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BLOG: 'Finish Strong'

Donelle Pardee Whiting

Normally, the idea of getting up around 4:45 a.m. to get ready for breakfast at 6:30 a.m. is not my idea of a good thing.

For starters, I do not like getting up early. I especially do not like getting up when it is still dark out. I like my bed. I like my pillows and blankets. And I really like my sleep.

But, today, it was worth it.

This morning I was joined by Times Newspapers co-publishers Beth Gehrt and Linda Smith Brown, my bosses, at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast.

Now, as far as bosses go, these two ladies really know how to work together and are great at letting us cover our communities without us editors feeling "managed."

Anyway, there we were at breakfast.

Despite the early hour, the 14th annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the Washington Chamber of Commerce, was, as I mentioned, worth getting up well before the sun and leaving the house while it was still a little dark.

The great thing about the breakfast was the food, provided by Countryside Banquet Facility and the room at Five Points Washington.

A good thing was, although it was a prayer breakfast, I didn't feel as though I was being hit over the head by any one church's doctrine or listening to bible-thumpers. The message was straight forward and at a level that could appeal to anyone.

Just enough spirituality to start the day. Followed by a company Thanksgiving lunch, it made for a good day.

The highlight of the morning was the speaker, Don Green, author of "Finish Strong."

Green's book focuses on amazing stories of courage and inspiration and how finishing strong is more than a statement. It's an attitude, a way of life.

It was highly enlightening and very motivating. It's just a shame that more of Washington could not, or did not, take advantage of hearing Green's message.

Plus, those of us who were there got a free book and the option to have Green sign it.

The stories in the book are stories of success because the people in them didn't give up. They persevered and "finished strong."