Finishing Well, Not Last, Not First

Competitors in the Dereham 5K race around the town centre to mark Dereham Runners 25th Anniversary. Picture by: Matthew Usher.

Do you ever think about how some guys / women finish their race, while some guys women don’t finish their race?  How one finishes their race can be interpreted differently, with the focus on … finishing well, or finishing less than well.  Whoever crosses the finish line first may be the winner, depending on what the assumption is.  But, assumptions can be reckless.

I think of a post I wrote entitled “Nice Guys Finish Last”, and considering the feedback, I am reminded that I use paradox (on a most simple versus complex level) and disruption to engage with folks.  My post, my suggestion, that “Nice Guys” finish last was an invitation to readers … to think about who we are, and what we are.  The question of how we are defined is at the core of whether we are “Nice Guys”, or not.  More specifically, as men, we need to be about something important, significant, meaningful, even (here’s a dangerous word) sacred.  By all means it is good to be nice to others, as well as dogs and horses and … well, you get the picture.  Take a look at these defining words from Wikipedia.

“Paradox: A paradox is an argument that produces an inconsistency, typically within logic or common sense.  Most logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking.”  (

I really appreciate the last sentence: “Most logical paradoxes are known to be invalid arguments but are still valuable in promoting critical thinking.”  I also appreciate the words from a reader, who wrote (paraphrased): ” … nice guys don’t finish last … and even if they do finish last, it is a good thing to finish the race, even if he is last.” 

Finishing well.  Think of good men and women who have left honorable and redemptive legacies in their wake.  Think of good men and women who can say that they have been faithful to their spouses, and they have fathered well, or mothered well, and they have been honorable in their choices.  And if such a sojourner were to say those things, they would be said in humility and not in arrogance.  It is a worthy goal, among others, to finish well.


1 Comment

  1. I would add to the consideration pool: What’s the importance with finishing? Period. The experience, the journey, the essence, whatever – might they carry equal if not greater weight? Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

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