Inspiring Failures

Alen - Portland, Oregon
Entered on February 8, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe…

I believe that inside of failure we may find the most wonderfully astonishing form of inspiration. In my own life I can observe classic examples of this realization and having touched upon the subject I would wish to tell you a story, told from my father to me. I hope that you come to appreciate the values depicted in this story for they save me every single day. For those of you who know me and have already read this story on my myspace page I apologize for beating a dead horse and pray for your forgiveness if you were to retain boredom in any way.

There lived a while ago a distance runner who made the Olympic team from a fairly small country with little to no expectancy of win any kind of medal. I can neither remember the country or the runners name but he was one of the only athletes sent to the Olympics by that country instantly making him a national celebrity. I remember he entered himself in the marathon, a race for which he had rarely competed in but was reassured by a strong support of his fellow countrymen. The race set about at a fierce pace and the athlete dropped off the pack quickly. It took a little short of 3 hours for the first runner to enter a packed stadium and eventually win the race. After 45 minutes of waiting a majority of the runners were packing up having finished and the athlete was nowhere in sight. First an hour passed, then another, and about 15 minutes later the man came hobbling into the stadium scarcely filled with about one forth of the original crowd. Barley keeping a walking pace, his movements displayed enormous amounts of pain and shear fatigue as he torturously ran the last laps of the race. In the last 50 meters his body took a bad stumbled and he fell remaining motionless for a few breaths. Slowly griming the tar that laid the track, he pulled himself forward. With what seemed like shear willpower he dragged himself to the line, finishing almost three and a half hours after the nearest competitor. What happened in that last 50 meters left spectators speechless until a resonating cheer as loud as thunder broke the silence urging the runner onward. A reporter questioned the athlete later about how he hadn’t given up. Why had he nearly killed himself in this race? His reply was simple. “My country sent me here, today, to not just start, but finish.”