I predict you’re going to be hearing a lot about a kid named Ellis Coleman over the next month or so. Why? Short answer: He’s an exciting young wrestler with an unbelievable move called the Flying Squirrel.
In pulling off this maneuver, which you really have to see to believe, Coleman literally leaps over the head of his opponent. The Flying Squirrel has shaken up just about everyone Coleman has wrestled against … and it has shaken up the national media. The reporters will not be shy about telling you that Coleman is ready to compete for Olympic gold. And he is. But that’s not what I want you to remember about him.
What you should remember is that Ellis Coleman is already a winner, no matter how he performs in London.
That’s because he has the right coach, a coach who cares about the athlete both as a human being and as a competitor. That coach, Mike Powell, has helped this kid to move beyond some major obstacles in life.
As you probably know, The West Side of Chicago has a homicide rate that is off the charts. There is a serious gang war problem there, and the West Side is where Coleman is from.
Ellis Coleman grew up in a war zone. He was raised by a very brave, very focused, single mom. Ellis’ only memory of his dad, who bounced into and out of prison a lot, was his dad taking his possessions (like his Playstation) to sell off to support his dad’s drug habit.
Ellis’ mom and his coach challenged him. Supported him. Kept his eyes on the prize. And now, because of his hard work their support, he has made it out of one danger zone … and into another. Now, as he gets ready for the London games, the international hype machine presents him with a whole new set of challenges.
When asked if he was proud of Coleman making the 2012 Olympics team, his coach, Mike Powell, told CBS News, “I’m proud of him for who he is, and how far he’s come as a human being. He’s the hardest working kid I’ve ever coached.”
What were you able to overcome in your life by saying, “I can do that, too”?
It’s my blog, but your voice. I want to hear from you.