This picture nearly broke the internet when it posted, late on August 15. It sparked a lot of controversy for the very fact that the winner did so, by throwing herself across the finish line, as opposed to the normally graceful style that the second place runner finished.
While this is definitely an unconventional method for crossing the finish line, it is not however illegal.
The controversy ensued even in my own household, as we are now, I reluctantly have to admit, a house divided. Some of my family members believe that “the thrower” should not be “allowed” to “win” because she did not “run” across the finish line. You know you really have to “explain” some things when you have to use that many “air quotes”. Anyways, I digress…
So, my take on this matter, is this, and this reinforces a lesson that I have tried to teach my children from day one. Live life with no regrets.
First, the disclaimer. This is not one of those, live your life as recklessly as possible and then go to an early grave because you never had any regrets. I believe that boundaries are an important part of living a responsible life. So, for this discussion, I want to emphasize the point, that when everything you have trained and prepared your whole life for, when it comes down to that one, final, defining moment, JUST GO FOR IT! And that is what I am trying to instill in my children, when I talk about living with no regrets.
The fact of the matter is the racer that lunged or threw herself across the finish line will walk away from the podium stand, where she received a gold medal, with no regrets. She will relieve this moment, no doubt, over and over again for the rest of her life, being at peace with the reality that she gave it everything she had! She did everything that she possibly (and legally I might add) could do to win, and it paid off! She won!
And then there’s our second place finisher. Well, she walked away from the podium stand with a silver medal. Not too shabby. Furthermore, she is one of the most decorated and successful female sprinters of all time, so she will be a peace with knowing that she has had an overall, very successful career. However, I would imagine, that this one tiny moment of her life, will, to a certain degree, haunt her for the rest of her days. Granted, she might not ever lose any sleep over this, but, when she is forced to think about it and discuss it, perhaps she will regret not giving it that final, desperate lunge, that her competitor gave. And this is why I try to teach my children about living life with no regrets.
There are certain moments, opportunities, choices and decisions that we’ll all face in life, and what I have found that has helped me, is to view these decisive moments through the lens of will I regret the choice I’m about to make…or will I not regret it!
I know…I know…this is impossible, nor is it advised, to do for every life choice and decision. I haven’t regretted wearing the wrong shoes with the wrong outfit. Although, my tuxedo selection for my wedding has caused me to shake my head and wonder all these years later. But when it comes to once in a lifetime moments, will you give it everything you had, and receive that proverbial gold medal? Or will you walk away with regrets, that you held back just a little. Just do it. Just go for it. JUST WIN!
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