Today as I was running, I was thinking about finishing as I often do when running after a long hard day of work. I do love to finish a race strong. There is nothing like finishing a run in a full sprint. It tells me that even when I am tired and dragging that I can still find some strength within to step it up for one final push. The only way that I can finish the race strong though, is directly related to how I started. If I start out in a full sprint, running a 5 minute mile, there is no way that I can hold that pace for many miles. I would grow weary, my muscles would be beat, and my lungs would be on fire. I would not have the stamina to finish the race that still laid ahead of me. The start of the race is indeed just as important as the finish.
When I was growing up it seemed that I heard this phrase often; "It's not how you start, but how you finish that counts." It is a great statement that encourages us to forget our past mistakes and press on towards the finish without any hindrance. While I understand the statement, and agree with its meaning, I am convinced since becoming a teacher, and now a runner, that the beginning of anything is directly related to the finish.
If the foundation of training for a race or the lifelong journey of education is missing key cornerstone pieces, the finish is sure to be miserable. Try learning algebra without first learning addition...Try learning to write a thesis without first learning to read... Try to explain world history without first learning that you live on planet Earth... Try running a marathon without first putting in the hard work and building up those legs. All of these things would surely end in a horrible mess regardless of how strong you finished them.
A good start is crucial and vital to a strong finish. Next time you blaze a new trail or begin a new adventure, think about that start. It does matter. A good foundation will help make your strong finish all the better.