this talk is by one of the amazing female leaders in our church. Her name is Elaine S. Dalton and she oversees the Young Womens Organization (girls from age 12-18).
In part of her talk "Dare Great Things" ...she shares this story of a man...a runner...I thought it might inspire you all as it has inspired me: truly amazing!. Elaine was a runner herself in her younger days and ran the Boston Marathon.....she shared a story about that in one of her other talks too. I love her. what a wonderful woman and great example.
Every year in Australia, an endurance race that goes from Sydney to Melbourne is held. This race is 543.7 miles long and takes world class athletes five full days to complete. It is known as the world’s most grueling ultra-marathon. And the athletes who enter are mostly young, less than 30 years of age, highly trained and sponsored by large companies.
Let me share with you the story of a very unlikely competitor named Cliff Young, who at 61 years of age showed up at the start of this race wearing his overalls and work boots. Everyone assumed he was a spectator, but when he picked up his number and joined the other competitors, everyone was shocked. When he was interviewed by the press, they told him in effect that he was crazy to attempt this and that he should not even start the race. They told him there was no way he could ever finish. To which Cliff replied: “Yes I can. See, I grew up on a farm where we couldn't afford horses or tractors, and the whole time I was growing up, whenever the storms would roll in, I'd have to go out and round up the sheep. We had 2,000 sheep on 2,000 acres. Sometimes I would have to run those sheep for two or three days. It took a long time, but I'd always catch them. I believe I can run this race.”9
The professionals who had run this race knew what it took and they had calculated that in order to finish in five days, a person had to run for 18 hours straight and then sleep for six hours. Everyone knew this fact. Everyone that is, except for Cliff Young!
When the race started, Cliff was left in the dust. He wasn’t flashy, he wasn’t sponsored, and he wasn’t fast. In fact he didn’t even run properly—he shuffled! So on the second day of the race, Cliff was forgotten. But to everyone’s surprise, he was still in the race. He had jogged all night long! And not only that, but he had determined to run for the next five days straight to the finish line without sleeping at all. No one believed that this could be done—no one that is, except Cliff.
“Cliff kept running. Each night he came a little closer to the leading pack. By the final night, he had surpassed all of the young, world-class athletes. He was the first competitor to cross the finish line and he set a new course record…Today, the ‘Young-shuffle’ has been adopted by ultra-marathon runners because it is considered more energy-efficient. At least three champions of the Sydney to Melbourne race have used the shuffle to win the race. Furthermore, during the Sydney to Melbourne race now, modern competitors do not sleep. Winning the race requires runners to go all night as well as all day, just like Cliff Young.”10
What does this story teach us? It isn’t that we shouldn’t sleep; rather, it teaches us that we can change the world! We can do hard things. We can endure. We must prepare and all our life is preparation. Believe in yourself! Don’t give up. Endure! You have the power to achieve anything you set your mind to. There are many lessons and each is custom fit to you. What I know and have learned is that anything worth doing is not easy and that we can do anything that is not easy if we believe. Now you may not be contemplating a marathon or an ultra-marathon, but you may be in the middle of a challenge that looks like one. You may feel opposed on every side. You may wonder if you really can continue to push forward with a perfect brightness of hope. So as Paul taught the Hebrews, today I repeat the same words to each of you—“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.”11 Go forward with faith knowing if you do your part, the Lord will always do His.
Now go out and get your run on! Dream BIG, Girls!
and stop doubting yourself. You really can
ACCOMPLISH ANYthing! I believe in YOU!
If you'd like to read the whole talk , you can find it here: http://www.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/Devotionals/2011_10_11_Dalton.htm