And I'm not talking only about the staring lines at running races. I'm talking about all beginnings. I'm talking about your first leap off the high dive, your first day in college, your first day in a new relationship, your first day as a parent, your first day at a job, your first day after quitting your job to start your own company. And, yes, your first triathlon. There's nothing like the thrill of the first time.
Today I ran two miles and it was a first, a new beginning, and a new starting line. Usually, for an experienced marathoner and triathlete a 2-mile run wouldn't count as a first of any kind. But these aren't usual times. This was my first run after my doctor cleared me to exercise again. And do so without restrictions.
A stroke leaves me with some permanent changes but doesn't change my spirit and it most certainly will not tattoo my once fully-able body with false fears, especially of starting anew. Beginnings are like that -- both frightening and rewarding. Because of the fear factor, too many people shy away. They never take the steps forward that they should. They hesitate; they fumble about; they procrastinate; they count all the things that could go wrong. They see mainly darkness; not light. They get frozen in place; never getting to the starting line.
Starting lines are one of the most important stations in life. We need to do more than just avoid them. We need to actively seek them out. Otherwise, we grow stagnant. When you see the first hazy edges of a starting line begin to form in your life, don't avoid it. Don't look the other way. Try to bring the starting line into sharper focus. Consider its potential. Remember that if you don't go to the starting line, you will never view the whole course with all its possibilities.
And you will certainly never see the glories of the finish line.