Successful people have razor sharp focus on their goals! In life you get what you focus on which includes your thoughts, actions, dreams and the words you say to yourself!
I recently had the amazing opportunity to be around and interact with an inspiring and accomplished group of female athletes at the Annual Women's Sports Foundation. The WSF was founded in 1974 by tennis legend, Billie Jean King. It is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.
One of the athletes, who I had previously not heard about, caught my attention. She is an extraordinary person who had to overcome tremendous challenges since the day she was born. Tatyana McFadden was born with a disease called Spina Bifida, which is a hole in her spine. She was paralyzed from the waist down. She spent the first six and a half years of her life in an orphanage in Russia, with no access to a wheelchair. Tatyana had some big challenges but she did not see it that way! Tatyana focussed on what was possible and what she wanted to do, not on her limitations. So when wanted to keep up with the other children and play, she figured out a way. Tatyana learned to walk on her hands. She did not accept a limiting belief that she could not play because she could not walk. When there is a will there is a way, and Tatyana found a way.
She was adopted in 1994 by American, Deborah McFadden, then Commissioner of Disabilities for the US Department of Health. Tatyana was thrilled with her new exciting life and all of the opportunities ahead. Unfortunately, her health worsened and her family was told that she may only live a couple more years. The families focus immediately turned to what was possible for Tatyana. They pictured a strong healthy girl who was active and happy!
To gain strength and work towards the dream they could imagine, Tatyana played various sports including wheelchair basketball, swimming, ice hockey and scuba diving. She found her passion, wheelchair racing! Her health improved drastically and she became an incredibly strong world class athlete! Tatyana always rises higher then any challenge presented. She always focusses I her outcome!
Tatyana's debut into the Paralympics was in 2004 when she was just 15 years old and the youngest on Team USA. She won two medals, in 2008 she won four medals, 2012 she added four more including three golds! At the 2013 World Championships she became the first athlete in history to win six gold medals at the same competition. Always looking for the next challenge, Tatyana added another completion to her schedule, she joined the professional marathon circuit. She has won the Chicago, London, Boston and New York marathons and is the first person, able bodied or disabled to with the Grand Slam (4 World Major Marathons in the same year!) She has accomplished it two years in a row and will complete her third Grand Slam if she wins the NYC Marathon November 1.
Not wanting to let a season pass without a race, Tatyana also competes in the Winter Paralympics in cross country skiing. With limited experience, she won a silver medal in 2013.
Tatyana focusses on her goals and ideal outcomes in her life. Then she has the drive and passion to accomplish her goals! I love the quote that points out that the word impossible truly says, "I'm Possible!"
Pay attention to your thoughts, words and actions. You will get what you focus on, so focus on your ideal outcome and the life you want. Live, breath and dream about your goals!
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