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“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” ~Jesse Owens

The seventh out of eleven children, James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens was born in Alabama in 1913. Later, the family moved to Ohio. While working several jobs to help support his family, he discovered his passion for running. He went on to become a track and field athlete and won four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany (as a black man under the watchful eye of Hitler).

In reading about this athlete’s life, I realized he knew the meaning of self-discipline. Since he worked after school at a shoe repair store, his junior high coach allowed him to practice before school instead. By high school, he tied the world record in the 100-yard dash and set a new world record in the broad jump.

In college, he broke three world records and tied a fourth – all within a span of 45 minutes and all while suffering back pain from a fall down a flight of stairs. And all without a scholarship and while working several jobs around practices in order to support himself and his wife.

Can you image how much determination, dedication and effort his achievements took? Not to discount his own work ethic, throughout his lifetime, Jesse attributed the success of his athletic career to the encouragement of his junior high coach.

What about you? Are you pursuing your dreams with this much determination? Do you have someone encouraging you?

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2 thoughts on “Friday Focus – Jesse Owens

  • March 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm
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    >Can't say that I get much verbal encouragement – maybe because I don't talk much about my dreams.
    Non-verbal encouragement comes in the form of being left alone to do what I want to do. No one complains about what I do or don't do.
    Your depiction of Jesse Owens is making me feel guilty at the moment…I need to put in a load of laundry. 🙂

  • March 12, 2010 at 10:03 pm
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    >Candee,

    I can honestly say that the people in my family really do encourage you to do whatever you think of and to live your life to the fullest. I guess that is why we are never afraid to try something new.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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