"Many of life's failures are people who didn't realize how close they were to success before they gave up." Thomas Edison. Team sports are very competitive and every...

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“Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success before they gave up.” Thomas Edison.

Team sports are very competitive and every single second counts. Many tournaments have been won at the death; at the very last minute of the game.

Dan was a member if his college’s rugby sevens team. The sevens version of rugby is very physical, fast and game times are shorter than the fifteens version so every single second counts, every single move is very important.

Dan was given the tough task of facing the defence line of the opposing team and the responsibility of getting the tries for his team, The Warriors, rested on his shoulders. The opposing team, The Mean Giants were the defending champions and every team dreaded meeting them. This was the final and all the odds were heavily stacked against Dan’s team. To get to the final was no mean feat because apart from the Warriors, all other teams in the tournament were former winners. The Mean Giants had the best players in every single position and, as their name suggests,  these players were huge bodied and very aggressive.

The hooter went and the teams got on to the pitch. Within the first minute, the Mean Giants skipper split through the defence of The Warriors and got his team the first try. Smelling blood, The Giants kept pushing and in the fifth minute, got the second try. At the end of the first half, it became clear that The Giants were on course to retain their title. Warriors had not given much in resistance and at the restart, everyone expected The Giants to continue from where they had left off.

However, during the break, The Warriors coach gave his charges a pep talk which inspired them to fight on. He managed to convince them that despite the odds being against them, despite them facing the defending champions, they had the ability and capability of turning the game and winning it. This brought in some motivation into The Warriors hearts and minds and all was evident from the restart. They were defending well and their tackles were well timed and their efforts paid off when Dan’s team mate offloaded the ball to him, he managed to skip through two defenders and give his team their first try. They continued pushing and in the eighth minute, (which marks the end of the half), Dan won his team a second  try. At the end of regulation time, the teams were tied two all. The winner had to be found so the rules stipulated that they would continue until sudden death. This basically means that the team that scores first is declared the winner.

The Mean Giants were not ready to relinquish the title so they applied every single ounce they had of experience and it looked on course to achieving it. The Warriors had one secret; self belief. They knew that although they were the underdogs, they had an equal chance. All they needed was to keep their cool and focus. The Giants were riding on their celebrity status but The Warriors knew that even the strongest wall had some weakness however minor. Dan had already seen the weakness. The Giants were using their huge body build to intimidate the seemingly small bodied Warriors. This turned out to be their main undoing because Dan was small but very sleek and agile and when he received the ball at the half line, he utilized that weak link and before The Giants could stop him,  touched down to give his team a win and the title. The jubilation could be heard throughout the stadium because the thorn in the flesh of all the rugby teams had been brought crashing down by the minnows.

I believe that many of us have found ourselves in such a situation and the breakthrough point is usually the toughest. That point when you are almost getting to the finishing line, when you can see the tape, that’s when energy fails you. You try to push but your physical and mental legs just give way and many collapse right at the finishing point. It might be your studies, relationship, business or even social life. You find that every side you turn to, the odds are firmly stacked against you. Sometimes even the bus fare or just a cup of tea becomes a struggle. At this point, the most viable option is giving up.

So, allow me to encourage you that as long as you are still breathing, there is hope. As long as the referee has not blown the final whistle, the chance of winning is still there. So keeping putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it, you will have conquered what seemed insurmountable. Keep fighting. For, it’s not over until it’s over. To read more posts by Mwangi, click HERE

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