Loving others is easy. Loving yourself is hard but the fact is that to be successful at anything in life you must first believe in yourself. These words by Gandhiji have inspired me immensely.
This the story about my best friend Shikhar who became the vice captain of the Indian Hockey team against all odds only because he believed in himself.
Shikhar came from a poor background. His father drove buses and his mother stitched clothes but Shikhar who was fond of playing hockey and dreamt of being a part of the Indian Hockey team one day. His mother always encouraged him and even brought him a kit with the money she got after selling her earnings.
The training camp was 7 kms by car and she used to accompany him carrying his kit, food and water in the scorching heat. Seeing his talent the local coach was highly impressed and agreed to give extra time for coaching Shikhar. He refused to take any money from him as well.
At the age of 14, Shikar lost his mother. This completely devastated him.
The confidence of his father and his coach, and his mother’s last wishes to see him on the Indian team kept him going. He soon grew popular at the state level. People started recognizing him and his father was proud of him but his success was short-lived as he had a major accident at the age of 18, when he was on his way to selections for Mumbai to participate in the competition.
The accident had broken his hip bone and femur bone and fractured his arm. -The doctors had declared that he would never be able to walk properly and certainly not play hockey again. Completely shattered, he felt life had stopped for him. But his father’s encouragement made him believe in himself again.
He kept telling himself throughout his recovery period that he would be back and he stood true to his words. As soon as he was back home, he started to get his act together. He started exercising, eating healthy food and staying positive. He never gave up on his mother’s final wish- to sail through against all odds and nail his goal.
In 1999, Shekhar finally made it as the vice captain of the Indian Hockey team. This man who was never expected to walk properly again and never to play hockey again, achieved his dream of being the vice captain of the Indian hockey team.
Only because he believed in himself and his family supported his belief.