”We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.” --Jesse Owens

As a boy, I started reading stories that would ignite my spirit and spur me on. These stories were always about real people and the power of the human spirit and how they over came great obstacles to achieve greatness. One of these stories stands out in my mind, some 35 years later as an example of what we can achieve if we don’t give up.

A little six year old boy had the job of heating his tiny country schoolhouse with his older brother, Floyd. They came in early before his teacher and classmates so the building was warm when they arrived. One February morning in 1916, the kerosene container had accidentally been filled with gasoline. The stove exploded killing Floyd. This little boy was dragged out of the flaming building barely alive. He had incredible burns brutalizing the lower half of his body.

From his hospital bed the painfully burned, semi-conscious little boy faintly heard the doctor telling his mother that her son would surely die - which was for the best because the poor little boy would surely be a cripple. But this boy wasn’t quitting! He made up his mind then and there that he would survive.

Every day his mother would massage his little lifeless legs, but there was no feeling, no control, nothing. Yet the determination that he would walk was as strong as ever. When he wasn't in bed, he was confined to a wheelchair. One sunny day his mother wheeled him out into the yard to get some fresh air. But this day was different, instead of sitting there, he threw himself from the chair. He pulled himself across the grass, dragging his lifeless legs behind him. He worked his way to the white picket fence and with painstaking effort; he raised himself up on the fence. Then he proceeded to drag himself along the fence, determined that he would walk again. He did this every day until he wore a path all around the yard beside the fence. There was nothing he wanted more than to develop life in those legs.

Through his daily massages, his iron persistence and his resolute determination, he did develop the ability to stand up, then to walk with assistance, then to walk by himself - and then - to run. He began to walk to school and then to run to school. Later he would say,” It hurt like thunder to walk, but it didn’t hurt at all when I ran. So for five or six years, about all I did was run.”

And run he did. This little boy, that was told he would never walk again, made the track team in college and then one day in Madison Square Garden, this young man who was not expected to survive, who would absolutely never walk, who could never ever dream of running - this determined young man, Glenn Cunningham, ran the world's fastest mile!

Is this story about you? Somehow the odds have been stacked against you and you have more to overcome than you ever thought? Well take a lesson from Glenn Cunningham, massage your obstacles and then stand up and get going! If you can’t walk…then run! This obstacle and how you overcome it may be the very thing that catapults you to incredible success. Set you mind to something and put all your energy into it and the world will not deny you! In fact, the world will somehow help!

Author's Bio: 

John M. Rowley
America’s Peak Performance Coach
Taking You from Ordinary to Extraordinary!

Brief Biography
John Rowley’s amazing rise to the top has become the stuff of legend and inspiration. His credentials include being a college athlete whose career was cut short by a near fatal car accident, a career as a janitor and the nerve to tackle the high powered world of Manhattan real estate and the dynamic international field of fitness. Although John’s athletic career was cut short he studied kinesiology, exercise, anatomy, fitness and nutrition with intensity in order to get his body healthy again after the devastating accident.

Knowing success left clues, John also immersed himself in the study and implementation of the science of human potential and peak performance. Success came but not without obstacles. John has been on the verge of bankruptcy and at times his family didn’t have food to eat or money to pay the bills but John was unwilling to give up. With his wife Cathy at his side and without connections John started at the bottom as a janitor in Brooklyn and then earned a position at one of the most prestigious real estate companies in Manhattan. John also bought R&J Health Studio, started several other companies and was involved with real estate investments over the years but John was always convinced that his savviest investment was in himself and in the people around him.

In real estate John made a name for himself managing some of the most prestigious properties on Park Avenue and the upper east side of New York and managing the holdings for many notables including Harry and Leona Helmsley. John also owned R&J Health Studio, the gym known as “The East Coast Mecca of Bodybuilding.’’ R&J Health Studio received international attention when it was featured in the movie, Pumping Iron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. John is an internationally recognized motivational and fitness expert, and is a columnist for several publications and maintains an academic certification as a Certified Fitness Trainer. He routinely consults with athletes and business people alike helping them to revitalize their bodies and ignite their passion and energy through diet, exercise and a well balanced emotional and spiritual life for lifelong success.

John’s motivational, inspirational and sometimes bold tell-it-like-it-is attitude is a fresh approach to lifelong success.

John’s book, Climb YOUR Ladder of Success Without Running Out of Gas! Will be released in November 2007 by Morgan James Publishing.