What does it take for the country you were born in to declare a national holiday in your honor? Before you stop reading, thinking to yourself there is no way any country will ever declare a holiday in my honor, try to learn a lesson from this story of a kid who hung in there—for decades in fact.
Kicked in his head by a horse when he was eight years old and being in a coma for a long time after that, doctors told his parents he will never walk again. Not only did he prove doctors wrong, but he took up cycling.
By the way, I love this story as a pediatrician, because it’s a life-story that begins in childhood and it is about doctors being proven wrong. As the saying goes, the difference between doctors and God is that God does not think He is a doctor….
Back to the kid in a coma. He overcame all odds as he grew up, became a famous athlete and got a coach. The coach died a few months ago from cancer. This man, now 34 years old, entered races such as the Tour de France and more than once ended in second place. Good, but not good enough.
This year (2011) he won the Tour de France. He became the first Australian to accomplish that. Cadel Evans at age 34 was quoted in the New York Times as saying “Twenty years of work has been put into this performance” His country of birth declared the day after the Tour de France a national holiday in his honor.
This is not just another story of someone who won the grueling Tour de France. It’s about putting in 20 years of work before we reach the top.
Cadel Evans left us an example. Next time you see a cyclist anywhere let that be a trigger point of today’s story. Never let experts tell you your future and never give up if you came in second more than once.