Last Updated on November 21, 2011 by Jimson Lee
Have you ever failed a course in your life?
In life, there is no such thing as co-incidence. Everything happens for a reason.
Sometimes, that failure is your destiny.
I always take a bad experience or failure and turn it around to something positive. (Read about my disaster at the 1991 Provincials)
Take a look at Roger Black. (I wrote about his biography here). He fails a math course, stays behind an extra year intending for medical school, then takes up Athletics (Track and Field) afterwards and becomes one of best quarter-milers in his time.
His PB for 400 meters is 44.37 set in Lausanne prior to Atlanta 1996. His silver medal from Atlanta Olympics Games was one of the highlights in his long career. Another big moment in Black’s career was winning the 4×400m relay in 1991 in a rare defeat from the Americans.
Here is the partial article from The Guardian UK:
In many ways my whole career has been shaped around the biggest mistake of my life. At school I played a lot of rugby and cricket, but I never really did much athletics. I went to a grammar school and my primary aim was to get three good A-levels so I could read medicine at university.
I had to get three Bs – that was enough to get you into medical school. One was mathematics and, when it came to the exam, there was one question I got stuck on. I just couldn’t work it out, so I left it and went back to it later. The more I looked at it, the more confused I got. I started to panic and when the time was up I hadn’t managed to complete the whole paper.
I can still recall it vividly. I was absolutely devastated. I got a D in maths and Barts hospital rejected me. That was the moment I became an athlete.
I had to stay behind at school for a year and retake that A-level. Because of the year off, I couldn’t go travelling or any of the things my friends were doing, and so I ended up joining my local athletics club in Hampshire. I’d always been good and fast but I’d never trained much. I thought, OK, I’ll give it a go. I was lucky I had a good local club where I was training with the likes of Kriss Akabusi.
I did eventually retake the exam, and started reading medicine at Southampton University, but, by then, my life had changed. I was European junior 400m champion and I left university after the first term because there was no way I could do both. The thing is, not being able to solve that problem in my maths A-level was literally my greatest mistake. If I’d got three Bs I would have gone straight to Barts medical school and would never have become an athlete.
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