Back from the Dead to Win the Gold

Have you ever felt yourself struggling to bounce back from a disappointment?  When you consider the feat of Betty Robinson, whose story appeared in the most recent issue of Mental Floss magazine, you may see you have more options than first imagined.

Betty Robinson won a gold medal in the 1928 Olympics when she was only sixteen years old.  She was a sprinter who competed in the 100 meter dash and relay.  In 1931, she was in a small plane that crashed near Chicago.  When her body was pulled from the wreckage, she was declared dead and sent to the mortician.  However, Betty wasn’t dead.

Fortunately, the mortician figured out she had a concussion and she was sent to the hospital.  In addition, she had a broken leg, a cracked hip, and a crushed arm, and she spent seven months in a coma and another six months in a wheelchair.  Talk about experiencing some setbacks.

Betty, however, wanted to run again in the Olympics.  It took her three years to be able to walk, but soon after that she was back to running and training.  Even though she somehow regained her former speed, she could not compete as a sprinter because she was unable to crouch in the official starting position.  Her knees would not bend enough due to her injuries.

As you might imagine, Betty was undeterred.  She still competed in the relay as the third runner, which did not require her to start from a crouching position.  In the 1936 Olympics, she helped her relay team come from behind to win a gold medal.  Five years after her visit to the undertaker, she held another gold medal in her hands.

We all face setbacks and challenges, and at times our options may look much like Betty did on the mortician’s table.  However, most of us are only limited by how intensely we let the fire burn in our belly.  We are all capable of much more than we imagine.  If you want a pacesetter for what can be accomplished, I suggest Betty Robinson.

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