The starter’s pistol fires and a 400-meter sprint trial is under way in the Barcelona Stadium during the 1992 Olympic Games. One of the sprinters grabs the back of his leg in obvious pain. He takes a few excruciating steps in his lane to avoid falling into the path of an oncoming sprinter before collapsing to the track. The world can see his despair, the cruel realization that despite his hard work and dedication his dreams have been crushed. The race has ended, but Derek Remond finds the fortitude to rise and begin to hobble to the finish line.
A middle-aged man in shorts and t-shirt comes to him. After recognizing that it is father, Derek leans heavily on him as they cross finish line together. Everyone in the stadium is standing and cheering. Tears stream down the faces of people around the world.
Moments of greatness like this are the true beauty of life when dreams, dedication and purpose come together. Not everyone will create the cure for cancer or have an entire stadium cheering and standing in ovation, but everyone has the potential for both moments of personal greatness and showing up to witness, encourage, support and/or love another in their moment. Derek’s father illustrated that the showing up to support another may be the greatest expression of love.
This weekend I watched “Brittany Runs a Marathon.” I was expecting a fluff movie, but what I found was a reminder of greatness and what it means to show up for another person’s moment. This movie beautifully illustrates how easy it is to believe that you are not enough or loveable because of the way you look or your education or where you grew up or the number of likes on a social media post or any number of lies that that are replayed by the monkey brain until it becomes true.
Everyday each one of us has opportunity to be a part of greatness. The first step is to recognize it. Those moments when you feel like every receptor in your body is alive and tingling is greatness. Hearing piece of music or seeing a performance that moves you to tears is greatness. The look of pure joy in a friend or loved one’s eyes when they see that you have shown up for their important moment is greatness.
Where have you recently achieved greatness or witnessed the greatness of another?