We hear his name, see his face on the screen, and know him very well. He is yet the fastest man ever alive, the Jamaican sprinter and Olympic champion–Usain Bolt.Do you ever wonder how he became the fastest man on earth? What were the significant life experiences that led him to win the world championships and the Olympics? What can we learn from his life that we can also apply to ours to become successful and be champions?
Faster Than Lightning is the autobiography of the all-time running champion Usain Bolt that will not only touch your heart but inspire you to live life faster and to the fullest.
I Was Put on This Earth to Run
Near-death accidents often make people realize important things in life.On April 2009, Usain Bolt was driving a BMW M3 Coupe with his two friends along Highway 2000 in Jamaica. Bolt, known as the fastest man alive, took a few risks to speed up in order to catch the Champions League kick-off game on TV.
It was raining hard when suddenly, he accidentally turned the traction control off, and the tires started to lose their grip on the road. The car accelerated and lost power until the street ran out. The car then jumped in the open air, flipped like a washing machine, and smashed in a ditch.Fortunately, Bolt and his friends did not suffer any severe bruises or wounds from the accident. Bolt felt shocked at what happened and was simply grateful that he was alive. A week after the incident, Bolt saw on the news the image of his horribly destroyed car. By then, he realized that he was not saved by luck, but by an all-powerful being –God.
Bolt knew that God had a purpose for him in life. He knew that God gave him a gift that he should take care of and that He put him on this earth to run and be the fastest man who ever lived.
Walk Like a Champion
To be a champion, it is more than just the medals, talent, and fame. To be a real champion means to have a mark of hard work, discipline and above all, respect to yourself and others.Growing up, Bolt was trained by his father to observe good manners at all times. When he was attending school at age five or six, he was ordered by his father to say good morning to every single person he would meet. He did not like it at all, but still, he obeyed.
There were people who smiled back. There was this one old lady who would always give him a cold-angry stare. It bothered Bolt a lot. One time, he decided to skip the greeting and ran away when he passed the old lady. That day when he came home, Bolt couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the same old lady in their home talking with his father. His father grabbed him by the shirt and expressed how disappointed he was by what happened.He remembered being so mad at that old lady that day. Since then, he learned the value of good manners and respecting others no matter what.
My Own Worst Enemy
Enemies can come in different forms—people, environment, feelings, even habits, and attitudes. Whenever such enemy attacks inwardly, the remedy to it should also be done inside and personally.Bolt was always in first place in running competitions. His teachers noticed how exceptional his talent was, they made it a point to give him proper training. That was so he could improve and get better, more. But Bolt hated training. Instead, he skipped it and went to play arcades.
One time, he was chosen to compete for regional championships. To his surprise, he was beaten by a kid, the same age as him, only because the kid had practiced harder than him.Bolt felt angry but realized his one real problem—laziness. He still didn’t want to go on training. He was clueless about how he could get himself hooked and interested in it. Until one day, Bolt saw videos and footages of famous Olympians.He got really inspired. He studied the training of the Olympians. Bolt tried as many as he could until he reached the right mix of training.
On the day of the regional championship, Bolt was successful for his efforts. He did not only defeat the kid who had once beaten him in the race, but he also defeated his very own enemy that came from within.
Where Mere Mortals Quiver, the Superstar Becomes Excited by the Big Moment
Stress and expectations can do many things to someone when he/she competes. Real talent, heart, and determination excite a true champion towards winning.Soon after his consecutive wins, Bolt was selected to compete during the World Juniors Competition. At first, he was very excited, but then he felt the pressure of representing his own country. Bolt was terrified that he might disappoint the crowd. He wanted to back out.One day, Bolt sat on their home’s veranda to get his thoughts down. His mother and grandmother came to him.
They advised him that he only needed to try the race and not to fear whatever happens. His mother emphasized that whatever happened, they would always be proud of him. Bolt started crying because the pressure was too much. But his mother’s words gave him comfort and new motivation.On the day of the race, Bolt was shaking upon hearing the crazy crowd cheering for him. When the race started, he was a bit late to start but not for so long. Something happened. As Bolt hit his ultimate speed, he felt as if something/someone was guiding him and pushing him hard. He was running crazy fast, and he became the world junior champ.
Bolt developed the attitude of a real champion—excited by both the pressures and stresses of the ‘big moment’ races.
The Heart of a Champion, a Mind of Granite
A true champion always stands out among the crowd because of his heart and mind. A mind that is ever determined to rise above winnings and losses.It was the World Championships in Helsinki, and it was cold and raining. Bolt was up for the race, and at the beginning of it, he was in the lead. Then something happened –his hamstring cramped. It was too painful, he had to slow down. Bolt jogged until the end of the race and he finished last. It was not like him to give a weak performance. He did not quit.
After the race, Bolt went to his coach. He was surprised to see his coach’s reactions. The coach was happy and smiling. He said that he was so proud of what Bolt had shown in the game. His determination not to quit and to finish the race had shown the true heart of a champion. The coach knew then that Bolt had a world-class potential with a lot of great things ahead of him. But still to Bolt, finishing last was never a good thing.
Discovering the Moment of No Return
There are moments in life where we face unbearable pain and agony. To some, this is just a moment. But to other people, it is called the moment of no return.After finishing last on the race, Bolt was diagnosed with scoliosis. Bolt experienced a lot of body-related problems in his next tournaments. Losing and not winning first place became a factor of discouragement to him.In one competition, Bolt once again had a hamstring issue which made him withdraw from the race. To his surprise, the crowd booed at him. Bolt felt disappointed. He doubted if he was ever good enough. He looked at his contenders and he thought that he was not measuring up.
At that point, Bolt thought he would no longer continue in his career, he would give in to his body failures. But he got a lot of advice from his coach and his family. His coach taught him to embrace all the pains that he experienced from running and not to give up no matter what. The coach called this the “moment of no return.” He explained that Bolt should push himself and accept pain during training. That was so in the real game, he would not stop even when he felt something was wrong in his body.
Bolt then realized that he needed to master his own body. He realized that despite all the pains and hurt, getting through was the only way to glory.
Pain or Glory
They say no pain, no gain.Glory comes in the midst after all the pain.Bolt faced a sprinter that had gotten on his nerves, Tyson Gay.He was so determined to beat this man whatever it took.Bolt suffered from back and muscle pains regularly, but still he strived to overcome it.In one race in New York, Bolt conditioned himself just to finish first and beat Tyson. He decided not to mind the time and clock.
So, in the race proper, Bolt was hot and excited to win.When the gunshot fired, he had a perfect start enough to move fast.Bolt started running as if his legs were as light as air.He powered towards the finish line and got first place! He was so happy he had beaten Tyson.But to his great surprise, Bolt even set a new record for the 100m run.That was a new world record! Bolt learned that there would always be glory when we endure and overcome pain.
Time is a valuable measurement in the world. It defines a limit, capacity, and above all, excellence.After being named as “The Fastest Man on Earth,” Bolt prepared himself to win the gold medal at the world’s best and finest which was the Olympics. His first time in Beijing and first-ever Olympic race gave him all the hype, energy and confidence that he could win gold. He felt that he learned so much, studied all of his competitors, and he worked so hard to bring out the best in himself.
On the day of the race, Bolt was so relaxed and knew that it was his game. As the gunshot fired, he couldn’t think of anything else but to run, run, run and also to chill, chill, chill. At the first meter he was overtaken by someone and even got a few wrong steps that put him out of condition, but he immediately recovered. When Bolt felt the momentum, he knew that he would win and he did! He won his first-ever 100m Olympic gold medal with 9.69 seconds.
The crowd went crazy as Bolt won the race. He wanted to run again to see his coach, but one man was grabbing him and saying that he needed to get his photo with the clock, for he had set another world record! That time, Bolt realized that he surpassed his very own excellence and reached the biggest time of his life.
Now Get Yours
To some people, they have a specific image of victory. However, there will always be a kind of success you can always own and consider yours entirely.Usain Bolt was still in the hype of winning his first-ever Olympic gold medal in the 100m race. But there was one thing he knew he needed to finish, the 200m. The 100m was his coach’s idea, but Bolt really wanted to proceed with 200m.
No one, even Bolt himself, would ever believe how things happened in such an instant. After the gunshot and his quick moves to run, Bolt was far away from all his contenders. He also won the 200m race. Once more, he set another new world record! Bolt’s victory did not end there. His team of other Jamaican sprinters also won the 4x100m relay. In that Beijing Olympic season, Bolt ran for three races, won three gold medals and made three world records. All those he claimed to be his own.
The Economy of Victory
Winning has its downside.The reputation you need to keep, the people you need to please and the life you need to live up.During the international press conference after Bolt’s three-gold medal win, he was asked by a reporter a question that made him angry.He knew that the questions would be both technical and personal.However, he did not expect reporters to doubt the reason for his exceptional performance.A reporter asked Bolt if he was using drugs or any enhancers which made him suddenly run so fast. He lost his patience and started defending himself. He said that he had been running for seven years of his life, and there was nothing that could replace the hard work he had done.
Bolt, although he felt attacked, defended that he was clean of anything.Days later, he had been up to promoting all kinds of products.Bolt realized that if he was to be the face of certain brands and products, then he could not live the free life he used to anymore.He accepted that he now belonged to a world of sporting business that he needed to get used to.
A Flash of Doubt, a Lifetime of Regret
There will always be a time when we regret doing something.But in such times, great learning comes which brings out the best in us.After winning three gold medals and setting a new world record at the World Championships in Beijing with 19.19 seconds of 200m race record, Bolt felt deeply tired.He decided that he would go offseason, meaning he would take things easy. Bolt went on partying hard and relaxing a lot.
His lack of training caused his body to develop more issues and injuries.On his 100m race in Daegu Stadium, South Korea during the 2011 World Championships, all things had changed.Bolt knew that he wasn’t fit enough, and that made him worry a lot.Along with it was a new rule given that when a racer made a false start, there would be no second chance.It would result in immediate disqualification.As the gunshot was about to blow, Bolt was stressing too much.All he wanted was for everything to start and end. He made a false start, and the officials removed him from the race.
Bolt was angry at what happened but more at himself.He realized his mistakes and learned that he would never do such thing again.Bolt had a whole new motivation to train hard.This, by far was the most unforgettable disappointment in Bolt’s career.
This is My Time
]No one becomes a champion in an instant. A real champion embraces time, works through it hard enough until he can call it his own.Struggling with so many health issues, working hard on training and once again losing in a minor race, Bolt could never get his spirit higher. His hunger to defend his title grew every single day.
One day, a schoolboy who was part of their team, but was still young, started talking to people about how he would break Bolt’s world records. The kid was saying this confidently and with so much pride even when Bolt himself was around to hear him. Bolt decided to give the kid a lesson by challenging him to go and break the record at the world junior’s first.He said that if the kid did, then they could talk again.After months, the kid never won the world juniors and felt deeply embarrassed. So on one training session, Bolt made it a point for everyone to hear what he had to say.
He told all aspiring racers that where he was now did not happen in just a short time. No one can go straight to the top without experiencing what he had experienced. Bolt added that if anyone wanted to beat him or his records, then they all must pass and defeat everyone that he has conquered himself.Bolt understood that a champion’s time takes time. It takes a lot of time for hard work, time for patience and afterward, a time to believe in yourself no matter what.
I Am Legend
Champions are for the finishers and winners. But those who stand to be the greatest of all are called legends.The moment of truth had arrived. After painful training and sessions of pushing to the limit, Usain Bolt was determined to prove to the world that he did not win three gold medals with three world records in the 2008 Olympics by chance. He wanted to show the world that he was the real deal.
Contenders were very eager to defeat him in the 2012 London Olympics. Justin Gatlin from the U.S. and co-Jamaican runner Yohan Blake all threatened Bolt that they would steal his title. But Bolt knew what he needed to do and what he was destined to do.On the start of the 100m race, Bolt sensed a lot of pressure among his competitors.Although he wanted to win, he wanted a good fight, so he tried to cheer the others on. However, Bolt couldn’t do much. At the very last minute before the gunshot, he worried about the false start that he did before, so he cried a silent prayer in his mind for God to help him.
As soon as the gunshot fired, he was unstoppable. Gatlin had the perfect start. But Bolt calmed down and just did his thing. He passed all his opponents until he won first place and achieved yet another Olympic record at 9.63 seconds.That was not the end of it, for he won first in the 200m race again and the 4x100m relay as well. In an interview after his wins, Bolt claimed to himself that he was a living legend. Nobody tried to challenge him. He is yet the world’s fastest man ever to live.
Rocket to Russia … and Beyond
Winning is such a bliss. Some people try to hold on with the memories of victory through visuals or stories while to others, a significant object.When Bolt won the London 2012 Olympics, he was beyond happy to have proved to the world that he was a legend. But he knew in a few years such moments would be forgotten, even he would forget them eventually. So he did something to help him remember.
While the gold medals were majestic in view, Bolt wanted something to take home, something from the games. He wanted to take home the baton from the relay. So, Bolt told one guy in the stadium that he was bringing the baton home. To his surprise, the guy said that he couldn’t, there were rules. In Bolt’s head, he complained because the games were done, so why not give it to him?
He insisted on bringing it home until the guy said that he was going to be disqualified for the next games. That scared Bolt, and so he decided to hand it back. Just before the guy got the baton out of his hands, someone on the speakers up on the stadium spoke and commanded to give it to Bolt because he deserved it. Bolt was then glad to take home the Baton and remember the amazing moments he had in London.
Bolt continued to run for the World Championships and won again and again. He had a lot of things ahead in his career, but he also knew that at the moment where he was, there was still a long way to go and that his time wasn’t up just yet.
We just learned the life story of the world-record holder and Olympic champion, Usain Bolt. We saw that from his humble beginnings and endless hard work, he stood and became a legend for the whole world. He is truly an athlete to remember and to look up to in this generation.
Usain Bolt is a perfect example of a person who knew what his potentials were and who believed in what he could do. He explored his abilities and made goals to win. Bolt proved that goals are a powerful motivation that can lead us to what we truly want.
Bolt was not just a competitor to others but a challenger to himself. He strived harder and harder until he surpassed all his expectations and even continued to achieve greater things. When we do everything that we can to become better, there is no stopping our progress.
The life story of Usain Bolt proves that pure talent doesn’t just make someone successful. It is his heart, his mind, and his training to do what he wants that will take him to his dreams.If you are working on something you want to achieve, work hard for it! Like Bolt, you too can become a champion of your own and for the people around you.