The Accidental Win

Reading the Herald Sun newspaper at breakfast, I came across a small article at the bottom of page 6. It was about a 9 year old boy, Kade Lowell, who accidentally won a 10km running race.

Kade had entered the 5km competition and when his mother couldn’t find him at the end of the race she became panicked. People joined in the search, looking for Kade everywhere they could think of – along the race route and at the end where the other competitors were gathered at the finish line, questioning people if they’d seen him. But they were not able to find Kade.

That’s because Kade kept running. Nearing the 5km mark, where most people were turning off to cross the finish line, a woman nearby offered him some encouraging words – “Keep going…” So he did.

He ran the full 10kms. And he won!

Not just his age group, but the whole race!

It started me thinking about the things we can achieve if we believe the finish line is just around the corner, even if it isn’t. What could happen if we push past our expected ‘finish line’?

The mind is a powerful driver. We know we can achieve great things if we believe we can. It’s primarily our own belief in ourselves and our abilities holding us back from our full potential. I believe in the whole “I think I can, I think I can” mantra. But sometimes it helps to trick the mind into thinking we are almost finished, drawing on extra motivation and strength we didn’t know we had. I bet for each extra kilometre Kade ran, he thought “This is the longest 5km race ever,” but he just kept running. I think we would all be surprised by what we are capable of once we’re in the thick of it and we’re motivated by believing we’re almost done.

The other titbit I’ve taken away from Kade’s story is to never underestimate the power of positive words of encouragement delivered at just the right moment. I doubt that the lady who spurred Kade on meant to send him barrelling into the longer race by accident. But by sharing the simple words of motivation – “Keep going” – at that exact moment, she helped Kade smash a goal he never knew he was capable of.

Herald Sun, 2nd October 2019

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