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Monday, May 30, 2011

Gail Devers and her run to the dream...

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”-Gail Devers

Eight years ago, I was sitting at home, running through the Tv channels, when a movie struck my mind! It was The Gail Dever's story- Run for the dream. Back then I was still a basketball player, and I had big dreams about WNBA. I had some struggles with injuries since early in my basketball career, that I constantly fought! I remember sitting there in the afternoon watching that movie, and being astonished by the strength, the willpower and the dedication that athlete had.

For those that are not familiar with Gail Devers(I doubt there is a lot of people that do not know about her...), I can tell you that she has won three Olympic gold medals and a variety of world championships. But the most interesting part in her life is not that she was a star and a champion on the track, she was a champion in life. In 1988, when she had big dreams about Olympic games and her future career as a runner, something happened-she was undiagnosed case of Graves Disease- an autoimmune disease where the thyroid is overactive, producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormones (a serious metabolic imbalance known as hyperthyroidism and thyrotoxicosis).. The thyroid disorder had sapped her energy, and almost led to the amputation of her legs after catastrophic side effects caused by radiation treatments. But in one of the most miraculous recoveries in sports history, Devers re-emerged from the ordeal to capture the gold at the 1992 games.

I still remember that part of the movie, when she was sitting in her wheelchair in her home. Her coach came to visit and as the conversation went she said "Coach I want to be at the Olympics". He said " No problem! We will take tickets for the front rows". She looked at him saying " No! I wanna run at the Olympics." Back then to all appearances her carrer was over, but did Gail think so? Sure she didn't! She has always known that she was meant to be something more than an ordinary person!

I remember reading somewhere about a story that Gail devers was talking about-Devers, it turned out, had something to draw on that seemed almost programmed into her life. As a sixth grade girl growing up outside San Diego Devers told Science of Mind that, “As part of an assignment, we had to go to the library and everyone had to pick a book. I walked down an aisle and a book fell out. So I picked up the book and I took it home, and I said, ‘okay this is the book for me, I don’t have to figure out what I’m going to read.’ It ended up being the Wilma Rudolph story.”

As Devers tells it, “I kept the book and each year I read it over and over and over until it didn’t have a cover any more. I believe in destiny. I didn’t have any interest in track and field, I wasn’t running track and field; I just thought it was interesting that she had gone through polio, and I did use that as a source of inspiration myself going through my Graves Disease, saying that, ‘If Wilma could do it so can I."

Sometimes I sit in the park thinking about stories like that which attracted my attention and captured my heart. I kinda feel the pain people like them went through. I imagine the physical weakness they were feeling, but yet the strength inside that was fighting to rise. I imagine the dedication and strong mind they had to wake up every morning-knowing the world expects them to crumble and give up, but secretly knowing inside themselves THEY CAN DO IT! THEY WANT IT AND THEY WILL HAVE IT!

All I have to say is that people like them are role models! Those are the people that change lives, either knowing it or not. People like them are those who give hope to others in their place. People who motivate the rest with their excellence, courage, dreams and dedication!


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