by slaven brnjakovic
Several years ago, I went to the same class with Michael, who was very good at various sports. He trained in rugby, but was also very talented in football, athletics and even swimming. He was considered one of the best athletes in his generation. But this story is not about him. It is about a boy that gained everybody’s attention by defeating him in athletics.
Me and my friends came from school to support Michael in a national high school competition. Michael competed in the 400m discipline and we thought that he would win it for sure. Several weeks before that, he participated in a local race and managed to win first prize. However, we were all left amazed as he was left almost 80m behind by an unknown runner from a local town. This new guy never participated in these athletics before and entered the competition out of curiosity to try something else. However, we were left wondering and thought that the guy just got lucky.
The new guy’s name was Chris and he had a black belt in karate. He never ran before, but with the lack of options for the local high school, the teacher decided to send him to represent the school. Reluctantly he accepted the challenge just to have fun. However, after competing he was labeled as a great sprint talent and was offered a scholarship in the local university and to become a part of the athletics club. He accepted the offer and was granted the best coaches available in the country. As time went by, it was becoming clear that Chris was a national competitor in the making. He was very young at that age but already managed to break the national record at the 400m discipline.
After he surpassed the junior category, he started competing with the senior competitors to gain experience. His results were surprising as he was competitive at the senior level as well. He started participating at international grand prix events and gained recognition as one of the most promising young athletes in Europe. He is expected to reach his peak at the upcoming World championship and represent his country for the first time in such a global tournament.
Several days ago, I saw a news report about Chris and his sudden progress. When I heard him mentioning the school tournament as his first 400m race, I immediately remembered the race I witnessed. It is unusual when you see someone’s beginnings and after several years you see him reach the top. This guy should be an example for all athletes that have trouble finding their passion in sports. If he refused to join the competition that day, he would probably never would have learned that he possesses the talent for the highest ranks.
You have to accept the challenges life gives to you and never question your decisions. Otherwise, you will always wonder, what would have happened if you did not take the chance because that decision might affect your whole life.