Monday, April 16, 2012

"Never Give Up" -Derek Redmond

In 1992 a young man Named Derek Redmond arrived at the 1992 Olympics Summer Games in Barcelona, determined to win a medal in the 400. The color of the medal was meaningless; he just wanted to win one just one. This is the same runner who had shattered the British 400 meter record at the age of 19. So when the 1992 games arrived, this was his time, his moment, and his stage, to show the world how good he was and who he was.The day of the race, Derek and his father who were very close reminisced about what it took for Derek to get to this point. They talk about ignoring past heartbreaks and failures and agree that no matter what happens, Derek has to finish the race. The stadium is packed with 65,000 fans, bracing themselves for one of sport's greatest and most exciting spectacles. The race begins and Redmond breaks from the pack and quickly seizes the lead. "Keep it up, keep it up," Jim says to himself.Down the backstretch, only 175 meters away from finishing, Redmond is a shoo-in to make the finals. Suddenly, he hears a pop. In his right hamstring. He pulls up lame, as if he had been shot."Oh, no," Jim says to himself. His face pales. His leg quivering, Redmond begins hopping on one leg, then slows down and falls to the track. As he lays on the track, clutching his right hamstring, a medical personnel unit runs toward him. At the same time, Jim Redmond, seeing his son in trouble, races down from the top row of the stands, sidestepping people, bumping into others. He has no credential to be on the track, but all he thinks about is getting to his son, to help him up. "I wasn't going to be stopped by anyone," he later tells the media.On the track, Redmond realizes his dream of an Olympic medal is gone. Tears run down his face. "All I could think was, 'I'm out of the Olympics -- again,'" he would say.As the medical crew arrives with a stretcher, Redmond tells them, "No, there's no way I'm getting on that stretcher. I'm going to finish my race."Then, in a moment that will live forever in the minds of millions, Redmond lifts himself to his feet, ever so slowly, and starts hobbling down the track. The other runners have finished the race, with Steve Lewis of the U.S. winning the contest in 44.50. Suddenly, everyone realizes that Redmond isn't dropping out of the race by hobbling off to the side of the track. No, he is actually continuing on one leg. He's going to attempt to hobble his way to the finish line. All by himself. All in the name of pride and heart.Slowly, the crowd, in total disbelief, rises and begins to roar. The roar gets louder and louder. Through the searing pain, Redmond hears the cheers, but "I wasn't doing it for the crowd," he would later say. "I was doing it for me. Whether people thought I was an idiot or a hero, I wanted to finish the race. I'm the one who has to live with it."One painful step at a time, each one a little slower and more painful than the one before, his face twisted with pain and tears, Redmond limps onward, and the crowd, many in tears, cheer him on.Suddenly, Jim Redmond finally gets to the bottom of the stands, leaps over the railing, avoids a security guard, and runs out to his son, with two security people chasing after him. "That's my son out there," he yells back to security, "and I'm going to help him."Finally, with Derek refusing to surrender and painfully limping along the track, Jim reaches his son at the final curve, about 120 meters from the finish, and wraps his arm around his waist."I'm here, son," Jim says softly, hugging his boy. "We'll finish together." Derek puts his arms around his father's shoulders and sobs.Together, arm in arm, father and son, with 65,000 people cheering, clapping and crying, finish the race, just as they vowed they would. A couple steps from the finish line, and with the crowd in an absolute frenzy, Jim releases the grip he has on his son, so Derek could cross the finish line by himself. Then he throws his arms around Derek again, both crying, along with everyone in the stands and on TV."I'm the proudest father alive," he tells the press afterwards, tears in his eyes. "I'm prouder of him than I would have been if he had won the gold medal. It took a lot of guts for him to do what he did." Now, some 17 years after the race, not many people remember who won that semi-final race or who even won the final. But, many still remember Derek Redmond. In those days and weeks and years when you just feel like throwing in the towel. When unforeseen circumstances build a wall between you and your dreams there is a hope. When failures lurks nearby and whispers of doubt cause confusion and fear to creep in and try to strangle the life out of your dreams remember that this is not the end because every day is new and we can start again. It’s not how you begin but how you finish be encourage this week because “You can and you will be all that you dream to be.”-Angela Short

Please take a  moment and watch this inspiring clip!