"Never give up, for your work will be rewarded.” ~ 2 Chronicles 15:7
Chances are you’ve never heard of Károly Takács. But he’s a national hero in Hungary; everybody knows his name and his incredible story.
At age 28, Károly was the top pistol shooter in his country. Having won the major national and international championships, he seemed destined to capture the 1940 Tokyo Olympics’ gold metal.
Just months before the Games, while training with his army squad, a hand grenade exploded in Takács’ shooting hand. Both his right hand and his Olympic dreams vaporized in milliseconds.
Most people would have quit. But not Takács. He was a winner. Winners recover QUICKLY; simply bouncing back is not enough. When they experience a setback, they recover immediately so as not lose drive and momentum.
He focused on what he still had – mental toughness and a healthy left hand. While he couldn’t write a legible sentence with his left hand, he decided to make it the world's best shooting hand.
For months Takács practiced secretly by himself. Maybe he didn’t want to face those who might have discouraged him from his rekindled goal. Perhaps he didn’t want the sympathy.
But he had no fear of failure.
A year later Károly resurfaced at a Nat’l Shooting Championship in Hungary. His colleagues were delighted to see him and appreciated his attending to cheer them on.
He surprised them by announcing that he was there to compete against them – their best shooting hand against his ONLY hand. He won!
Károly’s Olympic dream would not be fulfilled for 8 years as two consecutive Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War II. When they resumed in London, Károly represented Hungary in the pistol shooting event. Imagine being a gold medal favorite, losing your shooting hand in an accident, yet picking yourself up from a shattered mess, and training your left hand to shoot as well (or better).
He WON the 1948 Olympic gold medal and set a new world record in pistol shooting. Egged on perhaps by his rival, Károly won a 2nd gold medal in the same event at the 1952 Helsinki Games.
When a boxer gets knocked down, they have 10 seconds to get back up. If (s)he gets up in 11 seconds, they lose. Remember that next time you get knocked down.
Takács definitely had a right to feel sorry for himself; to stay depressed and ask himself “Why me?” He had the right to act like a beaten man.
But Takács made the DECISION to find a solution; to pick himself up and to learn to shoot all over again. Winners always search for a solution. Losers search for escapes.
Next time you get knocked down, decide to act like a winner. Get up quickly, take action, and shock the world!
Lord, my energy is sagging, and my motivation is lagging. I need Your strength and fresh touch to get back on track. I need your joy to replace all the bone-tired parts of my mind, body, and soul. Amen