Tell men I can’t; I will

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In the spring of 2000 I competed in the C.A.A Conference Track and Field Championships. I was favored to win the high jump however I was placed in the long jump as well to try and help my team. I was a novice who was jumping against the reigning conference champion in the event. After two less then stellar attempts, I had one jump left.  As I prepared for my final attempt I watched as the champ finished his final jump. Just as I was doing warmups I was told by a teammate that my coach had mentioned to him that I had “done a great job, but there was no way he would beat the reigning champ.” 

Hearing this was a blow that I didn’t welcome, but desperately needed.  My entire demeanor changed.   I’ve always been a humble athlete, but in my mind I could beat anybody, in anything I competed in; on any day.  I needed him and everybody in that stadium to know that.   I got so angry I don’t even think I waited to count out all of the proper steps for the final attempt.  When my name was called I ran straight for the long jump pit and although my leg had been hurting on and off throughout the day I was determined to jump further than anybody else had that day.  As I took off I watched as I cleared the mark jumped by the reigning champ on the previous jump.  Even before I’d landed I knew I had won.  From that day forward my philosophy became:

                                         “Tell me it can’t be done, I’ll do it!”

Never let anyone else’s doubts about your abilities decide what your future holds.  They say you can’t; I know you can. You’re the greatest you’ve ever known.

                                                                                          

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