First, let me just say thanks for another great day to be alive.
Are you feeling as if your plans are not going as planned? I want to encourage you, please don’t be discouraged. I remember 13 years ago when the thought of getting a scholarship to the United States popped into my head. Almost every member, if not all the members, in my community saw my determination in pursuing a dream of some sort in track and field. I would practice for months religiously and when the biggest event for me and my teammates to showcase our abilities came, we didn’t get the opportunity to go. The next year I would train again hoping that I would get the opportunity to represent my school at the Boys and Girls Championships. I kept believing, even though in my fourth year of high school people urged me to quit because I was not getting anything out of all my hard training and sacrifice. It still didn’t shake my belief. I continued! In fact, I watched the championship on the television and saw other boys whom I beat, and they were doing extremely well. Then, I realized I wasn’t so tough after all because I cried my eyes out as I watched them compete knowing that I would’ve been there competing myself. The fifth year I trained even harder. I made more sacrifices and you know what, I didn’t get the opportunity to go to the championships. I didn’t lose one bit of interest of competing at the championships. I kept my belief.
After graduation I decided to go back to my high school and asked for a repeat, not only to do track, but to retake subjects that I failed. Well, that was what I told them. In the back of my mind I wanted to represent my school in track and field, because I saw others who have for their school. I said to myself, this is my last chance of getting to compete and I had several conversations with the physical education staff from day one to make sure this time I would get the opportunity to compete. Don’t stop believing!
It was the year 2000, my dream of competing for my school, Aabuthnott Gallimore High, finally happened. The process leading up to accomplishing my goal was a challenge but there was not a cell in my body that had given up. Mr. Lawrence who was the assistant coach for the track team did all he could to make my dream a reality. He would say, “By any means necessary.” For that I was grateful. The Boys and Girls Championship finally happened and the funny part of it was when my school couldn’t get a hotel in Kingston and was about to withdraw. I told them a blunt “NO! I will travel to and fro if need be.” It was my opportunity of a life time, and I was not willing to lose it. I went to Kingston, competed and came home that night and rested.
The next day, I was the school hero. Well, that was how I felt anyway. I kept my belief; I was not discouraged after all my years of disappointments. I kept going and you have to do the same. Well, I had only competed one day, but standing in front and hearing students shout, “I saw you on television,” gave me the strength I needed before driving back out to Kingston to compete in the second round. I gave it all I had, although I didn’t give my school any points. I can recall hearing the commentator say after I completed each round, “That boy from the country, from the school Aabuthnott Gallimore, is making his way through those rounds pretty well.” There is a saying that goes like this, “If you believe in yourself, the world will soon follow suit.”
The way it happened for me was I held the belief in my head that I was going to represent my school. Although after my fifth year was complete, I questioned and asked, “Was it meant to be?” Track and field was me and I was track and field. It had to happen; I had to have that experience. All the different experiences were a test of my faith and strength. I can tell you, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK! Do you have something that you want to accomplish? Keep training! Keep practicing! Most of all don’t be discouraged. Did I receive the scholarship? I did in 2006, after I had to cross over a lot more hurdles of which gave me more strength. Although I work out a lot, I have to let others know that my strength doesn’t come from my amount of time in the gym. It comes from my adversity, the hurdles that I have to cross, and I can say this aloud…IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND KEEP WORKING TOWARD IT, YOU WILL EVENTUALLY ACCOMPLISH IT. Don’t Be Discouraged!