A few weeks ago, while training for my first Ultra Marathon, I met a guy who looked to be training for something himself.  Turns out he was preparing for a triathlon.

While standing at a water stop we discussed several area races.  I asked him if he had ever participated in the North Face Endurance Challenge.  He said he had not and asked me why.

I told him I was preparing for the race and was wondering how hard the course would be.

I will never forget his response.  He looked at me and said, “You want it to be hard, don’t you?”

With that, he turned and ran away.

His statement did something inside of me.  It caused me to think about the concept of “hard.”

When I go after my goal tomorrow, Ultra Lesson #4 will be the hardest of them all . . .

Finish Up

For some reason I had in my mind he might tell me this thing was going to be easy.  Call it the coward in me.

Truth is, anything I have ever accomplished worth remembering has been hard.

The same is true for you.

But hard is what brings down the number of Ultra Marathon finishers.  Hard keeps the ratio of pre med students who graduate to a minimum.  Hard makes business startups go under.  Hard causes relationships to end and families to die.

Signing up, showing up, and even holding up are doable for most.  But where are the masses when it comes to finishing up and finishing well?

If you intend to leave a legacy as a leader, you are going to need to do more than conquer the first three “ups” we have looked at this week.  You will also be required to “finish up.”

It breaks my heart to see so many leaders strive to get to a place where they can coast and take it easy near the end of their “race.”

If you are approaching the end of your “Ultra,” I say put the pedal to the metal and finish up.  It is what I will try to do tomorrow.

Say a prayer for me as I do for all of you.