I can exceed my limitations!

My father loved sports. He would watch basketball, tennis, bowling, billiards, boxing, cycling, golf and others on TV declaring that sports is the only honest thing on TV.  “The news can be sensationalized”, he said, “but sports rely on physical and mental strength and skills.”  In his youth, he dabbled in basketball, tennis and bowling. Proof of which are the number of trophies in our shelves.

Because I had no choice but to watch with him, I eventually took some interest in watching what he was watching. There was one night when I could not sleep so I sat with him trying to watch a tennis match. The great thing about my father was that he could answer whatever question I threw at him. My tennis knowledge was limited to tennis greats I was familiar with like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Michael Chang. (Kids, he is not the Glee character.)  My dad introduced me to Roger Federer (Not personally! I wish!). He just told me how amazing the guy was in court. Just when you thought that he won’t be able to return the ball because it looks the opponent is going to kill it, there he was returning the ball with a powerful backhand.

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The most memorable Roger Federer moment for me was the finals of 2009 Australian Open. He was playing against Rafael Nadal. I remember rooting for him and I saw that both of them were playing hard. Both wanted to win. Roger Federer wanted it so badly because if he wins the finals, his grand slam record would match that of another tennis great, Pete Sampras. Rafael Nadal wanted to win because it would prove that he good in the other surfaces, too. (He ruled the clay court.) They were playing tennis for more than 4 hours, drenched in sweat, no one wants to give up. Eventually, Rafael Nadal won.  And I saw Federer cry, not because he was a sore loser but out of frustration, I guess.  He conquered his 14th and 15th Grand Slam title in the same year.  Actually, the photo above is dated. As of this writing, he already won 17 Grand Slam titles. Some people might have given up after that huge loss. Some people might have rested on their laurels after already conquering an amazing feat like 14 grand slams, perhaps. Not Roger.

 

I think athletes took a lot of “never give up” pills. It is amazing what the human spirit can achieve.  I remember watching gymnastics in 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The US gymnastics team wanted to win in this Russian-dominated sport. To win in the team competition, they must earn the cumulative points in different events. Gymnast Kerri Strug fell in her first try on the vault. Enduring the pain because they needed the point, she gunned for another try on the vault enough to land on one foot , to pause and smile at the audience, earning a high mark for her team. Few seconds later, she collapsed on the floor and had to be carried out to be treated for injury. The US won the gold for team gymnastics.

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It is amazing what people can do when there is great motivation in their spirit to achieve some unimaginable feats.  The triumph of the human spirit is beautiful to witness.

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I think this is what drove a lot of people to try and beat Coach Rio’s record in #BeatCoachRio by Safeguard Active. Watch how some people push their limits by taking on the challenge.

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Sometimes we have to push ourselves outside our comfort zones.

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*This is an entry for Nuffnang’s Safeguard Active Sport Contest.
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