‘Keep Kicking’

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4th Oct, 2023

A crisis is a true test of character, they say.

Ups and downs are a part of of life but how you tackle the downs holds the key to the highs that might occur later in life.

A business you started could run into trouble, you could find yourself laid off, You may find yourself burdened with some emotional upheaval or a health problem that lays you low.

In such cases, it is important to ensure that you don’t get petrified into inaction like a deer caught in a car’s headlights.

You must keep moving, keep fighting, keep trying. Sure, merely fighting hard in what looks like a hopeless situation won’t guarantee success. But remember, not trying—and simply giving up—will only guarantee failure.

When you find yourself with your back to the wall, when you feel you are going deeper and farther into a deep black hole, it’s a good idea to remind yourself of

Michael Phelps who swam his way to Olympic immortality with eight gold medals in Beijing.

However, he was involved in an unfortunate accident that had seriously jeopardized his Olympic dreams.

In October 2007, as Michael was getting into a friend’s car in Michigan, he slipped on a patch of ice & fell, breaking his wrist.

A cracked wrist meant a plaster cast—a serious blow to his Olympics preparation. He couldn’t swim for the next few weeks.

He was shattered.

Was the great eight-gold Olympic dream over?

All those years of practice, would they come to naught?

After his fabulous showing in Athens, Michael had the world’s eyes trained on him—and he was a hot favourite for bagging an unparalleled eight-gold haul. Was the accident the start of the end?

Michael was disillusioned but quickly picked himself up & was back in the pool. With his plastered arm, he couldn’t swim but he would lie in the pool, kicking with a kickboard while his Olympic teammates did laps.

He just splashed & kicked away furiously. While that was no substitute for swimming, it had one huge positive. He added incredible strength to his leg muscles.

Fast forward to 16 August 2008, in Beijing. Having won six golds, Michael Phelps was on track to the eight-gold dream.

In the seventh event, the 100-metre butterfly stroke, Michael was neck-to-neck with Milorad Cavic. He won by the narrowest of margins, picking up his 7th gold by edging out Milorad by a mere 1/100th of a second.

As experts analysed the race and watched slow motion replays, they found that in the last 5 metres of the race, while an exhausted Milorad dragged his legs, Michael used a strong kick to get his hands to the wall first, going ahead by that 1/100th of a second.

Those leg-strengthening exercises paid off!

It doesn’t matter whether you are the world’s greatest swimmer ever, the lesson is the same, when you are down & in trouble, keep fighting.

Don’t give up. Keep kicking.

It won’t help to wallow in self-pity, or curse your stars or play the blame game. Every adversity has an opportunity couched within.

It is up to us to grab it & what you do when the going gets tough, is what defines your outcomes.

You could give up on your Olympic ambitions & blame it on an untimely injury or you could choose to keep kicking away & strengthen your leg muscles, which could one day help make you the world’s greatest swimmer.

When you are down in the dumps, what you do in these difficult times will determine what happens to you next.

Not only could this be the key to your survival, it could potentially be a life changer.

In their most difficult hour, people have started businesses that brought them unimagined wealth. Perhaps it’s your turn now to take the plunge. That moment of strife, that hour of darkness, those crisis-ridden days could be the opportunity to craft a new beginning, a new triumph.

Keep kicking come what may & stay blessed forever.