I'm going to get to the punch line of tonight's Biggest Loser quickly because I want to spend some time talking about life as a marathon.
You'll recall that the Final Four were Koli, Ashley, Daris and Michael. Ashley and Michael lost more than 7% of their total body weight in the month they spent at home, so they are definitely in the running for the title "Biggest Loser." Koli lost a little more than 5% of his weight (13 pounds). And Daris gained 2 pounds, despite training to compete in the Biggest Loser Marathon. He later admitted to out of control eating late at night.
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This is not the first time the Final Four on the Biggest Loser has had to complete a marathon -- 26.2 miles -- as their final challenge. But it was the first time that the marathon struck me as a metaphor for life.
As they four made their way through the marathon course, they were not alone. There were people who stood by on the sidelines and cheered them on. There were others -- several former Biggest Loser champions and family members -- who joined them for part of the journey. But ultimately, they had to finish on their own.
While watching, I was struck by the fact that life is like that. It's not just about finishing -- it's about who we encounter and how we carry ourselves along the way. Daris's knee was hurting. Mike's thigh was cramping. They acknowledged the pain, but plowed ahead, not giving in to something that would have, just 17 weeks earlier, kept them from getting off the couch in the first place. The journey can be made more pleasant by those who join us along the way. And sometimes they're presence is not just about enjoyment, but about the ability to keep on keeping on.
When Koli weighed in at the end and had only lost 13 pounds, he owned up to being singularly focused on having the confetti rain down on him. He said that he had gotten so wrapped up in the end result, that he forgot to celebrate the small successes along the way. I get that. Whether it's being focused on wearing a certain size or being in a rush to get to the point where the kids are more independent, if we forget to breathe in and embrace all the moments that actually make up a life, we'll be left to look back and wonder what happened and what we might have done differently.
And while we can talk about life "taking a village," ultimately, we are accountable for our own choices, our own failures and our own victories. And in the end, it's not about the destination. It's about the journey.