I thought I change the theme here a little a bit and blog about something different than Internet marketing. We hear of stories of men and woman, doing great feats or accomplishments. I always wonder what drives a person to attain almost greatness, in the eyes of man, and to succeed in these great exploits. It reminds me of a story I learned as a young man named Billy Mills. So, I decided to pull him up on youtube, since you know it is most likely going to be there, and to my surprise there it was. I strongly recommend viewing this race, it is a great race and the first time the U.S. had ever won, the 10,000 meter race.
He lost his parents at the age of 12. He discovered at a young age, that he had a knack for long distance running. Although on his first try he didn’t make the high school team, that did not deter him. He kept trying until he made the team and eventually broke a number of high school track records. In the late 1950’s he attended University of Kansas on an athletic scholarship. After he Graduated from University of Kansas, Billy was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He never trained during the war but he met someone after the war that would change his world. He met a mentor, who encouraged him to rekindle his passion. One day his mentor asked him, what is your goal? Billy Mills replied, I want go to the Olympics. The mentor then said, not enough. You need to follow your dream, and your passion, all the way.
He decided to try out for the Olympics and he finished second, made the team in 10,000m, an event no American had ever won. His Olympic coach had no faith in him that he did not give him a pair of running shoes, he had to borrow a pair from a teamate. Billy Mills’ qualifying time was almost a full minute slower than the favorite’s, Ron Clarke of Australia – no one gave him a chance to win. The race began and the Aussie started running at a world record pace, but Billy (and three others) kept up with him.
His passion was carrying him to where he had not been before. As you see in the video, at the final lap the Aussie could not shake him. In the first turn the Aussie, frustrated, shoved him to the outside and passed him, nearly knocking him off his feet. Then, the Tunisian jostled his way between them both, and Billy was now third. As they rounded the final turn, he was still third, but he saw something on the back of a German runner, it was an eagle. It reminded him of his father, who told him: “live your life as a warrior”. At that moment, his wicked back kick appeared and he burs ted forward like the wind. He passed the Aussie and the Tunisian in the last 30 meters of the race, as if they were standing still.
Then the announcer says “It is a new Olympic record and no American has ever done anything like this before!” They are interviewing him now, “His father was a Sioux Indian and he is a Marine lieutenant and he now has an Olympic gold medal for running 6 miles. You can’t get any more American than that”. Billy set the Olympic record at 28:24.4, almost 50 seconds faster than his previous best time. A race official walked up to him after he had broken the tape, and asked: Who Are You? “I’m Billy Mills and I just won the Gold Medal in the 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo”.
In 1965 he set U.S. records for the 10,000 meters and the three mile, and he set a world record in the six mile run at the AAU championships.
Mills finished his career in the U.S. Marine Corps as an officer assigned to the Department of the Interior and become a professional speaker after his stint at the core
Billy served on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the Jaycees in 1972. He was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984. He is a member of the United States Track and Field Hall of Fame, the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, the Kansas Hall of Fame, the San Diego Hall of Fame, and the National High School Hall of Fame. His life story was made into the film, Running Brave.
His passion had found its destiny.
So I ask, “What’s Your Passion”? What drives you to achieve your goals, your dreams, your desires. You create your universe, what you do with your time is truly what you become. I wish I had understood that as a young man. But it is never to late to do what you really want to do, not what you’ve been programmed to do. To the students out there, Don’t go to school to become something, go to school to become someone.