Tim Duncan and Hurricane Hugo

Tim Duncan, then a kid in the Virgin Islands, dreamed of becoming a swimmer on the 1992 US Olympic swim team and emulate his sister. His mother instilled an incredible work ethic in him and he became a nationally ranked swimmer by age 13 in 1989.

But, hurricane Hugo swept through the Virgin Islands in 1989 and destroyed the only Olympic size pool in his home island of St Croix. Now, the only remaining place to practice swimming was the Carribean sea and this dented Tim’s enthusiasm as he was afraid of sharks. Following that, his mother died from breast cancer taking away his desire to swim.

While the Virgin Islands might have lost many a talented swimmer then, Tim began focusing on basketball thanks to encouragement from his brother-in-law. While there are few are blessed with Tim’s prodigious athletic ability, he only started playing basketball in his 9th grade – considered late by every standard. However, thanks to that work ethic and a constructive response to a tough situation, he went on to win 5 NBA championships and is often named the greatest power forward of all times.

It is safe to say that went well.

If it wasn’t for hurricane Hugo, we might perhaps have never seen Tim Duncan, the legendary basketball player. However, given his work ethic, we’d likely have seen or heard about Tim Duncan, the great swimmer.

There is no human being on the planet who doesn’t face challenges. Very few, however, respond like Tim and simply rise above them.

Thanks Tim – for showing the way, and for reminding us that it isn’t what happens to us that matters. It all comes down to how we respond.