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Don't Look Back

By Asha Ellison on 11/29/2017 | General

One of the best things about life is that we are constantly learning.

Some of the greatest lessons we will ever learn come from our daily experiences or loved ones. I’m grateful that one of the most important lessons I ever learned came from my eldest brother when I was about 10 years old. The advice he gave me during that season of life became the foundation upon which I further built my confidence and determination.

“Don’t look back!” he would say.


My brother was a football player and I loved to race him and his teammates up and down the street where we lived. I was quick, nimble, and running was something that made me incredibly happy.  And, because he and his friends were competitive, they always humored my racing requests. I just wanted to be great.

I would find my way to starting position alongside my brother or one of his teammates and prepare for takeoff. My brother would lean in on either side of me and whisper, before counting down the launch, “Whatever you do, sis, don’t look back!” Little did I know, those three words would resonate with me all my life: don’t look back. 

“Ok,” I would respond and I’d keep my eyes glued to the finish line.


“Don’t look back.” It made perfect sense.

On the days I ran ahead with victory, I kept my eyes set on a goal –the finish line.  I paced myself steadily and that led me to success. On the days I fell behind, I looked back to see what was going on or coming up behind me – I lost my focus. This can happen to us at any moment in time, not just when we are running. When we take our eyes off of our goals, when we stop practicing, when we stop challenging ourselves for the better, or when we invite distractions into our lives – we lose momentum. 

Momentum, or the strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events, is what carries us through the journey of life. Momentum can be and look like many different things. It’s the boy who strives to get straight A’s each grading period who sets aside time to study or complete his homework daily, or it could be the girl training, day after day, to perfect her free-throw so she can make the basketball team during tryouts. Momentum is the pace we set –and increase with intentional focus and practice—that carries us to personal success in all we do. In order to keep momentum, we must keep our hearts and our minds focused on the finish line (goal) –whatever that might look like for each of us. Losing focus will only slow us down. So, when this happens (and it will because we are not perfect people), we must remind ourselves to re-focus and keep going – success is always possible. 


Thanks to my brother, I learned at an early age to be confident in myself and my abilities. I learned the importance of developing my skills and staying the course. I’ve learned, when I slow down, I must rediscover my pace. When I fall down, I must get up again. And, when I run towards the victories of life, I simply can’t afford to look back.


Asha Ellison


Asha is a Girls on the Run coach, writer and communications professional. She believes in inspiring girls to harness the power of their dreams and to live their lives without bounds or limitations. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, serving her community, blogging, traveling and eating too many macarons!

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