For a sports fan it’s very common to have a role model who is the best of the best, the superstars, or the legends. It‘s always easy to look up to the likes of Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali or Sachin Tendulkar. And almost always some of the MOST inspiring athletes are never even heard of because they lie in the shadows of these legends. Don’t get me wrong – these legends certainly deserve ALL the attention, ALL the glory and ALL the fame as they’ve transcended and impacted the game more than they can ever know… I’m personally a HUGE fan of each myself. But let’s take time out to draw inspiration from a few lesser known but extremely powerful athletes!
Juan Jose Mendez: Juan José Méndez Fernández is a Paralympic Spanish Cyclist. He lost his left arm and most of his left leg in a motorcycle crash. This man was able to win several medals in his sports career including an Olympic Bronze. Yup…all this WITHOUT an arm and leg. Let that sink in now! Although he never won a Gold Medal until now, his victories in sports and real life are an example of how disabilities can’t stop a person who just WANTS to succeed.
CS Santosh : CS Santosh might not be the traditional “athlete” but in my opinion, he is one of the most inspirational sports persons out there. He’s a motocross rider and rally racer. One of the only few to come out of India and the ONLY Indian to participate and complete the Dakar Rally, i.e, the world’s toughest race! 9000 kms, 14 days and the world’s toughest and most treacherous terrains.
The reasons why I find him so inspirational being a biker myself is because he is one man who just doesn’t let ANY form of obstacle stop him from achieving his goals. He completed the Dakar Rally with an injured shoulder, a bleeding nose, a broken toe and countless cuts and bruises. It reached a point at the end of every day where CS Santosh was too exhausted to even get off his bike. Was all the pain and suffering worth it? I wouldn’t know! But he certainly inspired a ton of motocross riders in India and has paved their future in the sport.
TEAM HOYT: Team Hoyt is a father and son team of Dick and Rick Hoyt who have competed together in numerous races – including marathons and Ironman Triathlons. The son, Rick has cerebral palsy and during the race Dick pulls Rick in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat in the front of a bicycle when they cycle, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.In the past 30 years they’ve completed over 255 triathlons, 7 iron mans and 72 full marathons. The duo has single-handedly shifted the physically disabled community’s mindset on how to lead a powerful life. ENOUGH SAID.
Mary Abigail “Abby” Wambach: Let’s put aside the eternal argument about who’s a better player – Ronaldo or Messi – and let’s talk about a football player who deserves the same amount, if not more, recognition as those two. Abby Wambach is an American retired soccer player, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. As a forward, she currently stands as the highest all-time goal scorer for the national team and holds the world record for international goals for both female and male soccer players with 184 goals.
My favourite story of her is when one time the US Women’s team was trailing Mexico 2-1 in a World Cup qualifier and in the 90th minute of the game Abby went up for a header and got her head split open… but instead of laying on the floor for 20 minutes and barraging the ref for a red card against the Mexican player, she just sat up, got her forehead stapled shut (Yes… STAPLED SHUT!) and then walked off the pitch on her own two feet!! Only to come back on after two minutes to try and win the game for her country!
Talk about tough. Talk about grit. Talk about giving it your all. This is that. And If this isn’t inspirational to you… Then nothing can be!
So the next time you make stupid reasons to justify why you can’t do something or feel yourself giving into your excuses or let your circumstances take control of the way you produce results… REMEMBER THESE GUYS!
“YOU CAN EITHER HAVE REASONS OR RESULTS. NOT BOTH!”