Anne always wanted to become an athlete, but her teacher crushed her spirit with hurtful words. Here’s what happened when she did not give up on her dream.
When Anne was ten years old, she saw the Olympics on television as her father watched athletes sprint for a marathon. She was so fascinated by the competitors and asked her dad how they ran so fast. “If you dream big, train hard, and never give up, you can run that fast too,” he replied.
From then on, Anne wanted to become an athlete and compete at the Olympics. She was determined to excel in the sport and decided to join the track and field team in their school, led by the physical education teacher. When she showed up on the first day, the coach looked at Anne and laughed.
He said that she was far smaller than all the other girls her age and had short legs, which will never allow her to run fast. Nevertheless, he took her in because the more children there were, the bigger his salary would increase. Although she was young, Anne felt offended and belittled by the teacher’s comment.
Still, she did her best to become a fast runner and made friends with all the boys and girls in the club. She had a great relationship with everyone except Lucy, the star athlete, and the mean professor’s daughter. Lucy was fantastic at the craft and had already won several city-wide competitions.
Anne looked up to Lucy for her abilities and trained hard to be like her. What was unique about Anne was that her perseverance was coupled with the happiness running brought her. When in progress, she felt like she was breezing through everything and floating with the wind.
She would train three times more than anyone, and soon enough, it showed in her performance. Within a year, Anne’s progress was at par with Lucy’s. The two constantly competed with each other for the school championship, and many times, Anne would win.
The coach saw that Anne was becoming better than his daughter and tried to convince her to leave the sport by letting her spirits down. Every meeting, the coach would jokingly humiliate Anne and pick on her short legs. At one point, he began calling her a dwarf. Anne would secretly cry after every class but did not stop running.
She believed that God was sending her challenges to overcome and one day succeed. When Anne turned 13, her father landed a job in another city and had to relocate with the whole family. Anne went to another school and started a new athletic life, which blossomed into her career.
She repeatedly won city-wide competitions and was chosen as a representative for the state championship. Anne was very proud of what she achieved and knew that the match was important for her career. On the day of the race, she stood in line with six other girls and saw that one of them was Lucy.
The coach’s daughter looked at Anne and rolled her eyes. Anne knew that she had to defeat Lucy and make a point, so she ran her heart out towards the finish line. Anne and Lucy were ahead of everyone else, foot to foot. Luckily, Anne won the competition by a few milliseconds and brought tears of joy to her parents.
Taking home the gold meant that Anne would go to the national championships, which had been a dream of hers for years. She saw her parents hugging each other in the stands, while near them was her former coach, sitting with a bitter expression. At the press conference held after, journalists and coaches gathered.
When Anne was given the floor, she thanked her family, friends, and teachers before adding, “Most especially, thank you, Mr. Griffin. You humiliated me and called me a dwarf back then, but it motivated me more than anything else in life. Thank you for the tears I shed. Without your words, I wouldn’t be here.”
Everyone in the room was shocked by the teen’s words and looked menacingly at Anne’s former coach. Upset, he stood up and left the hall. Anne later learned that the school dismissed him for bullying a child and that he and his family moved to another state. She never saw him or Lucy again.
What can we learn from Anne’s story?
Never give up on your dreams
2. Don’t let other people’s words bring you down
3. The energy you emit will come back tenfold.