Do You Have Will Power Like The Maputo Express?
Who is Maria de Lurdes Mutola? Now for those of who don’t know her; she is an athlete who was the queen of the 800m run. Now what is so special about her that we at Athenastake are writing about her? Well, she is special and in many ways but what is the most important thing about her is her will power.
We all have the will power within us, some us have in plenty and some of us just lack it. Every time I start a diet, I give it up because I lack the will power to resist food. My daughter was sick and at that time there were a lot of food restrictions and for her sake I could control my craving for food. So, will power comes to you when you want something badly; in my case I wanted my daughter to get well soon and in the case of Maria Mutola she just wanted to become the world’s best athlete.
Born to a lady who was a road side vendor and a gentleman who worked in the railways; trust me there was not a penny extra in the house, it was a total hand to mouth situation.
At the time that Mutola was growing up there were no teams for women, basically there was no encouragement for any girl to excel in anything other than household work. Over and above this Mutola was living in Mozambique. This country was no were close to being even called a developing country then.
There was a literary genius by the name Jose Craveirinha, whose son started training Mutola. At that time she felt she was not meant to be a runner, but because of her immense potential and the faith that her coach had in she began training when she was barely fifteen years old. Within the first few months of her training she won the 800m at the African championships.
The Mozambique government had agreed to sponsor her training but at the last minute they withdrew. In the 1988 Olympics Mutola finished last in her first round of the heats. For the next three years there was no proper coaching and training available to her. The locals in her country were no patch to her talent and the only time that she could learn was when she went out to different championship.
It was the International Olympic Committee Solidarity Program that came to her rescue and she was sent to Oregon to both train and study. There was only one school; Springfield High School which could help her. Mutola couldn’t speak English and there was this one teacher in this school who could speak Portuguese and thus began her formal training.
Her quest for the Olympic gold was far from complete; she was winning other international championships but couldn’t get the gold in the Olympics. In 1992 she finished 5th. In 1996 the world was waiting for her gold but she had flu and finished only in the third place, but by then she had either won or was in the finals of 40 international top of line tournaments.
She lost her father and wore a black ribbon on her arm and won the next race. It was the Olympics held in Sidney in 2000 that saw her win her first Olympic Gold Medal. Her quest didn’t end there she ran and won so many races that she has become a legend. She even ran in the 2008 Olympics and became only the fourth track and field athlete to compete in six Olympics.
What worked in her favour, nothing leaving the fact that she had to talent and the will power to get what she wanted? If you and I make up our minds and hold our will power strong we can achieve all that we want. So let’s give a tribute to the 800m running sensation of the world, learn from her will power and make our lives better.