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Your Olympic Spirit and a 17-Day Challenge

In Kansas in the early 1900s was a small country schoolhouse heated by an old pot-bellied stove.   A little boy had the job of coming early each day to start the fire and warm the room before the teacher and classmates arrived.  One day there was a serious accident and the old stove exploded in flames, causing this young boy serious damage.

He had major burns over half of his body.  While in a semi-conscious state in the hospital, he heard the doctor tell his mother he would surely die – and it was for the best.  There was just one problem – he didn’t want to die and made up his mind he WOULD survive – and he did!  When mortal danger had passed and he had stabilized, he heard the doctor tell his mother it would have been better if he had died since the fire destroyed so much flesh in lower body.  He was doomed to be a lifetime cripple with no use of his lower limbs.  That was unacceptable and he made up his mind again – he would NOT be a cripple – he WOULD walk.  But from the waist down, he had no motor ability – his thin legs dangled lifelessly – like cooked spaghetti.

Being confined to a bed or a wheelchair, his mother would wheel him out into the yard, so he could enjoy the outdoors.  One day, alone in the yard, he made a decision from which there was no turning back.  He THREW himself out of the wheel chair and pulled himself across the grass, dragging his lifeless legs behind him.  Clawing his way to the picket fence he raised himself up and then, stake by stake, he dragged himself along the fence – resolved that he would walk.  He did this EVERY DAY, until he wore a path around the yard next to the fence.

Through daily massages, iron-willed persistence and a resolute determined decision, he developed the ability to stand, to walk jerkily, and then to walk by himself – and THEN, to begin running a little.

NOTE, and this is a KEY for you and me – while he was undoubtedly aware of it, he didn’t “see” his burnt body, his destroyed muscles, or how odd he must have looked.  The focus of his vision was not on himself, but it was “out there” on his goals – on learning to stand, walking and running like everyone else.

He began walking to school, then run to school, then he would RUN FOR THE SHEER JOY OF RUNNING!   Can you imagine his exhilaration?  HOW WOULD YOU HAVE FELT in his place?

Several years later, at Madison Square Garden, this young man who was not expected to survive, who would never walk and surely never hope to run – this determined young man, Dr. Glenn Cunningham, ran the world’s fastest mile!
He also went on to represent the US in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics!

Probably, most of us will not experience a catastrophe like that fire.  But what about when we experience sudden unexpected obstacles, disappointments, or major setbacks in our lives?  Will YOU “SEE” as clearly as young Glenn Cunningham – looking past the challenges and focusing your vision on a determined decision, from which there is no retreat and only going forward to succeed!  Will you look OUT THERE, and find a champion within?

Your 17-Day Olympic Challenge

Put yourself in the spirit of the Olympic Games and champion your best self.

  1. First, choose something you want to do, or that’s important  but you’ve been putting it off,  and now will do for the 17 days of the Olympics.
  2. Commit to it and then be sure to find some ways to make it fun.

For example,

  • Follow-up with 17 prospects or customers that need attention?
  • Make 17 significant new contacts, customers or friends?
  • Find 17 new ways to add more value for your clients?
  • Write 17 pages in that book you’ve been wanting to write?
  • Read that book you need to read for 17 days?
  • Walk, jog, ride that bike for 17 days?
  • 17 different things – one each day?

Make it something important – meaningful – game changing – AND fun!  It’s your event – you get to pick.

Until next time, here’s to the champion within you and to your success!




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