At our old boxing gym, we covered the walls with photos of past champions. We also had magazine clippings of motivational stories that the younger fighters could read for inspiration. There were countless clippings affixed to each of the four walls.
There was one particular story that stood out to everyone however. Oddly enough, it was one of the few stories that wasn’t related to boxing. Everyone read the story at least once, but most of us found ourselves glancing at it on a regular basis.
This story was about Shun Fujimoto and his triumphs during the 1976 Olympic games. After reading of his amazing performance, you couldn’t help but find motivation to continue training. You could always find at least one more round in you.
As referenced in the link above, Fujimoto competed (and excelled) despite dealing with a broken kneecap. His sense of pride and dedication to his teammates and country propelled him to one of the most amazing Olympic performances ever. He amazingly committed to, and stuck a landing after a twisting triple-somersault dismount from the rings. His leg only buckled slightly, as he raised his arms signifying the end of the performance. He managed to hold back the pain of the broken kneecap, as well as the torn ligaments that followed his landing.
I highly recommend taking a few moments to watch the video below, which tells the story of his amazing performance.
Fujimoto’s story shows that we often have much more in us than even the most determined may realize. Clearly, I’m not suggesting that we train through injury, but knowing what we are capable of is something that we can take strength in during difficult times. This is particularly true for those involved in competitive sporting events. I’ve been in the corner with fighters who had to literally get up from the canvas and fight their way back towards victory. Knowing that the potential to keep going lies within is something that you can call on when necessary.
Fujimoto’s story is a reminder of what we are capable of when we truly commit ourselves to succeed, regardless of the obstacles that stand in the way.