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Run Your Race

There’s Usain Bolt and then there’s everyone else.

He claims nineteen Guinness World Records – second only to Michael Phelps in the sports arena. He holds eight Olympic Gold Medals and eleven World Championship golds.

When it comes to sprinting, Bolt is in his own class.

There was no doubt that he won the 200-meter dash in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

But there was a lot of doubt surrounding the silver and bronze medalists.

Churandy Martina – representing the Netherlands – took second. Wallace Spearman – representing America – took third.

Spearman, though, was immediately disqualified. Apparently, he stepped outside his lane.

The United States contested the call and meticulously reviewed the race footage.

As it turns out, Spearman did step outside is lane – but so did Martina. Both were disqualified and the silver and bronze medals when to, effectively, the fourth and fifth place contestants (both from the United States, as it happens).

That didn’t sit well with Shawn Crawford – the would-be silver medalist.

He gave his silver medal to Martina.

As Crawford put it, “If a guy is 10 meters in front of me, I don’t care if he stayed in the middle of his lane. He was going to beat me anyways. He didn’t impede anybody’s race.”

How many of us would do that?

It would have been so easy for Crawford to claim his medal on a technicality. He could have touted all the years he spent training and preparing for the Olympics. He could have argued that he deserved to take home the silver.

But Crawford wasn’t content with a participation trophy.

He didn’t lose because Spearman or Martina stepped out of their lanes. He lost because they were faster than he was.

Here’s the point.

I don’t care who you are or what you do. There will always be people more gifted than you.

Don’t delight in their stumbles. Don’t use their slip-ups to claim your medal.

Run with everything you have.

But don’t try to claim anyone else’s race as your own.

Run your race.

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