Everyday greatness

Achieving greatness in professional sport often comes with trophies, huge sums of money, endorsements and other benefits. But can greatness be defined simply as winning? Greatness isn't something only found on the sporting field - It's everywhere, within all of us. Greatness can take many different forms and certainly those below may agree...Those who compete with disabilities.

Can you name a sport in which disabled people compete against the able-bodied? Imagine a sport in which a person with no legs was expected to compete, on even terms with others who have the use of their own. Sounds unfair, yeah? Could you imagine a one armed person competing against Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon? Or maybe someone with cerebral palsy competing against pro golfers on the World Tour. How about a double-amputee riding in the peloton in the Tour de France...Sounds rather ludicrous right?

I can't think of any sports in which a disabled sportsperson is expected to compete against abled-bodied competitors...Hang on, check that...There is one...Motor racing. In this sport the disabled, old, young, women and men all compete together.

“When I’m racing I leave my wheelchair in the pits. When I’m lining up on that grid with my helmet on, no-one knows I’m female or have a spinal injury. I’m just another driver – and that’s the way it should be.”
- Nathalie McGloin -

Nathalie and many other disabled drivers compete in various motorsport events around the world with no handicap, no preferential treatment and no concessions for their handicapped status. I think that's awesome! You can read a little more about McGloin here if you would like. There's others too. src

Racers like Billy Monger, Alessandro Zanardi and Nicolas Hamilton come to mind; All racing drivers who have suffered horrific injuries or were born disabled but do not allow their disability to prevent them achieving their goals, their own version of greatness. These drivers strap themselves into race cars and mix it with able-bodied drivers on a level playing field and give, or ask, no quarter - Asking only to be treated the same and to have the chance to pursue their own personal greatness.

Billy Monger
A quick video on Billy including the horrific crash that took his legs.
Billy monger piece
Billy's website

Alessandro Zanardi
A quick video on Alex (Alessandro) including the horrific crash that took his legs.
Alex Zanardi piece
Alex's website

Nicolas Hamilton
A quick video on Nicolas and his stuggle with cerebral palsy.
Nicolas piece
Nicolas' website

I've watched the video's above and still I can't imagine what it takes to achieve what they have. Mental toughness surely, but more than that. An incredible amount of determination and drive, ownership and persistence and a single-minded desire to overcome adversity for certain.

I applaud any who find it within themselves to tackle adversity head on; Those who don't allow failure or tragedy to destroy them...Those who choose to rise to the challenge, stand tall and face adversity. I believe we can learn a lot from these people, from disabled athletes and people in general who don't give in to the cruel hand they were dealt.

Achieving greatness isn't always about winning first place or having fame of fortune. It's about overcoming one's fear, getting back up when knocked down and finding the courage to overcome internal and external forces that can undermine confidence and hold a person in place.

Another person's definition of greatness may differ from your own and, indeed, you may not comprehend someone else's version of of it however that doesn't make their idea of greatness any less valuable or important than your own. Achieving greatness is not a condition reserved only for the sporting field...It's a daily thing and each person's idea of it is unique to them. I imagine that at one time or another those mentioned above might have judged greatness as getting through their day without pain.

Those I've mentioned in this post would likely not call themselves special. Disabled yes, but any more unique than you or I? No, I think not. They just get on with pursuing their idea of greatness with every fibre of their being...Because that's what it takes. We can learn a lot about the human spirit from people like these people.

What's your idea of greatness?

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default

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Comments 11

It is pretty amazing how some of the drivers have returned not only from the injuries, but still having the will to race so hard.

30.09.2019 12:13

Most may think it insane...But for them maybe that's what their idea of greatness is? Getting into that car against all odds. I don't know...Most probably wouldn't but racing drivers seem able to overcome their fear and replace it with...Desire, ambition, single-minded focus...They often make very good business people post racing.

30.09.2019 12:16

They often make very good business people post racing.

Risk taking and ability to stay calm at speed, I guess.

30.09.2019 14:07

I think so. And determination. Focus. Self-belief.

30.09.2019 22:22

Good read while in waiting room at foot doctor.

Posted using Partiko Android

30.09.2019 13:50

What's wrong with your food besides those weird shoes? 😆

30.09.2019 21:47

Peddle toe...... Hold a fuel pedal down for 30 years and your claws start growin in instead of out.......

I have had trouble with that big toenail since I was in a bar fight back in like 1995-6. Broke /Smashed it. Lost nail. Had it effin with me ever since. NO MORE...!!! DAMMIT........ LOL

30.09.2019 22:02

Never heard of pedal toe but have heard of bar fights. I'm not going to ask if you won...Because I know krazzy trukker would have! You should do a post about it...

30.09.2019 22:11

It is on my list...... I could do some interesting & entertaining posts for a year or 2. If I worked normal 9-5 job. But duty calls. Back to the Krazzy Grind in the AM.

Twisted Trucker site photo.

30.09.2019 22:36

I'm looking forward to that post. Not that I condone fighting in bars of course. I'm a lover not a fighter. 😉

30.09.2019 22:59

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01.10.2019 08:15