Feb 092015
Hayes Jones

Hayes Jones



Maybe you have never heard of Hayes Jones?  He was a high hurdle runner that broke all the records scholastically, made the Olympic Team in Rome in 1959, and the eyes of the world were upon him.  He was believed to be the greatest there ever was in this event.  He trained vigorously for it, and when he arrived, most everyone back home believed he would take home the Gold Medal!  He didn’t.  He came in 3rd.  He was discouraged, felt like quitting, told himself he should just get out of athletics and go into his business career.  It was a turning point in his life.  It was the logical, sensible thing to do.  After all, the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo were four years away!  How could he put himself through the grueling training that he knew he would have to do in order to compete.  He decided that he hadn’t had this life long dream just to quit because of a defeat.  He made his mind up and started training.  He trained, he worked and fought to keep his body and mind in top shape, preparing for the next Olympics.

Before the Olympics he attended a national championship in Madison Square Garden, and ended up winning first place, and tied his own record he had recorded earlier.  He was ready!  The Olympics came, and he fulfilled his life long dream!  He won the Gold Medal!

What would his life have been like if he had succumbed to the doubts after coming in 3rd place?  How much confidence in himself would he have had if he had just thrown in the towel, and said:  “Enough!”  No, he didn’t have to live with that kind of regret.  He stuck with it, and his faith in his God given ability grew big enough to put him into the winner’s circle at the top of the world.  What a contrast!

We have all been faced with similar situations.  We have come up against circumstances that have tempted us to give in and quit.  I, myself have known this many times in my life.  I went out for football in the 10th grade at Sam Rayburn High School in Pasadena, Texas.  My Aunt Minnie drove me to practice (I had missed the bus to the practice field) and when I got to the field, all suited up, the coach said:  “Halbert, you’re late!”  I apologized and he promptly had me run around the track at the field twice.  I was not in good shape, and was totally out of breath when I arrived, huffing and puffing, practically fainting from the two laps around the field with full gear on.  The coach told me to get on the line, and block out this certain lineman who was much bigger, much more fit, and much more experienced at full body contact sports than I was.  You can guess what happened!  He rolled me up like a tortilla under a rolling pin!  I picked myself up, turned around toward the club house, and walked home.  That was the end of my not so illustrious football career.  I quit.  Well, you may have been looking for a triumphant ending to this story…..not gonna happen.  I wasn’t made for football.  There was something else that I was supposed to do.  But my point is…..if you know you are supposed to do something, then do it.  Keep trying until you find what you’re supposed to do, and do it with abandon!  At that time in my life, at 15 years old, I never knew that I would some day travel to almost 20 countries, learn to speak Spanish and Portuguese, write hundreds of songs, and learn about other cultures, and enhance my life like I had never dreamed.  My “thing” wasn’t football, but when I found out what it was, I did it with my whole heart.  But that’s another story.

You may be like Hayes Jones in some way.  You may be feeling like it’s time to quit, but if you kept going with whatever it was that you knew you should be doing, you would eventually make it to the place you were supposed to be!  There’s a champion in every one of us waiting to be discovered.  It may be that you’re supposed to be a Teacher, helping kids to learn…..it may be that you have ideas that will help others and improve their lives in some ways.  You may be a fledgling artist or musician trying to find your niche.  Whatever it is, if you believe in yourself, and believe that’s what God put you on the earth to do, then Do it!  Don’t give up!  The person you become by pursuing your goals in life is the most important part.  Dr. Peale wrote a little book called:  “You Can if you Think You Can!”  That is so true!  It all depends on how you program your own mind to see your future.  If you use words like:  “can’t” , “difficult”, “not possible”, etc., then you are training your mind and character to accept these words as your own.  But don’t let those words be your guide.  Start using words like:  “Can”, “no problem”, and “of course!”  It will soon become a habit, and will shape your thinking to become what God intended for you to be!


“Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.”  (Edmund Burke)


Jan 302015

Since the beginning of time and throughout 6 1/2 years of recorded History, It was unheard of for a human being to run the mile in less than 4 minutes.  Experts said that the human body simply was not capable of such a feat.  It wasn’t just difficult…..it was impossible!  In 1945, Gunder Haag, from Sweden ran the mile in 4:01 minutes.  By that time, everyone fully believed that it was virtually impossible for a human being to run a sub 4 minute mile.  Everyone, that is, except for Roger Bannister!   On May 6, 1954, at Oxford University’s Iffley Road Track, the impossible became possible!   At a track meet between Oxford and British AAA, Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3:59.4 seconds!  Since then, many people have broken the 4 minute mile barrier!  Once it was done, then the human race believed it COULD be done, and they started doing it!

On my own personal journey of fighting to lose weight and become fit after countless yo-yo diets, and multiple successes and failures, losing weight, then finding it again, I am inspired by this story of Roger Bannister breaking the mindset of the whole world.  Granted, for me to lose 130 or so pounds, and get my 65 + year old body in shape is in no way comparable to what others have done.  However, for me, personally, it has been a hurdle that has seemed virtually impossible for the past 20 years.  Impossible because of my age……Impossible because of the sheer volume of weight that needs to be lost, and muscles that need to be revived through nutrition and exercise!   Impossible because my mind is not programmed to resist salient foods, and “comfort foods” that I have always gone to when discouraged, depressed, or overwhelmed with life when facing a new crisis or obstacle.  Impossible because I don’t “feel” like going to the gym and working out when I’m tired from the activities and strain of the day.  Impossible because I just don’t BELIEVE I can do it!  Benjamin Disraeli, the former British Prime Minister, is reported to have said:  “there is no power on earth like a made up mind!”  He also said:  “Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure!”  The word I need to focus on is “believe!”  Yes, it’s difficult.  Yes, it’s seemed destined to failure.  But that didn’t stop Roger Bannister from putting one foot in front of the other until he reached the “Holy Grail” of running!  So many examples of people who overcame huge obstacles to obtain their goals and accomplishments.  So, YES, I can do this, and if you are in the same boat, or fighting a similar battle, if you’re struggling with something that overwhelms you, and you’re thinking that it is impossible, then watch the above video, and see History in the making.  If Roger Bannister can run a mile in less than 4 minutes, we can lose a little weight.  We can find a better job.  We can learn to save money, and get out of debt.  We can eat healthy, nutritious food, and set an example for our families.  Whatever you’re struggling with, you can win.  We were created to be successful, and win.  We have the capabilities, and with our determination, we can learn the skills that will take us to where we want to be.  It’s POSSIBLE!

Roger Bannister Breaks the record of 4:01 that stood for 9 years, and runs the mile in 3:59.4

Roger Bannister Breaks the record of 4:01 that stood for 9 years, and runs the mile in 3:59.4