Chase Your Dreams

 

I have faith in dreams;

for they do exist.

Because when I sleep, they are my bliss.

I have faith in dreams

Because sometimes they don’t let me sleep.

When I hear the beat of my feet;

I forget reality.

It’s just me and the 100-metre leap.

I have faith in dreams;

For they do exist.

Once you fulfil them

They’ll bring you eternal bliss.

When an athlete sets foot on the track, he doesn’t think about what’s behind him. At that moment the only thing that matters is what is right in front of him; the finish line.

At the Olympics, athletes from all over the world assemble with hopes of winning a gold, silver, or bronze medal. They’ve been dreaming about this their whole lives and have spent an enormous amount of gruelling hours training for their respective events. On the track, each athlete is a winner because he has already overcome a number of hurdles in every walk of his life to have come so far.

A lot of us wonder how they got there. What’s behind the leaping, diving, running and other skills athletes possess? We don’t understand the years of physical and mental effort that goes into becoming a professional athlete. Their journeys begin way earlier by accomplishing smaller milestones like representing their schools, districts, and states. These small milestones are the stepping stones to greater successes along the way, which ultimately culminate in representing their countries on the largest sporting spectacle on this planet; the Olympics.

Every athlete is determined to achieve this goal. No goal is achieved without making innumerable sacrifices. But these sacrifices are definitely worth the price for success and nothing stops motivated athletes from chasing their dreams. They make a conscious commitment and try to maintain their confidence and motivation however hard it may be.

However, sports can be so unpredictable and every sport has its unique challenges. The journey is fraught with many impediments. With success, an athlete embraces failures too on some days. It is a known fact that a person learns more from failure than success. The best of words fail to describe the amount of effort put in by athletes. Every task is a herculean task for some athletes, but hardship is necessary for growth, and athletes should be relentless in their pursuit of greatness.

The main reason why athletes give up is either due to an injury or because they have lost hope in winning altogether. It is very easy to quit. Many dream of becoming paid professional athletes, but in reality, only a few beat the odds. This can be extremely demotivating and athletes often begin to lose the drive to win. Every great athlete has had a few setbacks in his or her career. But they did not give up. In fact, that catapulted them to work even harder.

Indian Sports is replete with numerous examples of sportspersons who have sacrificed immensely to make a name for themselves and reach where they are now. It’s just because they never gave up on their dreams and kept moving forward. They got back up no matter how harshly they were trampled upon.

The 24 year old Indian Athlete, Bhawna Jat hailing from the small village of Kabra in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district, became India’s first female race walker to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Two years ago, Jat smashed the national record with a timing of 1:29.54 at the National Open Race-Walking Championship in Ranchi (the Olympic qualification mark was set at 1:31.00).  Less than a decade ago, she and her family struggled to get even two meals a day. She faced a lot of hardships while training in her village.

Jat trained barefoot in a makeshift field near her house at night. Apart from financial problems, she also had to maneuver past several societal hurdles. The village panchayat barred her from practicing on the mud field near her house, after seeing her train in shorts. They wanted her to stop practicing and focus more on household chores. Her father and brother had immense faith in her talent and made sure that she found certain time slots to practice when people weren’t around. Jat’s qualification amidst severe financial ordeals has already made her a national name.

Arjun awardee and Padma Shri Paralympian, Devendra Jhajharia became India’s second gold medal winner at the Rio Paralympics after he broke his own world record with a throw of 63.7m in the men’s F46 Javelin Throw. His life should be made into a biopic for every able-bodied person to see and get inspired by watching the ordeals he faced before becoming a sportsperson of repute.

The list of athletes who have endured such hardships is endless. This shows us the indomitable spirit of athletes who are ready to weather any storm that comes their way. Every Indian athlete faces these ordeals only with the dream of hearing their national anthem and seeing the tricolour fly high. That emotional moment encompasses all the hardships and sacrifices of not only the athlete but also a large number of other lesser-known people who encouraged tirelessly in the background.

So, when you are bogged down with obstacles, remember why you started in the first place.