Monday, February 11, 2008

Never give up, never surrender!

Warning: not suitable reading for cynics.

What stirs your blood? What is it that makes you want to stand up and cheer?

Vicki Davis's response to my somewhat misnamed Funday Monday post, got me to thinking about a piece of footage that I once saw on TV that inspired me no end. I have tried to find a trace of it on the web, but have failed miserably - perhaps the fact that I can't remember any of the important details needed for a successful search (like names and dates) has something to do with it!

Just in case any of it rings a bell with you, it was an Olympic sprint event. Hopes were high for one particular athlete (the name Redman comes to mind, but that might be way off base), who had missed out on selection the previous time around, bpmbed out during the heats the time before that and would almost certainly be too old next time. He had worked really hard to make it, and this was to be the year he came home with the gold. He took off out of the starting blocks like a bat out of hell, only to tear something halfway down the track. So determined was he not miss out on what would no doubt be his only opportunity to cross the finish line in an Olympic final, he began hobbling his way down the track. His father scrambled onto the track to help him. At first, aware that he would be disqualified, were he to accept assistance, the athlete waved his Dad away. But he had to accept that he wasn't going to make it alone and the two of them defiantly crossed that line arm in arm - the broken athlete and his proud Dad, both weeping openly.

Of course, as you will have noted from my recent post, I'm a sucker for sporting heroism, and somewhat lacking in the cycnicism gene.

Sometimes, both parents and teachers find themselves in the position of needing to encourage or motivate a child/student who feels like giving up. I have a son who is very easily discouraged, and I have found anecdotes like these very helpful. On one occasion, he and I wept through the scene in the book Goodbye Mr Chips, where the dying Mr Chips quietly calls the register of all "his" boys in response to disprove someone's remark that Mr Chips had never had any children. Ever tried reading aloud with a lump like a cricket ball in your throat?

Then there are stories like this one:

Or any of these stories (which are admittedly very US-centric). YouTube can be a very useful tool for getting a message across in 3 minutes that would take you half an hour to explain.

Do you know of someone who could do with a little inspiring today?

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