At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City a man named John Stephen Akhwari entered the marathon representing his native country of Tanzania. He was a world-class runner with high hopes for the race. Unfortunately, Akhwari began to cramp due to the high altitude, which he hadn’t prepared for. Then just under halfway through the race he was knocked to the ground dislocating his knee and injuring his shoulder on the pavement.
No one would have blamed him for leaving the race and tending to his wounds. But he didn’t leave, didn’t quit. Instead he carried on, arriving in the stadium just as officials were setting up for the medal ceremony and more than an hour after the first place finisher. When asked why he didn’t give up he replied, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race.”
The first time you sat down to write you began your race. At that moment, whether you realized it or not, you decided to push yourself to new heights. Now, after the first flush of excitement fatigue, health problems, and any number of obstacles have fallen into your path. The temptation to quit writing, to leave the race is strong.
PLEASE, DO NOT GIVE UP!
You have so much to offer. Keep pushing. Keep writing. See things through to the end.
FINISH THE RACE.
It’s been a great privilege to cheer you on during the Spring Clean Writing Fling. I’m grateful to have been a part of your race even in this small way.
Good luck and good writing!
From Janet: I just want to add amen to everything PJ said above! I thank her for coming up with the Spring Clean Writing Fling to motivate us, and for inviting me to help with it.
Participating in it has been a great experience for me. I'm excited about the progress I've made this month in my writing -- and I hope you are too! (Thanks PJ, you rock!)