Sunday, November 27, 2011

Chariots of Fire

While you watch this, think about a question: How did he do it?

There are a lot of things that are important in making your dreams come true.





Work Ethic.

But there's something that a lot of people undervalue: Determination.

Why did Liddell win that race? Yes, he was fast, but not particularly faster than any of the others. He certainly wasn't lucky. He had worked hard, but so had all the others.

Fifty yards lost is a death sentence in a 400. But still he won. What did he have that those other guys didn't?

He wanted to win. He wanted it way more than any of those other guys.

In the words from the Horse and His Boy:

"And certainly both horses were doing, if not all they could, all they thought they could; which is not quite the same thing. [Lion attacks] And Bree now discovered that he had not really been going fast- not quite as fast- as he could. Shasta felt the change at once. Now they were really going all out."

You don't know how much you can do until you are absolutely pressed to the limits. And it is always, repeat always, much more than you think it is.

Liddell won that race because he was going to win that race. So he did.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Movies are all fine and dandy. But things don't always happen like that in real life.

Ah, but don't they? Maybe I won't win the olympics just from wanting it more than anyone else. But on a smaller level, I think that things like this happen every single day. But only to people who are not afraid to try for it.

It's happened for me.

In school, most people have those physical fitness tests at the end of the year. You know, the mile run, and the v-sit, and sit-ups, etc. etc. To pass, you have to get a certain score. On the mile, maybe it's finishing in under 15 minutes (which is super slow. I can walk a mile in 15. But it's not meant to pass only future olympians.)

If you get a certain level (the just above average level) you got the national award. They'd give you a little red badge at the end-of-the-school-year awards ceremonies. The elite level was called presidential. You got a blue badge for those. It was by no means unattainable, but certainly much harder.

I got the national award every year. Partly because I was one of the few girls in my class who actually ran the mile instead of walking it. And you know what? I was tired of it. National every year was just not good enough.

And so, in 8th grade, when physical fitness test time came around, I solemnly determined that I would have that presidential award.

There was just one problem. There was only one of the areas (situps, I think) in which I'd ever gotten presidential level scores. And it's not like I had any time to train. The tests were happening in like 3 days. But I didn't realize that until later. I didn't even think of it. All I knew is that I would have that award.

And you know what? I did it.

When the v-sit came, I just stretched farther than I had ever stretched before.

On the shuttle run, I had to re-do it. My first time wasn't enough. But my second time absolutely was.

On the mile, I ran a 7:57. To this day, it's still my fastest ever mile time. (Sadly, I got slower in my later high school years. A result of no longer being a stick figure.)

And the pull-ups. Oh, the pull-ups. You couldn't do the flexed arm hang for presidential. It had to be at least one full out pull-up. I had never before (nor have I ever again since) done a full pull up. But I got up there and I did one. Maybe two. I don't remember. And I'm still trying to figure out how.

Moral of the story? I had the presidential potential in me all along. I just couldn't access it until I wanted to badly enough.

And that's what makes all the difference.

If you want it enough, you can do miracles.

So be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'shea, You're off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.

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