The other day I was watching a short movie called Finish Strong, and I was reminded of the story of Wilma Rudolf.
Wilma Rudolf was born July 23, 1940 into a large family of 22 in Clarksville, Tennessee. Growing up in a community parted by racial discrimination, Wilma never received proper medical attention as a child. She was diagnosed with one illness after another: measles, mumps, scarlet fever, chicken pox and double pneumonia. Until finally she was diagnosed with polio, a crippling disease that had no cure and doctors told her mother that Wilma would never walk.
Wilma’s mother drove her to be treated twice a week at Meharry Hospital, the black medical college in Nashville, even though it was 50 miles away and the family was strapped for funds. After 2 years, Wilma was able to walk with the aid of metal leg braces and by the age of 12 she could walk normally with no assistance. It was then that she decided to become an athlete.
“My mother taught me very early to believe I could achieve any accomplishment I wanted to. The first was to walk without braces,” said Wilma. She would go on to win three gold medals in a single Olympics and be placed in the Olympics Hall of Fame.
Amazing stories like this remind me of how fortunate I have been in life and proves that with a mindset for success and a will to succeed anything can be accomplished.