On January 4, 2017, a senior citizen who is definitely retired set an inspirational record. He biked 14 miles in one hour. This measly 14 miles in an hour is considered beginner’s speed by a livestrong.com article. Not to mention, 14 miles on a bike in one hour is a snail pace compared to Denise Mueller of San Diego, who is the world’s fastest female bicyclist.
Mueller achieved 147 miles on a bike in one hour. And as I write about this record, it sends chills up my spine and makes my eyes tear, because sheer human achievement generates an emotional response from me. Fighting beyond the cascade of doubt, to succeed anyway, despite the odds.
I weep at astonishing human feet.
Determination is the most moving and beautiful thing to ever witness.
Back to our senior citizen who biked 14 miles in an hour. What you don’t know is that the Frenchman is not in his 70s or 80s or even in his 90s.
Robert Marchand is 105 years old, and because of his age the people at the Guinness Book of World Records created a special age category for him. He biked 92 laps around the velodrome at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Paris to a crowd rooting him on with cries of, “Robert, Robert!” He didn’t see the time at the end, warning that he only had 10 minutes left. Admittedly, he announced he would have made a better time and perhaps chewed up more miles had he looked at the clock.
What’s equally impressive is this ageless man’s past. Just a little more about this youthful spirit: Marchand was once a firefighter in Paris in the 1930s and a prisoner of war during World-War-II. Robert Marchard is a man that has lived to put his life on the line, have experienced suffering, and rose above it all pushing his body to its limits at 105 years old.
When you witness magnitudes that reflect human will and the power of thought and the mind, it is moving beyond words.
It’s amazing how ordinary humans can become extraordinary when teeming with passionate grit. When our will goes into overdrive, failure might occur. But we maintain the victor regardless, because of our vigor in not deciding to give up. Attempting any volume of success requires tenacity and drive, and the only kind that we can make for ourselves.
Motivation is a personal decision. And we can make a million excuses why we’re still not where we’d like to be. We can sabotage our inspiration by extinguishing it with negative, self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. Or, we can wake up in the morning resolute to move mountains, shake the world, and be a trail blazing, unstoppable force.
It is up to you. You decide.