There’s an adage that goes, “The race isn’t always to the swift, rather it is to the one who keeps on running.” I have found that to be very true.
As a young woman entering the work force on a hard earned, self-paid, Associate of Science Degree, I faced my share of obstacles. But what is miraculous, is the way doors of opportunity began opening and closing for me. Life and experience began taking me places far beyond what I could’ve ever imagined.
Somewhere in the middle of climbing the proverbial career ladder and raising a family, sat a lifelong, personal goal, and right next to it…. a big fat box that went unchecked. The idea of achieving that personal goal seemed to vacillate somewhere between the “forefront of my mind” and “the back burner of my life” for many years.
No, the race isn’t always to the swift, but it is to the one who keeps on running!
In January of 2020, at the seasoned age of 52, the time had come. And with the help and support of family, friends, and co-workers, I said NO to further delay, and YES to the arduous journey towards checking off that box.
What is that box, you ask? Completion of my Bachelor of Science Degree.
The process at times was painful, sacrificial, and daunting (what was I thinking five decades into my life?). But I persevered and kept running.
- There were countless late nights,
- writing papers (many papers),
- preparing podium presentations,
- tending discussion boards
- taking comprehensive tests
- creating leadership assessments and project proposals
The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months until finally, at precisely 7 weeks before my 54th birthday, on Friday, August 6th, 2021, that box is no longer unchecked…it is CHECKED…and I keep on running.
There is indeed a sense of great pride, but there is also a sense of great relief. At this point, it’s not about the knowledge, the degree, or even how it will change the trajectory of my career or my life. It is more about achieving a lifelong goal, and challenging myself to not settle for that unchecked box.
Comfort and complacency have never been my lane. Setting pace with lifelong growth and learning, has allowed me to remain forward thinking, vibrant, and always pushing past the “norms”. I am grateful for 32 wonderful years as a healthcare professional. The experiences I could write about and talk about, are vast, and at times, overwhelming. Overcoming obstacles and following through doesn’t come necessarily to the swift, but it does come to those who keep on running.
Achieving a personal goal that has seemingly been dormant, has earned me great respect from both my peers and my superiors. But more importantly, it has allowed me to discover a personal strength and insight that motivates me and will surely inspire others.
Perhaps you have your own list of lifelong goals or unchecked boxes that are sitting dormant. It’s never too late. Remember, the race isn’t to the swift. It’s to the one who keeps on running. Know your lane and run it well.
CRYSTAL, RRT, RPFT, BSRT