The Second Wind...

A weekly series of encouragement.....when you need it the most !

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​​​"The Race"

January 17th, 2018

A disabled man was preparing to embark upon a 5k race. He had been preparing for this race for 2 years. His Physical Therapist consistently advised against his desires to compete, but he was confident in his own strength. He knew there would be professional athletes and other talented participants competing in this same race- none of which he found intimidating. He knew his own strength. The day finally came, and after 24 long months of physical and mental preparation, he had realized that he may have signed up for quite the challenge. As the final 1-minute countdown began, he prepped his wheelchair and approached the start line. He began scrutinizing the other contestants. He sees the crowd filled with approximately 10,000+ people impatiently anticipating the announcement of the winner.


He looks to his right, the young man is fastening his tennis shoes and adjusting his running gear. He looks to his left, the woman is jumping up and down trying to loosen the joints of her knees. He looks at himself, wondering why he had ever chosen to compete.


A few seconds later, the horn blew. The crowd began cheering, and the participants began running. He began pulling and turning the wheels of his wheelchair. As he worked at it, the running crowd began out-pacing him. Moments later, he completely lost sight of the participants. He began giving up in his heart because he knew he didn’t have a chance in winning the race. His arms began to grow tired and he found himself unable to catch up.


He felt his disability was a disadvantage.


Rather than trying to be the winner, he just strolled along so that he can make it to the finish line. He began thinking about all the people who told him that he couldn’t do it and all the people who doubted him. Somehow, all the negativity began acting as fuel to him and he mustard up enough strength to continue the race. He told himself that if he could just remain focused on his goal, and to ignore the distractions around him, that he would make it. He began pushing the wheels with great strength. He no longer was tired nor winded from his efforts- it is almost as if he got his second wind. He starts seeing a few participants from the start-line. He passes them. He begins pushing faster, he starts seeing the finish line. He begins pushing faster and faster. He notices that there is one guy very close to the finish line and he is just jogging at a moderate pace- probably because he thinks he is going to win the race since no one is there beside him. He speeds up to the jogger and they lock eyes. At this point, the crowd is cheering louder and louder. The jogger begins to panic as he realized that he is competing for the finish line with a man who is disabled. Focused on the end goal, the disabled man pushes his wheelchair as fast as he can- reaching closer and closer to the finish line and knocks the line down. The jogger manages to trip over his loose shoe string- disqualifying him from the race. The crowd cheers loud as the judges approach the disabled man with his award. He was awarded 1st place in the 5K.


He looked to his right- no one was there. He looked to his left- no one was there. He looked at himself- wondering why he had not ever chosen to compete sooner.


What others deemed as a disadvantage OF him, proved to be an advantage FOR him.

 

The moral of this story is DON’T GIVE UP.

Don’t compare yourself to others. You are equipped with everything you need to make your dreams happen. Stay focused on your goal, and believe in yourself.


YOU ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOU BELIEVE YOURSELF TO BE.


…The race is not given to the swift, but to those who endure to the end...




-J.D. Merrill-

Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker