reached the finish line.

Those who have reached the top of the steepest rises, not lost their footing on the downward falls... who have stomped on the head of the snakes waiting to strike and defeated every giant... who have navigated the overshadowing darkness, moved the boulders before them, hurdled the fallen trees.

They have successfully tuned out the mockers and jeerers and have accounted for the ever changing terrain... and have not been lured down the false tracks and stayed on course.

The Track before you would have you believe that it is impenetrable, impassable, unconquerable.

And millions have fallen in their attempts.

But millions have also reached the finish line.

Some crossing with energy to spare. Some crawling with the last ounce of energy left within them.

Some seemingly running through unscathed; some bruised and lacerated and beaten to a metaphorical pulp.

But they made it.

Left foot. Right foot. Inhale. Exhale.


Those who have crossed the finish line all have one thing in common.

It’s not some elitist training technique. Not some special gift. Not an ingrained fierce competitive streak that won’t lay down and die. Not a 10 step plan to succeed.

Just one simple thing.

And that one thing is what steels your thoughts and has you ready to run this gauntlet and reach the finish line:

It’s the acceptance that there is no way you can conquer this track in your own strength.

You simply can’t... and you know there is no point trying.

The most powerful thing you have ever done in your training, is to surrender to this truth.

You laid down your inability, your weakness, fragility... your insufficient and incapable self.

Because when you did, you welcomed a Power to come within you that will get you to the finish line.

A Power that gives you an unshakable sense of Identity, Worth and Courage to ignore the mockers and jeers they fling at you.

You will reach the finish line.

It’s a Power that crushes the heads of the serpents, moves the boulders in your way and lets you hurdle the fallen trees.

It’s a Power that gives wisdom to not be distracted off the track; it’s a Power that shines through the overwhelming darkness.

It’s a Power that keeps you sure footed in all terrain; gives you endurance to reach the summits of the steepest inclines and keeps you from falling down the perilous descents.

It’s a Power that slays the giants before you.

It’s the Power that steels you right now as you limber up at the top of the track.

You know you’ll make it through.

It may take grit. Sweat.

Blood. Bruising.

Pain. Turmoil.


But you know you will cross the finish line. You know that the Power within you is greater than all that the track will cast against you.

Left foot. Right foot. Inhale. Exhale.

You’re ready.

The Track may be your current season.

It may be your life.

It may be each day you awaken to.

You cannot run that track in your own strength.

Surrendering your inadequacies... and welcoming that Power to fill you is the greatest advantage you will ever gain. It is the singular most empowering decision you can ever make.

Make it daily.

Left foot. Right foot. Inhale. Exhale.

You crouch into your starting position.

Every muscle is tensed and taut, ready to release and explode against this track like a powerful spring.

The One who created you, the God of the Heavens and the earth is within you. His Power fills you and equips you with everything you need.

So run!!

Run the race that is before you!!

Nothing on that track can stand against the One that is within you!!


conquer the finish line.

For His Glory.

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