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“As you expected, it’s a serious ACL injury. That knee is going to need surgery and at least two years of physio and, even then, I’m not sure you’ll be able to compete again,” she said that day. The doctor might as well told me I was dying, it would have meant the same to me. Running was my life, my entire life. I had nothing else. I’d been training since I was thirteen years old. The 2016 Olympics in Rio was my goal, and now it was gone. I was 22 years old and my life was over.
I went home and spent six month in a black fog of depression. My coach gave up. My friends fell away. One day my mother came home and found me on the sofa where she left me that morning.
She handed me a book and said, “Read this.” It was an order, not a suggestion.
I ignored the book for a few days but when I couldn’t take my mother’s side glances, I picked it up, and I know I’d still be on that sofa today if I hadn’t!
The book was a motivational book— THE COURAGE TO TEACH. I opened the cover and the first thing I saw was a quote from one of my heroes, Michael Jordan, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” That’s what got me. Only losers failed and stayed there, only losers sat on a sofa and let their one and only precious life be squandered away. Only losers let obstacles get in their way of their destined success.
First I got back to physio. I didn’t care what doctors said, I was going win races again!
I’d lost my funding so I needed to earn some money, but what could I do except running? I thought and thought. Then I remembered some drawings I did. It was when I first started running 800 meters. It’s an odd distance, not long, not short. And I couldn’t find the right shoes. Also, I was sure wearing the wrong shoes was part of what led to my injury. Those years ago I’d drawn some pictures showing the exact requirements for 800 meter runners. I modified the drawings to take into account what I’d learned about ACL injuries and how to prevent them. I knew I had something.
I contacted a company that had endorsed me for the IAAF Championship, set up a meeting and, as they say, the rest is history. As I’m writing this, those shoes are on the feet of every single serious 800m runner in the world.
With that money and the motivation I got from THE COURAGE TO TEACH, I got back to the shape I was in before my injury. I was on that podium last year at the IAAF World Championships—did you see me? And I’ve qualified for the Olympics! More than that I’m now a motivational speaker myself, I give talks to sportspeople who have incurred a devastating injury.
THE COURAGE TO TEACH took me from the deepest depths of despair to the where I am now, flying like a champion! It can do the same for you. Get the book here and change your life today.