What It Means to Finish Strong

My Dad as a coach loved the words “finish strong”…

Over the years, those words were a true gift to me.

In life, when my back has been against the wall and I’ve been faced with the temptation to quit, I’ve repeatedly felt my father’s voice of inspiration tugging at my heart… “Keep going, Matt.” Finish the race. “FINISH STRONG.”

When I was a young athlete, “finish strong” to me meant digging deep and gutting out that last sprint, giving more effort than you did on the first…

In my mind, I somehow believed it was that simple. As if finishing was something you could turn on and off.

But I’ve l learned over the years that my father had a broader message in mind…

“Finish strong” is a daily mindset.

We cannot predict when The Lord will call us home. That’s on His watch, not ours.

So we should prepare to compete for the crown each and every day as though it is our last because tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone.

We must “leave it all on the field”…another favorite saying of my father’s…


Blood, sweat, tears of pain and tears of joy…and put it on repeat.

Outcome not in your favor today?

So what?

If the sun shines on your face tomorrow, rise with gratitude, trust in God and get up and play another down.

Finishing strong isn’t about flipping a switch, it’s about defining a different standard of living. One rooted in faith and not fear. One where you move boldly in the direction that God calls without hesitation.

The only way to make a deposit on finishing strong in a life where your expiration date is unknown is by living in that mindset daily.

My Dad did that.

He never did anything half hearted. He gave his all to everything.

Every day, he played it out. I admire him so much for that. What an amazing example he set as a father.

Would I love to be celebrating with him on his 73rd birthday? Of course…

But my Dad lived a heck of a life. And it wasn’t a life half lived. He was all in. And let me tell you, that man finished strong.

I pray that today, Dad you are reminded repeatedly, “well done good and faithful servant.”

Cheers to you. I’ll be looking up to the sky and toasting your amazing life.

For 38 years, you gave me everything you had in the tank. I’m so grateful for the time we had with each other.

Happy Birthday! I love you, Dad. ❤️😇🙏🙌

 Dad’s last hunt in Clinton County, PA in the fall of 2020. He was very proud of this buck. And I’m so thankful that God gave him one last amazing experience in those woods with his good buddy Ken Adams.

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