Finish Line

Ahh, the finish line. We all know it in one form or another. The finish line is where the pain gets swallowed up by something beautiful. It is where hard work makes sense, where anything — no matter how painful — becomes worth it. The finish line is where suffering can be temporarily forgotten and quickly condensed into something tangible and complete. It is where a feeling of accomplishment erases the endless and sometimes frustrating path it took to get there.

Steps. Somerville, MA.

Crossing the finish line is the sweet culmination of so many hours, days, weeks of determination. A line as thin as thread can be the barrier between two worlds of emotion. Finishing is the moment when nothing else matters but giving those last steps, strokes, pedals, spins, twists, pushes, and landings everything you’ve got. The finish line is the justification for all the blood, sweat and tears you put into something; it is the medal everyone earns just for trying, for pushing oneself hard enough to get there in the first place. When you are one step away from that line, there is nothing else in the world — no gold, no bronze, no As, no C+s, no questions, no what ifs, no should haves, would haves, could haves… There is just you and that line, and of course, the other side of it.

Do Not Something… Old Town Quito, Ecuador.

I’m on that other side now. What I thought would be a sprint turned out to be a marathon. There’s been something almost poetic about spending the last couple weeks of my 7-Week Intensive Physics course sweating it out alongside all those beautiful Olympian, sacrificing nights out with friends, last-minute trips to get ice cream, and all the bliss of summer. I definitely don’t get a medal for anything I’m doing, but man does it feel good just to finish.

Another academic mountain has been climbed. Another challenge, faced. It might not be the kind of mountain that looks pretty in pictures, but Physics is my mountain now, and I am finally standing on top of it, looking around at the view, acknowledging the burn and sacrifice it took to get here. What can I say? This was probably the hardest academic venture I have ever taken on and now it is behind me. I am exhausted. I am relieved. I am DONE. We all know how that feels…

Argentinean girl in my tram, on the way up to the top of Pichincha, overlooking the city of Quito (15,500 ft above sea level — halfway to cruising altitude in an airplane).

Pretty fucking awesome.

Now, back to real life! I have restaurants, museums, beaches and bars to explore, friends to see, books to read, sun rays to absorb, and Olympic finals to watch. For the last 7 weeks, I’ve had to give up just about every form of fun I know in order to pursue a bigger dream. It may have felt like torture at times, but the struggle to get here makes crossing the finish line, and all that is here, on the other side, that much more wonderful.

I’ll get back to exploring Boston and silly blogging later. For now, allow me to just stop, catch my breath, and savor the burn of a hard race. It’s only a matter of time before the fight to cross this finish line is forgotten and replaced with a new one.

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Here is a simply beautiful song by a girl I went to college with. Learn more and see the much better quality official video here: first-watch-wolf-larsen-if-i-be-wrong, or just listen:

Also, while I’m relating life to the Olympics, how about you enjoy one of my favorite Olympic stories (the Kerri Strug story), for inspiration. I remember watching this happen. I eventually got to meet Kerri Strug at Chelsea Piers in NYC, where I was practicing gymnastics myself. I always hated the vault (I was an uneven parallel bars girl — that was my jam). This story gets me every time…

16-years-later-kerri-strugs-journey-to-gold.html

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6 Comments

Filed under Life Stuff, School, Uncategorized

6 responses to “Finish Line

  1. andiperullo

    CONGRATS!!!!!!!!! Been there, done that, sooo glad it’s in the past haha! Enjoy your break. Besos!

    • travelswithtavel

      Thank you Andi!! Yes you DO know the feeling. It’s a feeling I plan to have over and over again, one course at a time until I get to that graduation day… But I’ll savor each one 🙂 Abrazos.

  2. sue

    Well done Tavel! You continue to inspire your fan club 🙂

    • travelswithtavel

      Awe, thank you Sue!!! I’m not sure about a “fan club” but I appreciate the support more than you know!

  3. Pingback: Grit | Travels with Tavel

  4. Pingback: Grit | Travels with Tavel

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