What stops us from achieving our goals? We can learn from the crippled boy and understand how small goals help in achieving big dreams.

You never fail until you stop trying.

Albert Einstein

Fallen and Broken

The boy looked at the ball longingly. He remembered playing with it. He and his brother used to play soccer, volleyball and basketball with the same ball. But that was before the accident. A cart load of big logs had fallen on his legs leaving him bed ridden. The doctors did their best. The casts were removed. The doctors confirmed his legs just needed some exercise to get in shape. His father requested him many times to try walking. His brother too urged him to play in the fields and revive the fun they had in the past. But try as much as he could, the boy found that the strength in his legs failed him. The brother had now stopped asking. The father did his best so that the boy did not fall into depression. The boy meanwhile resigned to his fate of a crippled person depending on others for many things.

The boy continued to stare at the ball. He decided to pick it up. He could. His hands were okay. As he bent down his left leg suddenly jerked up and kicked the ball. The boy could not believe it. The leg had moved. Maybe because of the bending action. Maybe some muscles had been pulled. But there was movement. He looked at the ball again. The kick had hardly moved the ball. It had moved a couple of inches. He wondered why he had not tried picking up the ball earlier.

Try & Try Again

Sitting on his wheelchair he started imagining if he could kick the ball once again. He wheeled himself near the ball. Just one more kick he urged himself. Maybe bending makes his legs work. He would try it without bending. His legs did not move. He gripped the arms of the chair, bent a little forward and tried again. His leg jumped forward again. But almost missed the ball. The ball spun sideways. Slowly. It settled a few feet away. The boy wanted more now. He wanted to try with his right leg. He spun his wheelchair towards the ball and repeated the exercise with his right leg. It hardly moved. But he could feel his muscles trying. He tried once again. No luck again. But now he had hope. If it could be done once it could be done once again. The boy spent the whole day trying. Mom noticed her son’s activities. But did not interfere. Dad’s provocation and prodding had not resulted in so much results in a month that the ball had got within a day.

She told dad in the evening but could not stop him from letting the boy be. Brother too was overjoyed. Though the boy responded well this time but he was tired.

The next morning when he opened his eyes he found the ball next to his wheelchair near the opposite wall. He got up by himself. Usually he called out to mom. But today he wanted to get the ball. He thought his mom wouldn’t let him. She worried all the time. He lowered himself onto the floor and almost fell on his face. He started to crawl towards the ball.  His hands were doing most of the work.

Doing What Matters

He realised that and he stopped. Even if it takes him the whole day he would make his legs do the work.

It took him quite some time but he did it. He was near the ball. His mother found him that way and thought he had fallen down. She immediately helped him to the chair. He explained what he had done and tears of joy ran down her cheeks. This day he spent crawling around the house. It was excruciating and his mom was always hovering around him to make sure no accidents happened but on his insistence left him to do what he wanted. Dad and brother were overjoyed to hear about the progress. Mom advised them not to push the boy and to let him recover at his own pace.

Success is Never Easy

Months went by and the crawling became bouts of walking and then running.

Today the soccer team he was the captain of, won the championship. Everybody was in awe of his achievements. A crippled boy who had overcome all the odds to lead a soccer team to victory. Everyone see the success only the family had experienced the failures and hurdles. They knew success had not come overnight. It had been hard work.

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