Posts Tagged overcoming adversity

Danny Welbeck’s Passion Ignored Doctors And Led To Football Fame

What impresses me most in this story (see boldface type below) by Martin Rogers is how when this world famous athlete was a young boy just getting started with a potentially crippling illness, he ignored doctors’ urgings to quit and played through his pain. I so admire this passion and determination. It’s among the noble traits of humans that deserve to be celebrated. And can you believe that these kids are just eight years old, when they trial for world class teams?

Danny Welbeck produced the most unusual and imaginative goal of Euro 2012 (European football) to hand England a desperately needed victory over Sweden on Friday and provide the highest point in a career that itself is a triumph against long odds.

Welbeck completed a dramatic comeback for England with the final goal in a 3-2 win in Kiev and leave his country needing just a draw against co-host Ukraine in its final match in Group D to guarantee a place in the quarterfinals.

The 21 year-old Manchester United striker had his back to the goal when Theo Walcott fired in a low cross from the right after 78 minutes, but he was able to flick the ball with the back of his right heel, sending it past Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson and into the net.

Welbeck (left) shows off his skill on the winning goal against Sweden—6/15/12. (AP)

It was Welbeck’s second goal for his country, and some fans had expressed doubts as to his suitability for a starting place in the absence of suspended first-choice forward Wayne Rooney. However, Welbeck is no stranger to overcoming adversity, having battled an unusual and debilitating condition as a child as well as being told he had no chance of becoming a professional.

Welbeck was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease in his formative years, leaving him with excruciating pain and swelling in his knees. Doctors warned he should consider quitting soccer, claiming that continuing to train and play several times a week could cause ongoing pain and growth complications.

The youngster refused to give up on his dream of becoming a star, though, and regularly told his parents and coaches that the pain he felt was less serious than it really was. Finally, toward his late teenage years, the problem disappeared. It has never returned.

That was not the only hurdle he had to overcome. This might make uncomfortable reading for some Manchester City supporters, but United’s hated rival missed out on the opportunity to snap up Welbeck long before he eventually became a star.

Welbeck was part of City’s youth training program as a youngster but was not considered to have the potential to become a professional and was told not to return for future training sessions.

“I was trialing with City at the age of 8 but just before Christmas they told [my] dad I wasn’t good enough,” Welbeck said. “My dad didn’t want to tell me because it was Christmas, so I was oblivious to the situation for a while.”

A few months later, Welbeck was spotted by a United scout, and the rest is history.

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Stefan Pinto: From Fat To Fit And From Geek To Chic

Stefan Pinto transformed—6/2009

I read about Stefan in the New York Times , went to his web site, and emailed him to learn an amazing story of his life and body transformation. Here is how he changed his life.

“Five years ago, the only vegetable I ate was the sauce from tomatoes. It was every Friday night that I dined on Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust Meat Lovers followed by a heaping three-scoop Baskin Robbins banana split chocolate Macadamian Marshmallow sundae. And five years ago I was 60 pounds overweight, taking prescription medication for allergies, migraine headaches and foot pain. And five years ago, I almost had a heart attack. I was only 33, and the short-lived, immediate joy of eating a poor diet nearly killed me.”

Then two things happened—he joined a gym and changed his diet.

“When I first started going to a gym, I hated it. I could not even ride the stationary training bike for five minutes without feeling as though I would suffer a premature stroke. Turns out, I had exercise induced asthma, a condition diagnosed by a certified trainer and common among the sedentary.

My warm ups on the treadmill ended up being my workout the majority of the time. So, I would “walk” on the treadmill for an hour. Even if I didn’t work out with weights, I would do my hour of walking on the treadmill. Even if I felt “too tired” to go to the gym, I went. But I didn’t really see the point. I suppose I was trapped in the “I want it now” scenario. It just seemed “too difficult.” I was being typical. Naturally, with such a fine excuse, I inevitably gave up after one month and skipped the gym for the next three.

a heavier Stefan—2005

What made me go back was the realization that I hadn’t really given it my best shot. I didn’t try to do anything different. I did what was convenient. And as soon as discomfort of changing a routine set in, I panicked.

the original Stefan—2005

Thankfully (and luckily), I realized that I DID want to lose the weight. I knew that I would not be able to answer to my older self as to what happened to my body. I made a commitment that I will lose 20 pounds by my 34th birthday (I gave myself one year).Where did the motivation come from to do this? Especially during the dead of winter (I lived in New Jersey). Looking back, I have discovered this when it comes to being—and staying—motivated:

It is all about attitude. Those with positive attitudes are more highly motivated than those who aren’t. If we see exercise as a “chore,” then it becomes this. If we see it as a “gift” — an ability to actually change our bodies—then, well, I am sure you understand.

After three months a trainer approached me and suggested I change things up. I ended up hiring that trainer…

By the time I moved to South Beach (two years later), I had already been re-trained and disciplined into a healthier lifestyle, so going to the gym was no longer a chore but a necessity. I worked out seven days a week.

a happier Stefan—2009

It was in 2005 that a model scout discovered me in a supermarket. All of these steps led up to a transformation on the outside, but my attitude towards life and expectations didn’t really change until 2008, when Miami experienced a financial collapse, and my life was set in turmoil.

It made me realize what was important and who I really was. I lost my home, my pet and all of my belongings (I didn’t even have money to buy coffee). Yet, I wasn’t afraid. People who knew my situation grew distant out of their own fear, but I just knew—it’s not that simple to explain—but I just “knew” I would be okay. I felt it here (points to heart). Perhaps all of the cardio offered me some mental clarity? But I am happy I didn’t give up.

I realized that I could just take a job. I actually interviewed at an insurance company and on the drive back home, my rationale kicked in and inquired on what I was doing. I knew I would hate working at that place. The universe stepped in and I never got that job. I decided I would do what I’ve always wanted, and go live in California. Moving to Los Angeles was one of the best things I could’ve done. I am happy with the man I’ve become.”

Today Stefan Pinto writes a health and fitness column for the National Fitness Examiner, has a radio show, is a model, and has a physique that earned him a Playgirl centerfold. Check out his web site to learn more about him and his diet.

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