In honor of the Fourth of July, I share with you one of my favorite Independence Day memories of all time, and one of the most popular i2i blogposts ever. Enjoy your family today and for the rest of the week. The next i2i blog will be on Monday, July 9th.

Age: 11 Gender: F
Distance 10K
Chip Time 1:24:51
Overall Place 35645 / 50007
Gender Place 15128 / 23837
Division Place 9018 / 12982
Age Grade 40.2%

Age: 44 Gender: M
Distance 10K
Chip Time 1:25:07
Overall Place 35788 / 50007
Gender Place 20581 / 26170
Division Place 10736 / 14111
Age Grade 34.4%

The 2009 Fourth of July was memorable to say the least as the Gravitt crew celebrated our nation’s independence by running the Peachtree Road Race together as a family. At least that was the agreement going into the world’s largest 10k. It didn’t exactly turn out that way.

Everything went as planned for the first 6.1 miles. There were lots of laughs and photo ops as our 6-pack stayed tightly together. We were even interviewed at the top of Cardiac Hill, by 11 Alive, and we made the Six O’Clock News.

All was going as planned until the finish line came into sight. It was then that my 11-year-old decided that she would change the rules and make it a race instead of a family outing.

I had turned my head to make sure everyone was still together and keeping pace. After all that’s what good leaders do when they are trying to ensure the well being of women and children in the midst of 55,000 strangers. As I turned back around all I saw was little legs sprinting with amazing speed. My 11-year-old had dropped the hammer and it was too late for me to respond.

In one head turn I had lost 16

seconds of precious time and a race to a little girl. Never mind the fact that I paid her entry fee or that I chose to run a time nearly 40 minutes slower than my personal best just so we could make a family memory. The kid unleashed the fury and then laughed at me! It was 16 seconds that I will never live down.

I learned a valuable lesson during the finish of that race. Namely, never take your eye off of the finish line. Too many leaders get near the end of their leadership race and become distracted. They start looking around at their success and they lose focus on the finish line.

i2i leaders finish well and they have no regrets. Is that true of you? Are you focused on finishing well? I hope so.

It amazes me how years of integrity can be undone with a single bad decision or lack of judgment. 16 seconds of stupidity can wreck a lifetime of leadership influence!

As you evaluate your pace these days try to remind yourself of the following race tips:

1. Keep your eye on your goal.
2. Make sure you live at a sustainable pace.
3. Never assume anything – especially if your little girl is involved!




What is your favorite thing about the Fourth of July?