Quote of the day:
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”— Christopher Robin (Main character in Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne.)
This is a great quote by Christopher Robin (character in the Winnie the Pooh series). The following story about a young man with extraordinary athletic skill and ability goes right along with it.
- At just nineteen years of age, Rafael Nadal already knew he wanted to be a world champion tennis player. The year was 2005, and having won his first Grand Slam title and charged up to No. 2 in the ATP rankings. He seemed poised to scale the heights of greater success. However, after experiencing several weeks of discomfort in his left foot, the doctors discovered he had been born with a rare foot disease. The condition caused one of the bones in his foot to swell and inflict frequent intense pain, with the potential to halt his entire career overnight.
- This twist of fate tore through Rafa’s youthful aspirations. Unable to walk, much less play tennis, he slipped into a dark spiral of depression. He spent hours lying on the sofa staring into space, or sitting in the bathroom weeping. “I didn’t laugh. I didn’t smile. I didn’t want to talk. I lost all appetite for life,” he said later. At that point, Rafa had to make a pivotal decision: He could give up or go on. He could choose the easier path, but forfeit the potential rewards on the rugged way. He chose to press ahead, to focus on victory, even if he only saw and felt defeat. It was not an easy choice; he continued to suffer injuries and difficulties with his foot problem, but his determination paid off when, three years later, he stood as the world’s number one tennis player.
There are times when life deals us a harsh and bitter hand. Our dreams are broken, our hope is gone, and we are lost in despair. But even if all circumstances point to defeat, we can choose to live in victory. We can choose to hold on day-to-day, hour-by-hour, moment-by-moment. We can choose to get up and try again, even if we are afraid of failing. We can choose to love again, even if we have been hurt. We can choose to give, even if we have suffered loss.