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?