Keep The Finish Line In Sight As You Reach For Your Goals

Photo credit: Pietro Rampazzo, Unplash

Florence Chadwick had a goal. Her goal was to swim from Catalina Island in the Pacific Ocean to the mainland shores of California in 1952. Chadwick was no stranger to extreme endurance sports. She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.

When Chadwick set out on her swim, it was foggy and cold. She could barely see the safety boats alongside her to help guide her on the journey. Regardless, Chadwick continued her swim for 15 hours straight.

When Chadwick pleaded to be taken out of the water, her mother, who was in one of the boats, told her she was close to reaching the California mainland.

A short time later, Chadwick, who was physically and emotionally exhausted, stopped swimming and was taken out of the water by one of the people in the safety boats.

After Chadwick was pulled to safety and in the boat, she discovered she was less than half a mile from shore.

The next day, at a news conference, Chadwick said something to the effect of if she could have seen the shore, she thought she could have made her goal of making it to the beach.

Unfortunately, the fog was too thick to see the shore.

“Seeing the shore” is a crucial phrase and part of Chadwick’s story. If she had a clear mental picture of the beach near the end of her journey, her motivation to swim the last half mile was likely there.

Chadwick did not give up. She tried to swim the same route again about two months later. The same thick fog set in as she began her journey, limiting her visibility. However, this time, the difference was that Chadwick kept a solid mental image of the shore, her final destination, from start to finish. 

Chadwick successfully made the incredible swim on her second attempt!

For any significant goal, seeing the shore, the final destination, clearly is mission-critical to your success. A solid vision and a picture of your end goal are super important. If you have a strong enough “why” behind your goal, and if you can see the result of your goal in your mind’s eye or feel it, you can move mountains. 

The difference between quitting and finishing your race strong with your best-ever performance is a clear picture of why you want to reach the finish line and keeping that vision firmly planted until you reach your final destination.         

When you can see the finish line, you have hope once again. Hope is that extra something you need that gives you the last energy push to reach a seemingly impossible goal. Watch a running race sometime. Everybody picks up the pace no matter how tired they are when the finish line is in sight.

Said another way, hope is the emotion you need to access to cross the finish line to reach your destination and, therefore, your God-given potential.

Have you given up a few feet from your goal? Do you need hope once again to cross the finish line of your dreams? Are you willing to give your goal or plan one more try?

If you can find a way to see the finish line, like the final shore illustrated above, the extra energy burst will come to win your race. Seeing the final shore, the finish line of your goal gives you hope and a reason to finish the race.

This year, I’ll teach you how to set big goals, establish a strong “why” behind your goals in life, and learn new ways to see the finish line clearly in our cross-country program.   

Learning how to set and attain big goals, and keeping those goals in front of you so you can reach your destination all starts at Cross-Country camp each year.   

Like Florence Chadwick, we will find new ways to break the tape this year that are meaningful to each person.


Coach Weber

Philippians 4:13

Florence Chadwick, Photograph by Bettmann