“The two things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.”
— Robyn Davidson
“My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces.”
— Wilma Rudolph
Sometimes I hear people say the can’t do something. It is only lack of confidence in their own ability. Here is a short inspirational piece from Wikipedia:
“Wilma Rudolph was born prematurely at 4.5 lbs., with 19 brothers and sisters, and caught “infantile paralysis” (caused by the polio virus) as a very young child. She recovered, but wore a brace on her left leg and foot which had become twisted as a result. By the time she was twelve years old, she had also survived scarlet fever, whooping cough, chicken pox and measles. Her family drove her regularly from Clarksville, Tennessee to Nashville, Tennessee for treatments to straighten her twisted leg.
Wilma Rudolph at the finish line during 50 yard dash at track meet in Madison Square Garden, 1961
In 1952, 12-year-old Wilma Rudolph finally achieved her dream of shedding her handicap and becoming like other children. Wilma’s older sister was on a basketball team, and Wilma vowed to follow in her footsteps. While in high school, Wilma was on the basketball team when she was spotted by Tennessee State track and field coach Edward S. Temple. Being discovered by Temple was a major break for a young athlete. The day he saw the tenth grader for the first time, he knew he had found a natural athlete. Wilma had already gained some track experience on Burt High School’s track team two years before, mostly as a way to keep busy between basketball seasons.
While attending Burt High School, Rudolph became a basketball star, setting state records for scoring and leading her team to the state championship. By the time she was 16, she earned a berth on the U.S. Olympic track and field team and came home from the 1956 Melbourne Games with an Olympic bronze medal in the 4 × 100-meter relay.
At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome she won three Olympic titles; the 100 m, 200 m and the 4 × 100 m relay. As the temperature climbed toward 110 degrees, 80,000 spectators jammed the Stadio Olimpico. Rudolph ran the 100-meter dash in an impressive 11 seconds flat. However the time was not credited as a world record because it was wind-aided. She also won the 200-meter dash in 23.2 seconds, a new Olympic record. After these twin triumphs, she was being hailed throughout the world as “the fastest woman in history”. Finally, on September 11, 1960, she combined with Tennessee State teammates Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams and Barbara Jones to win the 400-meter relay in 44.5 seconds, setting a world record. Rudolph had a special, personal reason to hope for victory-to pay tribute to Jesse Owens, the celebrated American athlete who had been her inspiration, also the star of the 1936 Summyer Olympics, held in Berlin, Germany. Rudolph sprinted in the Drake Relays in Des Moines, IA and won first place.
Rudolph retired from track competition in 1962 after winning two races at a U.S.-Soviet meet.”
You can do anything you set your mind to.
I Can, Can. Yes, I Can Can. You Know I Can, Can. I Am.
Spread Some Joy Today–Inspire someone with your confidence and your smile. It will inspire you more than them.