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How to Win

The Impossible and You

Now and then someone will give us a glimpse of the impossible.

Today’s it’s Ruth Frith, who recently won a title by throwing the shot put 13 feet, four and a half inches. That may not sound like much (the world record for women is 74 feet, three inches), but you must remember that Ruth Frith is 100 years old.

A great-grandmother, Frith works out five days a week. Her advice to others is, “… just try and try and they could be surprised.”

There’s only one trouble with Frith’s story. We copy the article and put it up on the bulletin board for inspiration. We use it to motivate our teams. But on a gut level, somehow we never think that HER story can become OUR story.

To our way of looking at things, the impossible is really for someone else to achieve. In fact, anyone can achieve the impossible. It begins with a mindset.

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible,” football legend Vince Lombardi said.

My favorite play in football, tennis, baseball or volleyball is the seemingly impossible ball. Someone gets to it and makes you wonder, “How did they do that?!?!” They leap, dive, run, whatever it takes. They make no distinction between what is possible and what it not. They just go for it.

Sports psychologist Dr. Rob Gilbert offers a strategy for doing the impossible. He says you should identity something in your life that is seemingly impossible. Maybe it’s making up with an estranged friend or family member. Maybe it’s learning a new skill. Maybe it’s avoiding alcohol for even one day. Once you begin to do what seems impossible, then more things become possible.

St. Francis of Assisi, says it another way: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Congratulations to Ruth Frith for her title. But remember that her story can become your story.


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