Overcoming obstacles- "Obstacles cannot crush me; every obstacle yields to stern resolve."
-Leonardo da Vinci
I remember my first year in college as if it were yesterday...the unexpected was probably the hardest for me, but I was excited for the challenge. Here I was...very far away from home...not knowing anyone...playing basketball with strangers...having no time to breath but to play and learn the life of a college athlete. I can tell you it was quite an experience, one that I would never trade for anything. I learned a lot about myself in the four years of my college experience...discovering that I could overcome challenges/obstacles, as long as I didn't give up...believing that those challenges would turn out okay.
I remember in my sophomore year of college, my mom sent me, "A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul." She wrote a wonderful message in the flap of the book...saying to never give up on my dream, that all of us deal with tough situations, that it is what you do about those tough situations that matter, to be strong and to embrace both the good and the bad in order to learn and discover what truly lives inside you. I would like to share a short story from the book that helped me overcome and embrace...a story that I keep close to my heart.
A short story by Stan Frager
A lesson in "heart" is my little 10-year-old daughter, Sarah, who was born with a muscle missing in her foot and wears a brace all the time. She came home one beautiful spring day to tell me she had competed in "field day"-that's where they have lots of races and other competitive events.
Because of her leg support, my mind raced as I tried to think of words of encouragement for my Sarah, things I could say to her about not letting this get her down-things I have heard many famous coaches tell the players when they were faced with defeat-but before I could get a word out, she looked up and said, "Daddy, I won two of the races!"
I couldn't believe it! And then Sarah said, "I had an advantage."
Ahh. I knew it. I thought she must have been given a head start...some kind of physical advantage. But again, before I could say anything, she said, "Daddy, I didn't get a head start...my advantage was I had to try harder!"
That's heart! That's my Sarah.
Canfield, Jack. Hansen, M. Chicken Soup For The Soul. Pg.262.